Students shiver in Highlander

By Derek Weaver
The Scene staff

Almost everyone who walks in the Highlander Lounge has something to say about the temperature.

Most students think it’s too cold.

“The room is chilly,” said Malcolm Davis, 24, a criminal justice major. “It’s a lot colder in here than it is in the main lobby.”

Constance Davis, 26, an early childhood education major, had stronger feelings.

“I am freezing,” she said. “Skin clammy and uncomfortable. However, I could have chosen better attire to wear on this particular day.”

Constance was wearing a sleeveless dress.

Anthony Hebb, 34, an industrial engineering major, commented on the temperature the minute he walked in the door.

“It’s brisk in here,” he said.

Not everyone was uncomfortable in the Highlander that day. Science major Diamond Jones, 20, thought the temperature was about right.

“Some times that I have been in here, it’s pretty cold,” said the newly elected vice president of the Student Government Association.

The Highlander is a place where students can study, socialize, work on group assignments, view artwork or just relax between classes. Faculty and staff use it for meetings.

The room is monitored by student workers, but they can’t adjust the temperature.

“If there is a temperature issue, we have to get in touch with the Meramec campus facilities department,” said Kim Love-Austin, student activity assistant II, who works in Campus Life.

She explained that temperatures in all rooms on all St. Louis Community College campuses are controlled from that department.

Students who have temperature complaints are encouraged to contact faculty or staff. If a complaint relates to Campus Life or the Highlander, Austin is the contact.

In some cases, the temperature in the lounge keeps students away.

“I wouldn’t study in here because it’s too cold,” said Marion Abooke, 20, a general studies student who stops in to visit with friends. “Cold is uncomfortable.”

Some comments about temperature in the Highlander lead to discussions about other classrooms and offices.

Malcolm Davis complains that it’s way too hot in Room C-221, where his reading class is held.

“I fell asleep in the middle of a lesson,” he said. (Davis still thinks he’s going to pass the class.)

Jones is always hot in her math class, which is held in Room L-031.

“I’ve been in situations to where the temperature wasn’t always right,” she said. “But I still have to focus on my work.”

Culinary arts major India Gillespie, 20, thinks the Highlander is too cold. But she’s comfortable in Room L-007, where her reading class is held.

Philosophy major Jay Davis, 24, described the Highlander’s temperature “slightly chilled and comfortable.”

This demonstrates a phenomenon that Highlander monitors have noticed. Some people use the term “chilly” to mean “comfortable” while others mean “cold.”

Education major Tiffany Skull, 27, described the lounge as “chilly” and “comfortable.”

“The temperature in my other classes is chilly as well,” she said. “Though I would not be in the majority. Others would say in my history class (C-213) that it’s hot and the air needs to be put on.”