Residents of Weld North last night unanimously approved a petition protesting poor heating throughout the dorm. The petition will be circulated among university officials today.
Room temperatures hovering at 58 degrees greeted residents returning from winter recess last Monday. The cold, combined with unsatisfactory heating over the last three months, triggered the protest.
The students are also sending a representative to meet with Dean Fox tomorrow to discuss their grievances.
Some students said yesterday they may demand rebates or refuse to pay for next semester's board. "The University owes us money for not keeping their part of the contract," Michael F. Nelson'84 said.
The students will send copies of the petition to President Bok, members of the Harvard Corporation, Fox, Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, and the committee on Housing and Undergraduate Life (CHUL).
Just prior to winter break Weld residents filed a complaint with the Cambridge Board of Health about the unsatisfactory heating. "Before vacation we were promised that things would be fixed. It's after vacation and things are worse," Jared Hoffman'84 said last night.
The Buildings and Grounds (B&G) department has been repeatedly notified concerning the freezing conditions, students said. "They come, they look at the heaters, take temperatures and they say that the heaters are working at their full capacity," Linda M. Alvarez'84 said last night.
B&G officials were unavailable for comment yesterday.
"To the best of my knowledge the situation has been remedied," Henry Moses, dean of freshmen, said yesterday, adding, "we will obviously pursue the situation.
According to the petition, temperatures averaged 42 degrees on the bathroom floors, 48 degrees in the air in the bathroom, and 54 degrees in most rooms when a B&G officials visited the building Sunday night.
The petition demanded resident space heaters or improved insulation.
"It's so cold that you see your breath when you take a shower," one resident, who asked not to be identified, said.
The building warmed up slightly yesterday, but the students said there have been slight improvements in the past without the heating system being fixed. The increased room temperature may only be the result of warmer weather, the students added