Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 started out like any other ordinary day. After all, it was a time of intense cramming for upcoming final exams for many of us, combined with the pressure of starting or finishing Christmas shopping. Except on this day, there was a chill in the air — literally. The high on Dec. 15 reached a crisp 34° and a low of 28°, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Coming on the heels of an unseasonably mild stretch of weather, it felt as if we were in a deep freeze. Besides layering up when we braced the cold, it was a time when we needed to turn up the heat.
But when I woke up on that fateful Saturday, I felt a shiver go down my spine. So, I thought to myself, “Hey, your window must be open a bit, creating a draft.” It was so I shut it and went about my morning routine. While showering I realized that it was colder than usual in the bathroom. I proceeded to go back to my room and put my hand to the heater, only to find that it was cold.
Yet still, I didn’t jump up and down raving about how it could be that we had no heat in Switlik Hall. Although, maybe doing so would have created a little bit of inner heat that I could have used at that moment. I figured the heat had probably not yet kicked on.
Still finding myself chilled, I left the building to get my breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts and to run some errands. When I returned a few hours later, the heat was still not on in my room. I thought this a little odd, and wondered if my heat was broken.
After bearing the situation for what seemed like an ice age, I walked down the hall and saw a note on my resident advisor’s white board. To paraphrase, it read: The heat is broken in the building. It also noted that Public Safety was aware of the problem and that facilities would not be able to fix it until Monday when someone returned to the Lawrenceville campus.
Naturally, my eyes did a double take. Did I really just read that? Here it is, a Saturday in December, we have no heat and would not until Monday at the earliest. How is this possible? Now granted, it was the last weekend before the winter break and there were only three final exam sections left. And on top of that, I understand it was a weekend and most people had gone home, either just for a few days or for the winter break.
But there were more than a handful of people still living on my floor and in the building. So, how does this not constitute as an emergency to have someone come in and fix it?
Luckily, I had spent most of the weekend catching up with friends from the area and did not have to spend a great deal of time in my room. But, that is not the point. Tell me again why I pay about $10,000 for room and board?
— Carey Sliko
Senior, Marine Sciences