Columns / Discourse / October 7, 2010

What’s Wrong with Knox: The heat

Some friends of mine complained about the lack of heat, but I was, of course, going to speak up. Unfortunately, I am unable to withhold rent like a normal tenant. I could find no other way to be heard than to write an open letter to the college.

During Sunday and Monday night there was a frost advisory in Galesburg because of near-freezing temperatures. Even with the cold and the weather advisory, Knox had not turned on any heat in the residential halls. Still as of Tuesday, there was no heat present in my room in Williston Hall. Lucky for us, the temperature is going to warm up in the next few days, but fall is here, the leaves are changing and that northern frigid air will eventually be here to stay.

The lack of heat was dreadful. I did not measure the temperature in my room so I cannot give definitive stats on the cold, but trust me! It was cold. My heater is still on “9,” yet no sign of warmth can be found. This cold temperature in the dorms can increase colds and other issues like the “Knox Plague” among the frozen students; the school should realize this issue above saving a buck or two on the heat.

Some buildings can never adjust the temperature. Places like Jazz House are stuck at a temperature. Living there last year at times it would be dreadfully cold during the winter because of an inability to change the temperature as well as a sub-par ventilation system.

I do understand the school wants to be green, and that keeping a steady lower temperature does save energy, but the school should recognize student choice first since we do pay thousands of dollars to go here and live in the dorms.

As we are not allowed to have AC during the ridiculously hot days we might as well be able to have some heat when it gets cold out. Also, since we are not allowed to have small heating units, due to the fire hazard they promote, the school should give us working heaters.

So in conclusion: please Knox College, let us choose the temperature of the room we must live in and which we pay for. The school should teach temperature regulation to keep the school green, but it should be our choice whether to freeze to death or not.

John Williams


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