By Rebekah Jampole
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday November 26, 2002
Tucson temperatures have been about 5 degrees above average recently and the rise in the mercury has made the difference between sweat and chills for many of the 800 residents of Coronado Hall.
The air conditioning was turned off in all campus dorms Nov. 15.
Soon after, temperatures began to rise, and the residents of Coronado began to complain about the heat.
"It was unbearable," said pre-business freshman Bridget Dorcey. "One side of the hall was hot because it is always in the sun and the other side was cool."
Dorcey wrote a petition to get the air turned back on in Coronado Hall and put a copy under every door in the hall. Within 48 hours, she said she had more than 250 signatures.
"People were coming to me and thanking me for doing something about it," Dorcey said.
Dorcey never turned in her petition but the air was turned back on in Coronado on Thursday, after director of the department of Residence Life Jim Van Arsdel visited the dorm.
"This happens every year," Van Arsdel said. "Different people have different senses and comfort zones, so of course people will be dissatisfied."
Residence Life will check with the staff in all of the housing buildings on campus to determine whether or not air-conditioning is necessary; but most do not report the same problem with heat that affects Coronado, the largest dorm on campus.
"(Two weeks ago), students were asking us to turn the heat on," said Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall director Steve Herndon.
The heating and cooling units in each of Coronado's 400 rooms are all connected to pipes that run throughout the building. Chilled water is sent through the pipes during the hotter months, cooling the air in each of the rooms. During the winter, hot water is sent through the pipes, heating the building.
The hot and chilled water cannot run simultaneously, or even within a few days of each other as the rapid change in temperature could cause the pipes to break, Van Arsdel said.
Temperatures should return to normal for this time of year by the end of the week, said KVOA chief meteorologist Jimmy Stewart; however, it is still necessary for students to be prepared for changes in the weather.
"When it gets cooler, you need to be wearing pants. There's not a lot you can do if it's too warm; just stay hydrated," Van Arsdel said. "It's just common sense."