Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Dorms vs the weather: How on-campus living deals with the cold

Maddox Nite

Freezing temperatures swept over West Texas A&M University this winter, and students in residential halls felt the chill.

The Office of Residential Living, located in Centennial Hall, handles all things residential-hall related, alongside the Student Services Coordinators (SSC).

“We knew the cold weather was coming,” Senior Director of Campus Community, Dr. Shawn Fouts said. “And the SSC, who is our maintenance contract here on campus, was already working to ensure that our hot and cold water was regulated so the pipes would not freeze.”

While the goal of the Office of Residential Living and the SSC is to keep every residential hall room warm, the heaters may function differently depending on the hall.

“So they’re [the dorm halls] heated differently,” Fouts said. “The older ones are heated off a radiator. So a lot of times, students will think, ‘My rooms not gonna get warm,’ but it’s a radiant heat rather than a blowing heat; while the newer dorms are controlled electronically.”

If the radiator isn’t sufficient, Residential Living will provide alternative solutions.

“We did provide – in the older dorms – space heaters for students’ rooms,” Fouts said. “In case they felt like it’s just not warm enough.”

In addition to the precautions the SSC and Residential Living enact, the utility bills are on them too.

“A student will never see a utility bill; utilities are a major portion of our budget,” Fouts said. “They’re actually pretty astronomical when you consider nine residence halls.”

Macie Groomer, a junior and on-campus resident, has never had a problem with the residential halls staying warm.

“I’ve never thought, ‘Oh man, I wish I was not living in the dorm because it’s cold or because it’s warm,’” Groomer said.

For some, harsh weather may be a deal breaker, but for the overall experience, one student says it is all worth it to live in the dorms.

“Depending on how bad the weather is, I always just stay in the dorm for the rest of the day; nothing too impactful,” freshman and on-campus resident Caleb Guerrero said.

In colder temperatures, the walk to residential halls may be worse.

“Sometimes I have to park really far from my dorm,” Groomer said. “So walking in the cold isn’t super fun. But luckily, being in the dorms, nothing is causing me a problem.”

While the cold temperatures reach freezing lows, Residential Living and the SSC continue to do what they can for the students living on campus while waiting for a hopefully warm spring.

“I love living in the dorm,” Guerrero said ”I like having a roommate around so I’m not too alone. And I like having everyone else around; if you’re living in WT then you want to get the best experience possible.”

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About the Contributor
Maddox Nite, Multimedia Reporter
Hello! My name is Maddox Nite. I am freshman majoring in digital communication and media with a minor in creative writing from Amarillo, Texas. And after graduation I hope to move someplace new and write for a newspaper. I love books, video games, lifting, and performing in shows at the Amarillo Little Theatre. I am very proud and grateful to be the Campus News Multimedia Reporter at TPN this year, and I can’t wait for more years to come!

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