The university welcomed back its students for the fall semester in true South Bend fashion: with erratic and oppressive weather. Residents of unair-conditioned dorms all over campus heaved their futons up three flights of stairs; however, stained couches weren’t the only thing on the rise at the end of August. Temperatures and dew points soared, combining to create a deadly and record-breaking heat index of “feels like 115 degrees,” according to ABC57. Fathers everywhere were vindicated for their repetitive and insistent claims that “it’s not the heat that gets you, it’s the humidity.”
One resident of Johnson Family Hall commented on the discomfort of stepping outside and immediately feeling the oppressive heat and humidity. She described the utter relief of reentering the state-of-the-art home of the Valkyries — a dorm with a Nordic mascot to match its refreshing Nordic temperatures. But what happens when it’s hotter inside your dorm than outside? What happens when every step feels like squirming through a swamp of your own sweat?
In Farley Hall, some residents turned to religion for comfort from the affliction of the heat wave. The chapel had more late night visitors than ever before with residents flooding the pews in hopes of getting a good night's sleep in one of the dorm’s only air-conditioned spaces.
There was even a message in the GroupMe that read, “Do you have to be Catholic to sleep in the chapel?”
Farley junior Grace gave me a firsthand account of the mass (no pun intended) sleepover in the chapel. “We were all nestled up to bed, sound asleep, on the pews, on the floor, you know … And then out of nowhere, the door flew open. All we could see was this blinding light closing in on us, and there was a crash of sound. I thought to myself ‘I guess this is the end. It’s come for us.’”
As it turns out, the blinding light was from another resident coming in and hitting the light switch. The crash was the sound of a kneeler hitting the floor in the back pew. “We almost forgot that the chapel was a place of worship and not just our bed for the night,” said Grace.
The next morning, the default Apple alarm sound could be heard pouring out of the chapel doors. I guess some Farley girls had what can only be described as a spiritual awakening while they tried to escape the heat.