O’Connell students left without heat

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Photo by Francesca Norman

During the Feb. 14-20 blizzard, many on-campus students were negatively affected. Of all the traditional dorms, only O’Connell Hall, a women’s dorm, lost heating. 

According to Timothy Schlich, East Side Residence Coordinator, the loss of heating was caused by the extreme cold weather.

“The heating was out in O’Connell starting the morning of Wednesday the 17th until the night of Monday the 22nd,” Schlich wrote in an email.

O’Connell was not the only dorm on the East Side affected by the cold weather. Madonna Hall, a freshman men’s dorm, lost hot water “for a day or two,” according to Schlich.

“Besides that, O’Connell was the only traditional dorm affected,” he said.

As of Monday Feb. 23, the heat has been fixed. While the dorm had no heat, O’Connell residents were faced with a difficult dilemma: to stay or to go.

“About half of the students in O’Connell chose to relocate to another dorm (either Clark or Jerome). The other half of O’Connell’s residents turned down our temporary housing offer and chose to find their own alternative housing,” said Schlich.

Alexa Hassell, the RA of O’Connell Hall, chose to relocate.

“I moved to Augustine the day we found out there was no heat in the dorm and I encouraged my residents to contact Tim or I if they were interested in seeking relocation,” said Hassell. 

Susanna McNichol, a sophomore philosophy and business major, decided to stay in her room―technically.

“I was told that I could move in another room, but it would have been with a girl in Jerome. I didn’t know her and I didn’t want to intrude on her space, so my roommate and I decided to couch-surf with friends,” said McNichol. Another O’Connell resident, Katie Lester, also decided to stay in her room. Lester, a sophomore biology major, chose to sleep in O’Connell despite freezing temperatures.

“It was an ice box for sure!” said Lester. “I slept with two layers on the bottom and three layers on top. I could barely move out of my bed because it was so cold…We also had no water, so I couldn’t shower in our dorm.”

Lester chose to stay because she would rather be in her own room than placed in a random single across campus.

“I didn’t want to keep going back and forth between dorms to get clothes and toiletries,” Lester said. “I felt much more comfortable in my own space. I also didn’t want to be separated from my roommate!”

The heating issue was fixed by installing a new water pump, according to an email sent to O’Connell residents from UD Housing.

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