Approve on-campus A/C options for students staying at SLC over the summer.
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Approving on-campus summer air-conditioning options for students who stay over summer will drastically improve the quality of life for these students. At the moment, the school will not provide A/C units to students, nor will they approve of students bringing and funding their own A/C units. The reasons for this are unclear.
After having spoken with the Director of Residence Life, I only understand that due to maintenance and other costs (both financial and temporal), the college cannot facilitate this change. Specialized-housing over the summer is not granted due to it being merely 'optional' for students to choose to stay over the summer. For this reason, it appears that the college, according to a statement, is not obligated to adhere to law stipulating the accommodation of specialized requests.
The current recommendation the college provides for students who need accommodation, other than the accommodation currently offered, over the summer is merely to find other housing. The only sources of support in achieving this are contained within various online social groups where students can ostensibly coordinate housing options and find roommates to split NY-style rent with. For students with debt and other financial hardship, this option is not feasible. Current summer programs pay students around $3000-$4000 dollars. Paying $800 for rent per month, for example, would exhaust at least $2400 of such a stipend. Many students depend on summer earnings to pay for the yearly tuition and other bills.
It is unreasonable for the college to expect students to be both silent and to suffer in drastically hot, sweltering conditions. The right to care for oneself in these circumstances has also been taken away. Students cannot arrange for their own A/C units or even have the option to sign a waiver assuming responsibility for all the expenses and potential damages. Other universities provide free-on-campus or low-cost campus facilities to students working through the university for the summer, and these facilities often include A/C. They also grant provisions for those students who require, for medical or other reasons, such accommodation.
While students can be compassionate towards the lack of resources and funds to swiftly or easily care for these accommodations, it is unreasonable for us to merely turn the other way. This is not a request for a luxurious, excessive provision. This is a request for some actionable, practical empathy and consideration for the sub-optimal living conditions we have to endure during a particularly tumultuous and stressful phase in our lives, in both the cases of requiring specialized accommodation and in the cases of not. Such actionable consideration might include being open to a discussion for change, clearly outlining the reasons why such accommodation cannot be provided at the moment, and in being open to engaging with students on these matters in order to find a situation that might be able to fit such accommodation in – at least on some level.
It doesn't take having to comb through several peer-reviewed journals in order to find literature to defend the instinctively-known claim that high-heat conditions alter life quality and welfare – we all know this. The college remains, per actions, inconsiderate. Housing insecurity encompasses not only the cost of rent but also the conditions of a living space, and students – the actual people whose quality of life is at stake – remain excluded from the conversation about this dynamic problem.
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