Those at Youngstown State University have been experiencing ill effects of the heat wave; however, those in Ward Beecher Hall, Lincoln Hall and Beeghly Hall have been feeling it the most.
In order to conserve energy and save money, the air conditioning in these buildings has been turned off. The energy conservation has negatively affected students not only physically, but also academically.
Sarah Eisnaygle, a graduate student studying biology, is concerned with the air conditioning being turned off in Ward Beecher, where her lab samples are being stored.
“Our samples have to be stored at 37 degrees at all times, if it gets hotter than room temperature while we are working, then the samples become unstable, and the temperature throws everything off,” Eisnaygle said.
Ward Beecher is the tallest building on campus, making it one of the hottest and hardest to keep cool.
Bill Haas, the assistant director of facilities on campus, said the university is in a contract with an energy company, EnerNoc, to control the energy usage on campus.
“… EnerNoc sends out a call to companies willing to lessen their electrical load,” Haas said.
Certain buildings use more energy than others; in order to prevent over-usage, the campus has to keep the numbers at a certain level. EnerNoc is in control of when air conditioning and lights are turned off for energy conservation; however, they do not choose which buildings take the air conditioning loss.
“YSU is ultimately in control of what gets turned off and what stays on,” Haas said.
Ward Beecher has incubators to keep the samples in the labs cool, but they are currently all filled due to the room temperature being warmer than normal. The students are also losing valuable time in the lab due to the heat.
“When you’re a grad student, we have to put in long hours in the labs to get work done, but we all have been leaving early because it is so hot in here. It is warmer inside than it is outside,” Eisnaygle said.
Campus facilities are aware of the problem, and are working on getting solutions.
“We all have to learn and grow together. We have to start the dialogue to see these problems changed,” Haas said.