In 2014, the University of Tulsa started construction on a new residence hall. Said residence hall was to house 310 students. Students and faculty waited anxiously for the completion of this interesting new building. Finally, this mystery residence hall was ready to house eager undergrads.
Hardesty Hall, named after the generous donors from the Hardesty family, is located right next to the ACAC- excuse me, the Student Union. This residence hall is ideal for engineering students as it is less than a five minute walk to Kepplinger Hall. Move in day was exciting, everyone was eager to see what Hardesty Hall would look like.
Hardesty Hall has a beautiful interior with bright colored walls, multiple study lounges, an exquisite kitchen and various other features. The residence hall is co-ed; where members of the opposite sex are on the same floor and in the same hall. The rooms are “half-suite” style; two rooms connecting to one bathroom. The beds are pre-constructed as loft style with a desk and a dresser underneath the bed.
The rooms are designed to be energy-efficient; each room has a motion sensor to detect movement. For instance, if the room does not detect movement, the lights will automatically turn off. In addition, every room comes with its own thermostat that each student can adjust to their liking. Or at least that is how it was designed to be.
It is without a doubt, a wonderful residence hall. Not only is it a brighter and more “clean cut” environment, but it comes with many perks that any student who has lived in another residence hall greatly appreciates.
“Everything in here is new and has never been used before,” said sophomore Justin Dussold, a Hardesty resident, “That alone is a wonderful feeling.”
The peace of mind that everything is clean and beautiful is very welcoming to students. Besides, who wouldn’t want to sleep in a bed ten feet off the ground?
Although I could go on and on about how lovely my new home is, a few small changes could make this residence hall even better.
As stated previously, each room was designed to have its own thermostat that residents could control. The week prior to upperclassmen move-in, the rooms had that ability. However, when the upperclassmen moved in, the Physical Plant turned off the ability to set the temperature.
The Physical Plant conducted a study to figure out what temperature would be the most energy efficient. Their findings were that having the room between 72 and 75 degrees would help energy efficiency while keeping the room at a statistically comfortable setting. The motion sensor detects when someone is in the room and sustains a temperature of 72 degrees. However, when there is no movement detected, the temperature increases to 75. In the winter, the rooms are expected to automatically heat if the temperature drops below 70 degrees.
While this idea seems to be efficient for keeping electricity costs down, it is not a favorable add-on for many residents.
“Hardesty is great,” sophomore Nathan Gibbons, resident, stated, “but I prefer to sleep in much cooler conditions. At home, I would set the thermostat to 68 degrees, and I couldn’t sleep if it were any warmer.” This opinion is held by many students.
A study done by Dorinda Lambert, Ph.D. at Kansas State University in 1997, found that the average student prefers to sleep within conditions of 60 to 65 degrees. In Hardesty, the temperature of each room gets sustained at 75 degrees-unless you move around a lot in your sleep. This is not the ideal condition for comfort, and we all know good grades rely on a good amount of sleep.
In addition, Hardesty lacks water fountains, vending machines and adequate curtains to contain the water in the showers. Installing these small accommodations would make living in Hardesty much more enjoyable. Despite these small drawbacks, Hardesty Hall is the residence hall every undergraduate has dreamed of. A clean, happy looking space to call home for the duration of our college years. The benefits of living in Hardesty are wonderful, and personally I wouldn’t want to give up my 45 second walk to Einsteins for coffee every morning.