Managing Executive Editor
High temperatures on campus in the past week has caused considerable discomfort among the students and faculty, as well as in the classrooms and dorms.
With the lack of AC (air conditioning) in many individual classrooms and dorms, the question now is how unhealthy is it for students to be subjected to these temperatures throughout the day, and how do they affect students daily performance?
According to research done by Dunn and Dunn of Learning, an online assessment platform, studies found that when temperatures are too hot or too cold, the brain is constantly reminding the body to do something about that condition, and because of the constant interruption, it is hard for the student to stay focused.
Another study done by an undergrad at Loyola University found that air temperature has an impact on memory ability.
Researchers used a computer generated memory test, at which 52 students were randomly selected, participated in memory tests in rooms with varying temperatures. Room temperatures were set at 72, 80 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit.
The study found that in the environment with temperatures of 80 or 64 degrees, memory was impacted negatively.
Test scores were significantly higher in the classroom where the temperature was 72 degrees.
As for students, sophomore Brian White said that the temperature in his dorm has been very uncomfortable.
The sophomore, who lives in a single in Holloway, said the lack of AC has made focusing, as far as studying and doing homework, much more difficult. “When it’s that hot you don’t feel like doing anything. You especially don’t want to return to a hot dorm and have to focus on a days worth of homework. That’s why I’ve been going to cooler areas, just so I can finish my homework and cool off,” said White.
Despite having fans and temperatures gradually lowering as the sun goes down, White said it’s been an unusually hot and uncomfortable past couple of weeks. “I’ve just been trying to stay hydrated and get some air flow into my room as the air cools. AC would be a major perk, I think it would definitely help the students academically and just health wise, but again we can’t really control the weather,” said White.
White hasn’t been the only student feeling the heat, as senior Julia Babbitt has been experiencing the same feeling while attending her class in Morrison Hall.
With no AC or even fans in most of the classrooms on the third floor of Morrison, the temperatures can rise to an easy 90 degrees on any given day.
Last week Babbitt said one of her classes in Morrison was extremely hot, which led to the class being let out early. “The professor said he could tell people were losing focus because of the heat,” explained Babbitt.
The senior said that the heat is very draining and that no matter how much water you drink, nothing seems to help with the fatigue.
“Being in a hot classroom makes me tired and gives me a headache, causing me to lose focus. It doesn’t just affect me while in the classroom, later on I still feel lethargic,” said Babbitt.
She added that often times instead of doing her homework after dealing with the heat all day, that she instead needs to nap. “The heat basically sucks the energy out of me,” Babbitt said.
After many recommendations to place fans within Morrison, the hall received several fans in the hottest of classrooms.
The Associate Dean of Student and Director of Residential Life Kent Drake-Deese said that although it is unfortunate that the weather has been in the higher temperatures, that there is not much that can be done. “There was an email with suggestions on how to stay cooler. So those areas [residential dorms without AC] got it. Unfortunately areas like Huntress and the Owls Nests, it’s just not possible to retrofit them with AC,” said Drake-Deese. Despite not being able to install AC in the dorms without it, KSC is still making sure their students and faculty know how to stay hydrated and stay cooler throughout the day, added Drake-Deese.
With the unexpected heat wave beginning to cool down, students can look forward to cooler rooms and a better ability to focus on their academics.
Caroline Perry can be contacted at