How to stay cool on the Linfield McMinnville campus: A guide for new students faced with the heat

Anna Frazier, Editor in Chief

Welcome, freshmen. I hope you’re enjoying your first few sweltering days in lovely ol’ McMinnville. I promise—it will get better soon.

For now, it feels pretty bad. Linfield University housing is notorious for its lack of air conditioning, but I’ve learned some tips and tricks in my time on this campus and I hope to pass them on to you. Some may seem obvious, but we could all use a reminder.


1. Stay hydrated.

Yes! This goes without saying. Drink. Water. If you can, drink cold water. Avoid the water fountains in the older residence halls (looking at you, Hewitt) because they just don’t get as cold or fill up a Hydro Flask sized bottle either. 

The best water on campus can be found at the dining hall. Not only is it easier to fill your bottle with the soda-fountain-style filler, but you can also get ice while you’re there. As freshmen, you undoubtedly have access to Dillin (unless you live off campus). Use it.

I would not recommend using the huge tub of ice outside the Athletic Training room in the HHPA. It’s tempting, I know. Just think about how many people have stuck their hands in there in just the past hour though. Gross. Save that ice for pulled hamstrings and swollen ankles.


2. Seek out air conditioning during the hottest parts of the day.

In the evening, staying in a dorm room is essentially a no-go. Especially if you’re on the top floor (RIP if that’s you). 

The Nicholson Library is wonderfully cool and they are open most evenings. Same goes for the dining hall and many of the academic buildings. If you are new to campus, you might not know that your ID card can get you into academic buildings until 10 p.m. Some buildings have lounge areas, such as the Fred Meyer Lounge (FML), that are perfectly suited for students who need to find a cool space to hang.

Sometimes, when I’m really desperate, I may “need” to “go shopping” at Wal-Mart or WinCo–simply to be in their AC. Whatever your chosen strategy, your mind and body will thank you for a break from the heat.


3. Invest in a fan.

This one is also very obvious. Go ahead and roll your eyes. But, if you don’t have a fan yet—get one. That is your only hope to reduce the heat dome effect happening in your sleep space as you’re reading this.

If you have a traditional window that slides up, a window fan like this one may be your best bet.

Fans are sometimes the only option for keeping cooler temperatures in dorms and on-campus apartments.

If you’re like my roommate and you have to have a fan blowing in your face as you sleep, a table fan like this one set up on a desk could save your night.

If you have a big space you’re trying to cool down, a large standing fan like this one is worth every penny. Good luck storing it though by the time early October rolls around and it’s suddenly no longer cooking in your room. 

Likely, this fan will be in storage until May, when the temperature may (or may not) climb back up again. But trust me, you’ll want it when school starts up in August, so make the investment now.


4. Utilize the facili-trees.

In my time at Linfield, I have found the most success escaping the heat by laying out a blanket under a tree. Sure, I could be cooler in the library–but when it’s sunny out, I like to be outside.

Linfield is smack-dab in the middle of oak country and oak trees have incredible canopies. Just watch out for the acorns that like to stick into the ground and ruin a perfectly good nap.

Head over to the oak grove by Melrose or the grassy area near Hewitt and Larsell halls (also known as the “six-pack”). You’ll know where to go because there will be glorious shade.There are a couple big trees near the IM Field, too, with good canopy coverage. They’re not all oaks, but close enough.


5. Get off campus to splash around.

Whether you’re driving to Pacific City for a dip in the ocean, heading to Hagg Lake for a waterside snooze, or hitting up the splash pad at Discovery Meadows Park here in McMinnville, getting into some water (in addition to drinking it) can help regulate your body’s core temperature. Unfortunately, the People Fountain near the HHPA is for squirrels only.

Do you have any good strategies for staying cool on campus? Comment below with anything we may have missed.