Hotter than Helser: Students in rooms without air conditioning find ways to keep cool


Cameron Jodlowski, Tyler Deal and Allie Duwenhoegger attempt to stay cool in the Freeman Hall as temperatures hover near 100 degrees.

Bailey Mcgrath

Students living in campus residence halls without air conditioning have been taking the brunt of the heat wave, many of them avoiding their new homes, buying extra fans and even making beds on their floors.

According to the Department of Residence, 63 percent of ISU residence halls and apartments are air conditioned, leaving the students living in the other

37 percent desperate to find refuge from extreme heat this past week.

While many of these buildings had an air-conditioned room students could go to, several of the residence halls did not. The DOR decided to take action.

Air conditioners were installed in one common room students could gather in each of the four residence halls this week and will be left there as long as needed.

“We put up air conditioning locations on our website, through social media and signage in residence hall,” said Brittney Rutherford, program coordinator for the DOR. “Every way we could think to get it out to our students, we did, because in some cases they’d only been there a few days.”

Students living in nonair conditioned residence halls have been finding ways to either avoid their dorm room or make it bearable.

Tara Dillinger, freshman in open option (LAS), lives in Wilson Hall on the ninth floor and has found walking into a hot building after walking home in the heat is plain miserable.

Although she avoids her dorm during the day, the nights are a challenge.

“It’s tough because it’s so hot that I can’t sleep comfortably,” Dillinger said. “I’ve slept on my floor probably four or five nights, and I’ll be in my bed and wake up and lay on the floor.”

Dillinger’s roommate got sick from the heat one night and had to leave the dorm to sleep at her sorority, she said.

These students had the option of signing up to live in an air-conditioned space but did not expect the temperatures to be this high.

“We knew what we were getting into. We just didn’t know it’d be 102 degrees this week,” said Alex Bernes, freshman in computer engineering living in Lyon.

Many students rushed to Walmart and Target to buy extra fans for their rooms.

“Target was sold out [of fans] and Walmart was almost sold out when I went a couple nights ago,” said Cameron Jodlowski, freshman in agricultural and life sciences education who lives in Freeman.

Jodlowski and his roommate, Tyler Deal, freshman in agronomy, have  made fanatical use of their fans when they do decide to spend time in their room.

“This is what we do. We sit in front of a fan,” Deal said.

Other students have tried to get more creative with their methods of cooling off.

“There are people that are pretty desperate though,” said Ryan Eiffert, freshman in pre-industrial design, living in Lyon. “There were a few people last night filling up cups. You stick them in the fridge, pull out the ice block and stick it in front of your fan.”

Even with their countless number of fans, all of these students prefer to find air conditioned places to go during the day.

These places of refuge include the air conditioned dens placed in their halls. 

Two students living in Freeman Hall are pleased with the DOR’s active approach to keeping students cool.

“I didn’t expect them to do anything I guess because it’s just the way it was, but with the heat advisories going out at least they’re doing something to help us out,” said Kameron Voves, freshman in biology living in Freeman Hall.

Allison Duwenhoegger, freshman in kinesiology and health, is thankful but said she wishes something could have been done sooner in


“I’m really glad they put a fan in the parlor because it’s been so hot, and it’s been miserable for everyone living here,” Duwenhoegger said. “Just solving the problem earlier than it was solved this time would have been nice.”