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Classroom climate control a battle for some Ohio State professors, students


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Some Ohio State students and professors have recently said temperatures in the buildings on campus are affecting the “learning environment.”

Cynthia Selfe, a professor in the Department of English at OSU, has her office in Denney Hall. Selfe has heard students complain about the temperatures of Denney, and said at times, the building feels too hot.

Selfe said she thinks the temperatures are set “according to the season and not according to the temperatures individuals would like.”

Selfe said, though, the temperatures of Denney Hall and other buildings around campus can sometimes be a distraction.

“Both students and teachers recognize that the temperatures of the building are not conducive to the best learning environment,” Selfe said.

She said the problem has been occurring for years.

The cost of those temperatures, though, is a separate matter.

Lindsay Komlanc, spokeswoman for Administration and Planning at OSU, said the exact cost of heating for OSU is not metered separately. Instead, the heating cost is included with the total electricity cost for the year, which can vary from year to year, depending on the weather.

“The university spent an average of $3 million a month on electricity for the Columbus campus. Keep in mind, this supports 450 buildings and 22 million square feet of space – with a user base of more than 56,000 students and 23,000 faculty and staff,” Komlanc told The Lantern in an email in October.

Komlanc said at times, temperatures in different buildings might be warmer than other buildings. As far as concerns about the building temperatures, Komlanc said there were different factors in recent weeks that could have affected the temperatures, such as temperatures going as low as minus 7 degrees outside.

“What appeared to be too much heat was likely the result of proactive efforts by our team to ensure buildings were properly heated,” Komlanc said.

Nicole Cochran, an administrative manager and fiscal and human resources officer, also has her office in Denney Hall. Cochran said at times, she’s felt the impact of too-hot air.

“I currently have my office window open in order to cool down my office. I know others do the same,” Cochran said.

She also has had students and faculty voice concerns about the temperature. Cochran and her staff have submitted service requests to have someone look into the issue, which she hopes will help.

Erin Friend, a third-year in speech and hearing science, said the temperature has influenced her learning.

“It can become hard to concentrate,” Friend said.

Friend said it can be hard to figure out what to wear in the morning because she never knows how hot she’ll be during classes.

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