Yale is moving to fix leaks and heating problems at the new colleges brought on by this month’s rainy and cold New England weather.

As temperature dipped into the 40s and 30s this month, some students at Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray colleges had trouble adjusting the heat in their rooms while others were not able to turn their heat on at all. More recently, a rain storm caused damage to the ceiling of the Murray common room and leaks in Benjamin Franklin. According to administrators, however, these are expected bumps in the road for new buildings.

“I definitely am strongly of the opinion that for this coming winter, there are probably going to be some little hiccups,” Head of Pauli Murray Tina Lu told the News. “By and large, for a building this size that had never gone through a cold spell before, things have actually worked pretty well.”

Lu added that the facilities staff has been working hard to solve all these issues.

Head of Benjamin Franklin Charles Bailyn said he has not heard of any problems with his college’s heating system but knew that Benjamin Franklin, like Murray, had leak issues during the rainstorms that are now being fixed. He echoed Lu’s sentiment that these issues are to be expected with new buildings.

Yale facilities has already come to the aid of several students. Joy Kwinjo ’20 posted about heating problems in the Murray Facebook group at the end of the October but told the News that she no longer has any problems and that the heating just came on late in her room.

Patrick Peoples ’18 was another student who posted about problems with heating. But he also told the News his situation has since improved. His radiator had been broken and was not connected to the central heating system, he explained, but a staff member fixed it a few hours after he called facilities about the problem.

“It seems like they never installed it properly in the rush to finish construction,” Peoples said. “But now it works and I’m very happy with Pauli Murray.”

But other students said they have continued to have problems. Devika Kedia ’20 said the fire detectors in her Pauli Murray suite are located right next to the heat vents and, as a result, the fire alarms go off whenever they turn on heating.

Juliette Neil ’20, who is in Benjamin Franklin, said that since the heat turned on, her room has been “boiling” and that adjusting her thermostat has had no effect on the temperature.

She also said hot temperatures in the suite make it tempting to open the windows for colder air, even though doing so would be a waste of energy.

Lu told the News that Murray has tried to get students not to leave their windows open because the cold air triggers more, unnecessary heating. And, in the Murray Facebook group, Associate Head of College Stuart Semmel, Lu’s husband, also asked students to keep windows closed because doing so is environmentally friendly.

Britton O’Daly | britton.odaly@yale.edu

BRITTON O'DALY