From freezing in sweatshirts to sweating in tank tops, students in the apartments have experienced all sorts of temperatures except for comfortable.

Complaints have been streaming in to housing from residents of the apartments. The recent drop in temperatures increased requests for the heat to be turned on. Once that request was granted, calls came in begging for the locks to be taken off the windows.

Gary Stephenson, director of housing, has requested that the locks be removed, but no further action had taken place by Tuesday. Richard Taylor, associate vice president for Campus Planning ‘ Operations, was unavailable for comment, but his office said steps were being taken to determine if it was safe to open the windows.

“Because the heat is on, I think it’s appropriate for the windows to be opened as long as the proper humidity is maintained,” said Apartment Manager Ryan Cantor, ’04.

Locks were installed on the windows prior to students moving in, in an attempt to control humidity in the building. The window locks were not well received by the students, but many students found it manageable because of the air conditioning. Now students are complaining that the temperature in their rooms is unbearable and there is nothing they can do about it.

“The heat in my room is ridiculous. I had to wear shorts all day long,” said Laura Orozco, ’04. “I can understand why housing put them on, but now they are annoying”

Dora DeNardo, ’04 agreed.

“I think it’s a health hazard that they pump the heat but can’t provide us with ventilation by opening the windows,” she said.

Other students are not that worried.

“I think they should make absolutely certain that mold will not grow back before they open the windows,” said Mike Conti, ’04. “I think the mold is a much bigger issue than being warm because at least you could use a fan.”

Housing, in an attempt to alleviate the sweltering conditions, turned the air conditioning back on Oct. 7 during the day only.

“The air conditioning was turned on in an attempt to get the building down in temperature,” said Stephenson. “Now the heat is back on and the air conditioning is off. They also regulated the hot water that heats the building to a temperature that should keep the building relatively livable in a better way than it was when they first ran the hot water into the building. They have in fact lowered the temperature.”

According to the EPA website, in order to decrease mold growth indoor humidity must be reduced. This could be accomplished by venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside, using air conditioners and de-humidifiers, increasing ventilation, and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.

Prior to students moving into the apartments, $200,000 was spent in cleaning up mold that already existed and reducing moisture and humidity to prevent further mold growth. Since then, dehumidifiers have been placed on the roof to modify the air.

The a-ttempts to control humidity have been successful, and the level remains in the 40 percent range which is healthy, according to housing officials.

Many students, however, also complained of asthma and respiratory aliments like watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing, itching, coughing, headaches, fatigue and wheezing.

“I have had a cold since the day I got here,” said Michele Fields, ’04. “It’s really not healthy to be breathing stagnant air, especially if it is potentially moldy, stagnant air.”

Other students are so fed up with the situation that they have taken matters into their own hands.

“I used to sit in my room, and my throat would be sore that I would be coughing and sneezing, and my eyes would be blood shot,” said a senior who wished to remain anonymous. “Now that I took the lock off myself I’m absolutely fine when I sit in my room.”

School officials advised otherwise.

“I would definitely advise my residents to leave the locks on their windows until the proper authorities take them off,” said Cantor.

“The locks were installed for a reason,” said Stephenson. Students who take the locks off themselves face potential consequences.

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