It's Hot

Updated: September 4, 2018
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High temperatures are unhealthy and potentially dangerous. Those with cardiovascular disease are at higher risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, as are those who are older, overweight, or have chronic health conditions. As you know, many CUNY classrooms have woefully inadequate cooling and ventilation. Also, many parts of the city, including CUNY colleges, will be operating with reduced electrical power for at least part of today, which means less cooling The non-mandatory (but commonly accepted) standards are that summer indoor temperatures not exceed the range of 75 - 80.5 F.

Recommendations for overly hot classrooms & offices (> 86 F (30 C))

Contact Buildings & Grounds/Facilities at your campus to let them know you have a HEAT EMERGENCY in your classroom or office. Many campuses have an recommended number for URGENT situations, USE IT! If that is not possible, call the listed number and speak with a person. Also, contact your department about the problem.

Make arrangements for addressing the HEAT EMERGENCY. Is there a cooling system that can be turned up? It’s likely the answer will be “no” and the alternative of fans will be offered. Fans improve comfort levels and redistribute air in a way that results in more uniform temperatures but do not provide air cooling. In multi-level classrooms, the air may be hotter in the upper level seats than in those that are lower. In large classrooms or lecture halls, multiple large fans will be needed.

If you must dismiss class early or leave your worksite: Those dealing with excessively hot spaces should notify their department or supervisor that they can no longer work in those conditions. Those leaving a space should report to the department office/supervisor or the Dean’s or Provost’s office and ask for alternative space.

If classes are dismissed early, make up sessions should be scheduled.

**Email the PSC Health and Safety Watchdogs ( to let them know of the situation. In your email, include the name of your campus, building, room number, approximate temperature in the room, whether you adjourned class early, and a way to contact you. Doing so will help us gauge the extent and urgency of the problem as we communicate with CUNY Central. And of course, email us with questions!