Université de Moncton students decry lack of air conditioning on campus – New Brunswick

Lysa Reinhardt had to move out of the Université de Moncton dorm she was staying in for the summer just 15 days before her return to France due to the unbearable heat she says she experienced.

She moved into her dorm on campus in May in order to work on an environmental research project as part of a research grant.

She said that by mid-July the dorms were so hot she was losing sleep, having frequent headaches and feeling a negative impact on her mental health.

“I was constantly going back and forth to the showers just to cool off a little,” she told Global News in French on Wednesday.

“I could only leave food out for about 30 minutes before it would go bad,” she said, explaining that the small fridge provided was not large enough to store all of her and her roommate’s food.

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When she brought her concerns to university administration, she claims they brushed her off, telling her “it’s hot everywhere.”

She has since found an off-campus apartment where she feels more comfortable.

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In a statement provided to Global News, the university’s communications department explained that only some buildings or sections of buildings on campus have air conditioning.

“Our accommodations are unfortunately not equipped with air conditioning and tenants are informed of this. Our Housing Department is very open and always ready to accommodate, where possible, tenants who communicate their concerns with us,” they said.

Third-year psychology student Emma Crawford is one of the lucky few who has air conditioning in her office for her on-campus summer job.

“I know all of our other co-workers don’t have air conditioning so you know, it’s pretty hard to work in extreme heat like that. It’s pretty stuffy in the hallways,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.

She said some employees without air conditioning in their office had occasionally chosen to work from home to beat the heat.

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Angus Fletcher of the New Brunswick Coalition for Tenants Rights says that unfortunately, there is nothing guaranteeing access to air conditioning for renters in the province.

“There’s nothing really in the law that’s covered that would determine that anyone has a basic right or access to air conditioning in this province. It’s specifically going to be whether or not your landlord puts it in the lease. If it’s in the lease, you don’t have much ground to contest that,” he said.

Certain jurisdictions like Vancouver are exploring measures like making air conditioning mandatory in new rental units to help navigate the effects of climate change.

A spokesperson for Service New Brunswick confirmed that no such measures are in the works in the province.

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