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Winter weather impacts campus life

The gloomy weather at Mills College has affected student life on campus as the winter season continues for the year. One common worry is how the relentless rain is affecting student dorm rooms.

On Jan. 20, Sarah Haertig heard water dripping in the Mary Morse room she shares with sophomore Camila Perez. What she found was a big crack on the ceiling above the dresser.

“That was the biggest leak,” said Perez, who found three other leaks in their room, including one above the desk. Perez placed a garbage can under the larger leak and cups under the others, then contacted her residential director and filled out a work order. Luckily, campus facilities staff were able to fix the damage quickly, but other students are worried about other rooms that might suffer rain leaks.

The rain has arrived during this year’s flu season, which according to Elizabeth Thomas, the Medical Director at the health center on campus, runs from January to March. However, on the first days of heavy rain she is likely to see fewer students, not more, because students don’t want to leave their dorms and brave the bad weather.

But Thomas said walking in the rain doesn’t need to be avoided. “Unless it’s very cold out, it’s perfectly safe to get out in the rain,” Thomas said.

This same advice comes from counselor Jessica Panish, who explains that lack of sunlight and exercise can also affect student’s moods.

Sophomore Mathilda Moore agreed. “I noticed that when it became sunny…when I came upon obstacles they felt much more overcomeable. When it was raining everything felt a little more difficult,” she said.

As a commuter, she also described her frustration of not having a dry place to wait for the bus.

“They have that covered bus stop out there that isn’t in use because it’s chained in, but when you’re waiting for the bus in the rain, it’s a bummer,” she said.

Junior Wiljago Cook said she likes the weather. “I don’t personally enjoy it so much if I’m out in the rain… but I know how badly we need it, and I keep thinking of things like agriculture in California and the watersheds, even little things that we don’t think about like habitat restorations do better in years where there is a lot of rain,” she said.