Weather Leaves Students Out in the Cold

With temperatures dropping to abnormal lows this week, many students have huddled near their heaters and scrambled for their phones.

The number of students calling to complain about cold rooms spiked dramatically this week, according to Zachary M. Gingo, manager of administrative operations for Harvard Yard Operations. The increase, he said, is typical during times of extreme temperature changes.

“I just called up Yard Ops to turn up the heater,” said Mariam O. Fofana ’06 while doing jumping jacks in her Thayer entryway to keep warm. “My fingers turned so stiff I couldn’t type my paper anymore.”

Gingo speculated that students may be too wrapped up in their school work to notice the change of season until the temperature plummets.

“Students are just buried in papers and don’t feel the cold until there’s a temperature drop,” Gingo said.


Gingo noted that Harvard heats its dorms to temperatures “much higher” than the indoor temperature minimums established by the city of Cambridge and that student complaints often come from rooms with windows that are not completely closed.

Some students complain that the heat doesn’t circulate and that different parts of their dorm rooms are at polar extremes.

“In my common room, it’s too warm,” said Sarah C. Jessop ’03-’04. “I wear tank tops and shorts.”

But the Eliot House resident described her bedroom as “really, really cold.”

Other students, however, are unfazed by the colder weather.

“I kind of like this kind of cold, and I’m going to drink as many Slurpies as I can tonight,” said Peter L. McMurray ’05.

“I want seven feet of snow so I can jump out of my big fat window on the second floor of DeWolfe and land in a pile of snow,” said Adrian D. Maldonado ’04.

In the meantime, some students are trying to devise their own ways to stay warm.

“At night, I warm my behind periodically by sitting on the heater,” said Nicole A. Salazar ’06.

According to weather reports, Harvard Yard hasn’t seen its coldest days yet. Michael J. Jackson, meteorologist at the National Weather Forecast Service, said the temperature is below normal for this time of the year but not the lowest on record.