I sit in the library of NJCU, and it is atypically cool in here. Everyone around me is bundled in sweaters and jackets, while mine rests on my chair. I say this as I have often found the library to be one of the warmest buildings on campus. I won’t complain, as my ancestors hail from an island where the sun rarely shines and rain is the norm. As a result I am most comfortable in cooler rooms. I can’t speak for our business school as I’ve never been there, but the main campus has buildings that seem to either turn into ovens or freezers at the worst times to do so. Much like the weather of Jersey City, NJCU is unpredictable with its temperature.
The first step was gauging the general feeling of the buildings in the halls and rooms I’d be able to step into. So I walked around without my jacket to gauge them. The Karnoutsos building was the hottest, with the the third floor making me sweat like the FBI raided my home. The science building was drafty but not too bad. Rossey Hall was on the warmer side of things, likely due to the smooth jazz emanating in the hallways. Vodra Hall was average to me but it warmed as I neared the emergency exit. Grossnickle Hall wasn’t bad, which surprised me as the class I took there could get uncomfortably hot. Hepburn Hall wasn’t bad to me, but the constant walking may have impacted my judgement. The visual arts building was tolerable.
During my first semester here, I was taking a class in Rossey Hall around November, when the weather grew colder and rain and snow began to arrive. For some reason, the room didn’t have the heat on, leaving myself and fellow students in our jackets. In fact, the professor actually cancelled class for the day because of the lack of heat. The following class was the same issue, which forced the professor to threaten to file a complaint just to get the heat on(The heat was turned on a short time after). But my experiences are only a fraction of the story. I am just one man, so I reached out to fellow students and employees on campus. According to student Gabriella Villante “I have a class in the Grossnickle Hall auditorium and the heater offers little heat for how cold the room can get. Employees of the bookstore in GSub said “We have sent complaints about the heat and cold.” They added that having an adjustable thermostat would be great, as well as that there is a health risk to people in certain rooms, such as someone with anemia in a cold room.
I spoke with Anthony Rago, the Director of Facilities at NJCU. I asked him what the causes were for these swings in temperature that never seem to find a balance for what someone wants/needs. He told me “There are several factors with the temperature of a room. The infrastructure, sunlight going into a room, people requesting for adjustments in the area, and the weather.” He also said that “No two people will feel the same way about the heat or cold.” (I agree). When asked if facilities received complaints, he stated that they usually only receive calls to turn on heating.
I can understand that people can have some impact on the heating, but a balance almost never seems to be reached when we need it. There has to be a more moderate approach to controlling the temperature of the campus buildings. There are health risks with this extreme climate. Someone with anemia is at risk if they’re in a cold room. But the answer shouldn’t be to blast the heat to the point people begin to stick to their chairs.
It’s impossible to satisfy everyone, and individual preferences vary, but only a Sith deals in absolutes. Balance is important in life, and the boiler rooms on campus shouldn’t be any different. We’re not asking for an overhaul of the whole system, just a little less turning of the dial.
This story was originally printed in The Gothic Times, Issue 6 of Spring 2017.