By Joshua McCartney

Special to the Denisonian

Since 1902 when Willis Haviland Carrier developed a small machine to regulate the humidity at the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing and Publishing Company, the air conditioner has become a ubiquitous appliance. It operates on a simple premise: air can be cooled using a single chemical reaction by way of a compressed gas interacting with outside air. 

This air is then filtered back into the desired space and the hotter air is recirculated out of the space. According to, a popular sustainability blog, “The average home air-conditioning system costs $280 per year to run.” This seems like a fairly significant amount, and for many families it is. But we miss a key factor in an argument against A/C at our school, the average person has their air conditioning unit running in the hottest months of the year. 

At Denison, a majority of the dorms are unoccupied in the summer, and thus the air conditioners would be shut off, costing the school no money. Why is it that we, the students at this otherwise lavishly furnished university, must melt in the everlasting heat that Granville, Ohio presents us with?

No student goes to sleep excited to awaken to their sweat-dampened sheets. As the sales of personal fans sail at appliance stores, students resorted to the age old tactic of sleeping with little-to-no clothing on. Perhaps after trying and failing to maintain your equilibrium, you may have tried taking a chilling shower. Whatever the tactic, these outrageous circumstances should not exist. 

I recall a particularly poignant point from a conversation with my roommate  Ethan Leichter ’19 who said, “I really  think I could get by with a call to my doctor for a note declaring my medical need for A/C.” I had similar thoughts on the matter. 

As we approach the impending months of colder weather, my pleas for the cooling units in our dorms may fall by the wayside. But I implore you, student body, remember that for 75 percent of you, there will be another August and September here at Denison. I leave you with this: can you honestly look back on our first three weeks and recall a night where you lay down to retire for the evening and thought to yourself, “Wow, I am so comfortable”?  I certainly can’t.

Joshua McCartney is a pre-med major from New York City, N.Y. .