Josie Reich, Contributing Photographer

Labor Day kicked off a heat wave in Connecticut, and the extreme weather has acutely affected students residing in Yale’s notoriously stuffy dorms. As temperatures climb over 90 degrees, students are losing sleep and struggling to pay attention in class. Homeowners are advised to seek the services of honolulu air conditioning repair companies to prepare their ac units and avoid ac breakdowns during the summer. And if you need ac repairs, then make sure to consider hiring professional contractors like air conditioning repair service in St Augustine, FL who can provide expert services. Homeowners who are in need of a professional Tampa AC Repair service may get in touch with companies like Tampa AC Services Inc.

Undergraduates across residential colleges have reported extreme discomfort due to Yale’s lack of air conditioning. This started when air conditioner making weird noise. Those who are being driven from their rooms during the day by relentless heat and humidity must find inventive ways to stay cool as they sleep. 

“It is so hot that every night, I soak my bath towels in water from the bathroom and sleep under them,”  Liana Schmitter-Emerson ’25 said. She noted that it felt significantly hotter inside Ezra Stiles College than it did outside.

Reece Kirkpatrick ’25 reported that Silliman was so hot that he needed three fans pointed at him to fall asleep.  

Students’ complaints are not going unnoticed by staff. Melissa Jungeblut, assistant director of operations for Pauli Murray College, sent out an email to Pauli Murray students on Wednesday, Sept. 6, encouraging them to seek refuge in air-conditioned spaces within the college. 

“Please feel free to sleep in some of our public spaces that are air conditioned: buttery, common room, library — even the basketball court,” Jungeblut wrote. 

Students who would rather purchase an air-conditioning unit than sleep on a basketball court are out of luck, as Yale has a strict policy against installing A.C. units in dormitories. If a student is caught with a self-installed window A.C. unit, they will face a $100 fine and the possible termination of their housing contract. 

Saybrook Senior Administrative Assistant Ann Marie Gilmore has already sent out emails to students regarding illegally installed A.C. units, warning them of potential fines. Overheated and out of options, students are left trying to maximize their time in spaces with A.C. while steering clear of their rooms. 

“It’s been very difficult to be able to do any work or relaxing in my room. I try to avoid being in there,” said Brynne Aidlin-Perlman ’25, who lives in Davenport College. 

Aidlin-Perlman’s avoidance of her room coincides with recent advice from Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, who, in a Sept. 5 press release reminded the public to be cautious when spending time in non-air-conditioned spaces. 

Some students have expressed frustration that a school with such expansive resources —Yale’s endowment totaled $41.4 billion as of June 2022 — lacks something as basic as air conditioning. Aidlin-Perlman firmly believes that having air conditioning in residential colleges would make dorm living “significantly improved.” 

“I definitely find that sleep is more challenging when it is so hot. I try to keep my fan blowing right on my face, but I did wake up this morning sticky and sweaty,” Aidlin-Perlman said. 

Annie Giman ’24, who lives on the fourth floor in Stiles, found that her inability to sleep in the heat interferes with her academic engagement. Feeling exhausted during the day makes paying attention in class an acute challenge. 

Giman also faced mechanical issues with the radiator in her bedroom. 

“When I moved in I found that my heating was stuck on and it took several days for it to get fixed,” Giman wrote to the News. “It was a little better in my room for a few days, but in this heat wave it’s gotten really bad again.”

Struggling to sleep and focus in New Haven’s summer heat is no new phenomenon for Yale students; the lack of A.C. has historically been an issue.

Lyle Griggs ’25 recalled his first year of college being particularly challenging. 

“The first week of my freshman year was miserably hot, and we couldn’t keep our stuffy fourth-floor suite cool,” Griggs wrote to the News. “My suitemates and I brought pillows and blankets down to the Branford gym and slept on the treadmills for the first few nights.”

While the heat wave will luckily subside in the coming week, the effects of living without air conditioning — the lack of sleep, amplified health struggles and risk of heat exhaustion — are recurring issues in the first and last weeks of the school year.

As of 2023, two of the 14 residential colleges at Yale have air conditioning in dorm rooms, but that A.C. remains turned off. 

ELENA UNGER
Elena is a Junior studying English and Education.