Denials outweigh approvals in air conditioner lottery

Until dormitories are renovated, policies, questions over air conditioners will remain

By Leslie Shirk

The lottery pool for an air conditioner has become increasingly difficult this year. As the trend usually goes, when the demand increases, the supply should. Unfortunately, since the demand has increased, the approval rate has decreased, leaving many students in a tight and, quite often, unhappy health situation.
The protocol for air conditioning is as follows, according to student handbook: “students are allowed to have air conditioners if they have a documented medical note, a genuine need which is decided by Health Services, and they must submit their forms to Health Services by a specific date to qualify.”
So what happens when a student goes through this process and is then denied? The said student is out of luck until the following semester.
“My Freshman year, my allergies were really bad in the fall, but in addition, I get migraines if I’m too overheated, and get really sick, so I got a note from my doctor and filled out all the forms. The RA approved, then with room checks she said to hide it?then I got the e-mail from Residence Life denying it,” comments Casey Crough, a sophomore.
“I shouldn’t have girls coming up to me asking if they can have air conditioners because they should already have clearance and know if they do and can prove it, because then it puts more stress on the Area Coordinator over and over again,” says Resident Assitant, Anna Conley, a sophomore.

Many students are denied simply because, “the electricity bill is just too high to accommodate everyone who wants an air conditioner, and the building will just shut down if there’s too many [air conditioners] in the building. It just becomes a real balancing act,” says Joan Lusby, the Physician’s Assistant in Student Health Services.

“I think if people who have a legitimate doctor’s note, they should be able to get an air conditioner. I dealt with not having one my Freshman year, by having five fans,” adds Crough.

“It will change from year to year, if more life threatening cases arise, people will get bumped, who otherwise would’ve been approved,” adds Lusby.

Several students tend to disregard what Residence Life approves or denies and instead keep their air conditioners, only removing them if caught. As many students know, most of the RA’s hate to be the ones to tell them that they have to either take them out or that they will be charged.

“I know people who have them who need them, and have to tell them to take them out. I realize the side effects of not having an air conditioner, and yet I know we can live without it too. But to be fair, I wish the entire building [ANW] had it, and since I represent Residence Life, it reflects poorly on me,” notes Conley.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are students who also claim that they need an air conditioner, when in fact, they have no medical inhibiter to keep them from being healthy without one. In essence, they try to abuse the system.

“I feel as if people don’t need air conditioning around here?people are more spoiled than they realize and can learn to live without it,” says junior Anna Donaldson.

It’s partially for this reason, as well as those who have the most significant need for one, that the selection order is made. Obviously Residence Life cannot accommodate and please everyone, but the general consensus among students is that there should be a more organized and straightforward process for air conditioner selection.