Students, staff and faculty members are raising concerns about freezing classrooms, with temperatures in the 50s at several City College of San Francisco campuses. Students are referring to classrooms as “ice boxes” and “igloos,” wearing multiple jackets and blankets, and even dropping out of classes due to the chilly conditions. Tuesday, teachers escalated the urgency of the issue in a board of trustees meeting.
Malaika Finkelstein, who works in Disabled Students Programs and Services, told SFGATE that the classroom she teaches in usually sits at 50 degrees.
“That's cold enough that your hands hurt when you try to pick up a pen and write,” she said in a phone interview. “It makes it hard to focus. It's hard to function.”
Research from the Regional Educational Laboratory Program, a research foundation under the U.S. Education Department, shows that uncomfortable temperatures, either too hot or too cold, can affect students’ ability to learn. The study found that classroom temperatures should be between 68 and 75 degrees in the winter and between 73 and 79 degrees in the summer.
City College has one large campus on Ocean Avenue and seven smaller satellite campuses across the city, serving more than 60,000 students, according to its website. Campus community members said many classrooms at several campuses don’t have heat at all, resulting in several professors posting logs outside their classrooms with the temperatures.