A Mystery In Midrise

Everyone knows that the older you get, the better housing you get. Not just because of the singe rooms or kitchen appliances, but because of the heating and air conditioning as well. At Marist, none of the freshman dorms are air conditioned, so when the new freshman class was a little too big to fit into the strictly freshman dorms, they were forced to move into the big bad sophomore housing complex, “Midrise.” Some believe that Midrise is the lowest on the sophomore housing totem poll, but its more or less agreed upon that it’s a step up from any of the freshman dorms. That includes cooler air too.

Rumor has it, many of the freshman parents complained that the freshman on the fifth floor of Midrise were receiving air conditioning and that this was not fair to their kids who didn’t have a choice and were stuck in the heat. So, allegedly, housing shut off the air on the fifth floor where the freshman were.

Two freshman on that floor, Zachary Ropes and Alex Hogue were unsure on the accuracy of this rumor, but did agree on the fact that the nights are very humid and hard to sleep sometimes. Alex, who has less fans in his room than Zach stated “I should’ve brought more fans. It gets uncomfortable at night, especially when its really humid.” The two friends said they either spend a lot of time in the lounge area, where there is a little bit of air, in the student center where its a lot cooler, or will hang out in the cafeteria for awhile if their rooms are too overheated.

Later that day, just one floor below, were two sophomores Gina and Sia. The housemates had some interesting thoughts on the rumors going around. “Our RA came by and told us that the rooms can get stuffy when its hot out because theres no real air conditioning in this part of the building.” They too only had air in their lounge, and not in their rooms. They said they were very unsure on the accuracy of the statement, (as it looked like they had just woken up from a nap) but thought that the closer to the Rotunda you were, the cooler your room would be. This was great insight, and instantly the hunt for an RA began. Yet, unfortunately, all five floors happened to be missing an on duty RA that day. The next best thing was to investigate more rooms on different floors.

Investigating this new information on the first floor, a sophomore named Donal had his room open, crammed with as many fans as they could fit. Donal said they had no air conditioning from the very beginning of school and has been sweltering virtually every day. This seemed to go hand-in-hand with what Gina and Sia had said on the fourth floor, because Donal was in the farthest room from the Rotunda on the first floor, and it was noticeably hotter in and even around the suite he was in. One thing that seemed constant, was as soon as you went through a set of exit doors to get to the other side, it was immediately more humid on the other side of them, when walking away from the Rotunda. This was true for every floor in the building. Another sophomore named Antonio, who lived on the second floor said his actual room also had no air, only a little bit in the lounge area and was very hot. There seemed to be a reoccurring trend here.

Still no sign of an RA, the next step was to try and schedule a meeting with housing. Just popping in to see their hours, but stumbled on a pleasant surprise. The director of housing, Sarah English happened to be working late, sitting in her office. She gladly answered a few questions and put all rumors to rest. When the rumor and its entirety was explained to her, the first thing she did was laugh. She “loves housing rumors” and loves laying them to rest. The first thing she said answered most of the questions there were to be asked. “Midrise doesn’t have air conditioning” she said. And to her knowledge, no freshman parents had been complaining about fairness in ventilation and this was all a big rumor. Hence, why they’re called “rumors.” Midrise is not an air conditioned building, only air ventilation through the main vents in the lounge, which is what most everyone was feeling. The reason the freshman feel so hot on some days, is because they get the least air out of the whole building due to being on a higher floor. Heat naturally rises, so the fifth floor is hotter by nature. Even Sarah English herself said  if meetings are held there over the summer, it can be awful.

The cool air that people mistake for air conditioning, does in fact come from the Rotunda. Due to the fact that the admissions office is air conditioned, it may naturally ventilate through some of Midrise, because it happens to be right by it. Midrise is an attachment to admissions and the Rotunda, so there may naturally be air ventilating through the beginning of each hall, which would explain why it gets hotter if you walk farther down. It simply ends being all about placement.

The idea of housing getting better as you get older remains true. Not only do the freshman dorms not have cooking utilities like a refrigerator or a stove, but they do not have an air conditioning system either. And that goes for the freshman in Midrise too. It’s not that housing was penalizing some due to complaints, in fact, not only was there no penalizing to be done, there were no official complaints to be had either.

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