“I had to type my paper with gloves on,” she said of the temperature in her dorm room.
Mak is one of many undergraduates who in recent weeks experienced extremely cold temperatures in their rooms as the fall weather set in—sparking complaints over House e-mail lists as students have put the heat on House managers to quickly raise temperatures.
But according to Anthony J. Pacillo, manager of freshman dorms, heat in all of the freshman dorms and upperclass Houses was turned on as of earlier this week.
“The heat is on in all buildings,” he said.
Pacillo said that the heating system is regulated by the outside air temperature.
When the air temperature drops below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, the heaters automatically turn on; when the temperature is above 55 degrees, the heaters shut off.
“If the temperature outside were 56 degrees, the heaters would not turn on,” he said.
Some students said the College’s response to the sudden cold weather could have been quicker.
Leverett House resident Jessica G. Ranucci ’10 said that she avoids her room because of the cold.
“It’s not so bad because the library’s always open, but it gets frustrating,” she said. “My roommate’s been studying in the laundry room.”
Students from warmer climates were also caught unprepared for the cold.
“I rub my hands together until I fall asleep or I go to the bathroom to run hot water on my hands to warm them up,” said Hetty A. O. Afari ’11, who is from Ghana. “It was not a pleasant experience.”
According to Pacillo, the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code requires that the temperature in dwellings be 68 degrees from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and 64 degrees from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Quincy resident Rachel E. Flynn ’09 said that she understands the difficulties involved with timing the heating system with the weather changes.
“When they turn the heat on, they have to time it well,” she said.
Although Flynn felt chilly for a while, she said she was not too concerned.
“I’m from Massachusetts, so I can bear it,” she said.