With an excessive heat warning in effect in Los Angeles through Labor Day weekend, we want to make sure all students—particularly those living in residence halls without air conditioning—are aware of the resources available to them to help keep cool.

Sleeping Comfortably

The College is working to temporarily increase access to air-conditioned areas where students can gather, particularly in order to be able to sleep comfortably at night. Rush Gymnasium is not air conditioned, and thus is not a viable option for this purpose. However, students in Berkus House, Chilcott, E. Norris, Haines, Pauley, Stearns, and Stewart-Cleland are invited to visit the following spaces with central A/C that are open throughout the evening, as spaces to sleep in should their room be uncomfortable:

  • Common areas of residence halls without air conditioning, where REHS has installed portable air conditioning units
  • Any common areas of residence halls with central A/C 
  • Friend’s rooms in residence halls with central A/C

Staying Cool Around Campus

The following spaces throughout campus that have A/C will remain open late as additional spaces open to students seeking relief from the heat:

  • The lobby and all common areas on the first and second floors of Keck Theater will be open for students.
  • The Johnson Student Center lobby and Studenmund Room will be open until midnight.
  • Common areas in Samuelson Pavilion (The Cooler) will be open 24/7; food service will continue until 11:30 p.m. Campus Safety will be checking this space overnight.

Facilities Management recommends that windows and blinds or sun shades in residence hall rooms should be closed during the day. Opening windows at night will help release heat from dorm spaces and create air movement that will make night time indoor temperatures more tolerable.

Students may also wish to explore purchasing an evaporative cooler for your room, as it will provide cooler temperatures without requiring the amount of energy an air conditioner takes. Information on evaporative coolers can be found on our Beat The SoCal Heat website.

Additionally, AMC movie tickets will be offered to students who live in residence halls without central a/c, as an additional measure to stay cool. The AMC Americana at Brand, located in Glendale, is 2.3 miles away, and is available via personal transportation and public transportation, which includes Metro Micro.

Library and Pool Hours

The Academic Commons will be open for extended hours on Sunday and Monday (ordinarily it would be closed for the Monday holiday):

Wednesday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-12 midnight
Friday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 12 midnight
Monday: Noon to at least 8 p.m.

The pool at De Mandel Aquatics Center will be open to all students during the following public swim hours:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday: 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday/Thursday: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, September 5, special extended hours: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Behind the scenes, Facilities Management has been working to harden campus air conditioning systems against potential malfunctions and ensure that, should one of our existing systems go down, we can respond as quickly as possible. They are also making sure that the College is in as good a position as possible should Oxy experience an electrical black out or regional brownout.

Staying Healthy in the Heat

All students, regardless of where you live, should follow these tips from Emmons Wellness Center to stay healthy in the heat:

  • Limit outdoor activity during the hottest parts of the day, and wear sunscreen when you go out
  • Take extra precautions if doing any kind of physical activity or exercise:
    • Schedule workouts for earlier or later in the day when it's cooler
    • Drink more water than normal
    • Monitor your friends' and teammates' condition, and have someone do the same for you
    • If you feel faint or weak, stop your activity and get somewhere cool
  • Know the signs of heat-related illness, and seek medical attention when needed (Contact Campus Safety after hours): 
    • Heat stroke: High body temperature (103°F or higher), hot red skin, fast strong pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, passing out
    • Heat exhaustion: Heavy sweating, cold clammy skin, fast weak pulse, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, tiredness or weakness, dizziness, headache, passing out
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Wear lightweight clothing

Our goal is to do everything we can to keep students as comfortable and healthy as possible during the heatwave.


Rob Flot
Dean of Students

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