There is no weather like Northwest Iowa weather. On the week of August 20th, a heat wave rolled through Northwest Iowa resulting in many Northwestern students searching for air conditioning. Temperatures reached up to 101 degrees with even higher heat indexes. To say it was hot would be an understatement.
There are three dormitories on campus that were without air conditioning. These include Hospers, Colenbrander, and Fern Smith’s north and south wings. Students are very aware when they come to campus if their room has air conditioning or not. One can only wish for a cool August but that was not the case for this week. However, NW faculty and staff did all they could to provide these students with adequate places to sleep.
On Sunday afternoon at 2:47 p.m., a campus-wide email was sent out with options for sleeping accommodations for each of these halls. Hospers men were allowed to sleep in the basement and main floor lounges of their own hall, Coly men were given the lobby of the theatre building to sleep in, and the women in Fern had the option of sleeping in the Ramaker Fireside Room or Northwest Lounge. All students had to be out of these areas by 7:30 a.m. each morning.
Although everyone was given the option of cool areas to sleep, not very many took NW up on the offer. It could have been the fact that some are uncomfortable sleeping in public spaces or didn’t want to have to be up by a certain time, but many NW staff members offered up spaces in their homes for students to sleep in the privacy of a home but there were still many who chose to stay in their blistering hot rooms.
“It seems as though students would rather put up with intolerable heat than leave their rooms.” Julie Elliot said. “Students feel at home in their rooms.”
Some students had mentioned that they simply feel more comfortable in their owns rooms due to the familiarity of people as well as the feeling of home. Still, it was nice to have the option of an air-conditioned place to sleep.
However, not everyone slept through the heat. Many found themselves on a friend’s couch in the apartments, others crowded into other dorms and some were able to crash at a family member’s house in the area.
“We all made the best out of a really bad situation,” said Elliot.
Minimal concerns and complaints were made to NW faculty about the lack of air conditioning. Those who did express their concern were parents, not students. Students seemed to be very calm and light-hearted with the entire situation. In fact, some students chose to leave their air-conditioned rooms and sleep in the heat instead. A group of men from North Suites were spotted sleeping in Coly so that they could call themselves survivors of the heat wave. Some even slept in sweaters.
Once again, there is no weather like Northwest Iowa weather. Here at NW, any day can consist of extreme heat or bitter cold or both – one may never know. With sudden changes in weather, NW staff has always and will continue to do all they can to keep students safe and comfortable. It is safe to say that the students and staff of NW won this round against mother nature; NW beat the heat.