by Emily Bellavy
Classrooms and offices in the Podium building were sweltering during the first two weeks of classes after flooding and fire paralysed the cooling system.
In an effort to cool off students and professors, 16-inch pedestal fans have been blasting dust bunnies down the hallways. Humidity frustrated those who had to sit through long classes in the building.
In a statement released last Friday, Ryerson’s Vice-President Administration and Student Affairs, Linda Grayson, informed the student body that stagnant conditions in the Podium are the result of a flood in the Faculty of Nursing on July 29. A fire broke out shortly after, destroying the air conditioning equipment.
Those most affected by the meltdown are nursing students with lectures and laboratories on the fourth floor of the building .
While fanning himself with a notebook, Jason Haines, a second-year nursing student, said that “depending on the room, it is very difficult to learn.”
Professors are taking Haines’ concerns into consideration by granting two 10-minute breaks during two-hour lectures.
Hot and stuffy nursing laboratory classes can easily be mistaken for saunas. “Nursing lab 457 is so hot, and it makes it really hard to focus,” said third-year nursing student, Elena Escobal.
Some students, however, are taking the heat in stride. Vincy To, a third-year nursing student, said “even though it is muggy, you just have to move around it by working with it, not against it.”
Part time nursing professor Ann Brokenshire said she took a leave of absence from work until the conditions improved. Monday was her first day back on the job, and she said that the floor felt cooler. Brokenshire said the administration failed to consider the effects the heat would have on middle-aged professors and those with health problems.