Spreading warmth, shrinking bills


Photo infographic by Mackane Vogel mackane.vogel@marquette.edu

Milwaukee is notorious for brutally cold winters and heavy winds. Every year, upperclassmen at Marquette who live in off-campus housing are faced with a decision to either pay the price of a high heating bill, or find more creative ways to stay warm.

Kara McCauley lives in an apartment where she does not have control over when her heat turns on. McCauley is used to being cold because the junior in the College of Arts & Sciences said that her family is against running heat in the house during the winter. She has a few choice ways to keep warm without a heater.

“My favorite thing is to boil water and pour it into a Nalgene,” McCauley said. “Keep it by your feet and it’ll keep you warm for hours.”

In desperate times, McCauley and her roommate will turn on the oven. The two will sit by it like a makeshift heater.

“My personal recipe is preheat to 400. Then when you open the oven, turn it down to 250 so it doesn’t have to relight as often trying to maintain a constant temperature,” McCauley said.

While this works well, she is not sure how safe of an idea it is and she warned students to try it at their own risk.

The Wire strongly recommends against using an oven as a heating source as it is extremely dangerous and increases the risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other students take more traditional measures to stay warm.

Senior Lucas Henk in the College of Engineering said he has a couple of go-to procedures when it comes to staying warm. Henk is originally from River Falls, and is pretty accustomed to cold weather.

“I wear more layers of clothing, take warmer showers, and wear long underwear,” Henk said.

Cristian Kuang, a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences, has a different approach. Kuang lives with three other students, all of whom are from the Midwest region of the United States and are used to tough winters. Kuang, however, is from Puerto Rico, and has only recently mastered the art of staying warm through Milwaukee winters.

“We have blankets out at all times on our couches to keep everyone warm,” Kuang said.

Kuang’s roommates are consciously trying to lower their heating bill, a hard task for students facing Milwaukee winters.

This story was updated Dec. 8, 2016 at 12:00pm to strongly recommend against using an oven as a heating source due to possible dangers.