As the 2016-2017 school year kicks off, many students are surprised to find a new item on the packing list. Starting this year, all students are permitted to bring window air conditioners for apartments and dorms.
Before this fall, portable AC units were allowed in residential areas only if medically necessary. Those approved were required to have documents with a doctor’s signature.
The change was initiated by Vice President of Student Life Joe Noonen, who has lived on campus the last several years in an apartment with no air conditioning.
“It had come to my attention that there was a need to consider either updating facilities with AC or permitting units,” Noonen said.
In response, the residential staff created a proposal which permits students to bring their own window air conditioning units for a fee of $50 per semester. This fee covers the extra energy costs associated with operating an air conditioner.
All air conditioners must be no more than 5,000 BTU. BTU, or British thermal unit, essentially measures the unit’s effectiveness at cooling a room. Ratings for window units range from 4,000 to 29,000 BTU. Larger BTUs are required to cool larger rooms.
Campus officials said a 5,000 BTU machine should be large enough to effectively cool the dorm rooms and apartment bedrooms at MVNU. These units can be purchased for roughly $130 at Walmart, Kmart, Lowe’s and other hardware or general merchandise stores.
According to Dean of Students Aaron Quinn, any student who plans to bring an air conditioner must fill out a form and submit it to Residential life to register the unit. Once approved, the $50 fee will be added to the student’s account. The form can be found online at otomvnu.com/welcomeweek/ ACApprovalForm.pdf or at the Student Life office.
Students who require AC units for medical reasons will not be required
to pay the fee as long as they can provide the correct documentation and signature.