It seems ridiculous to need a sweatshirt in class in Los Angeles on a 100-degree summer day, but it is necessary as a result of the blasting air-conditioning in the college’s buildings.
Los Angeles is hot most of the year, meaning Occidental must frequently toe the line between too hot outside and too cold inside. Yet it seems as if most buildings on campus are perpetually set to either ‘frigid’ or ‘sweltering.’
On hot days, people long for the moment when they can step inside an air-conditioned building. Seventy-five degrees inside is a welcome relief after temperatures of over 100 degrees outside. However, when a room is too cold, it becomes painfully uncomfortable.
Sweat lowers body temperature and when sweaty skin is blasted by air-conditioning, it causes the body’s cooling mechanism to amplify, according to The Wall Street Journal. A thermostat set too low can send someone from sweaty to shivering in a matter of minutes.
Occidental’s overuse of AC is not only detrimental to student health and comfort, but to the environment. By raising thermostats, or reducing AC consumption, the college not only lowers its carbon footprint, but decreases its energy bill.
The college recently installed solar panels to help with cost and a green initiative; however, that does not mean that waste should be accepted when it comes to energy. Occidental needs to be proactive in ensuring that rooms are not overly air-conditioned.
Students of Newcomb also have said that they wake up in the middle of the night in sweats because the heat has been turned on in their rooms to accommodate the colder nights. The nights have not yet gotten to a point where heat is necessary, so again, there is wasted energy.
Though heating and air-conditioning are thought of as a necessity, they should be proportional to the outside temperature. And, as with any modern luxury, used without creating unneeded waste.
This editorial represents the collective opinion of the Occidental Weekly Editorial Board. Each week, the Editorial Board will publish its viewpoint on a matter relevant to the Occidental community.
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