Heat affects various members of community

By Gus Bode

100-degree heat burdens everyday life

Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game’s over. I’m outta here.

The distance between classes on campuses is not any longer than it usually is, but an increase in temperatures certainly makes it seem that way.


Jamaal Garner was one of the many SIUC students who, in spite of finding rides to campus, was still forced to deal with the heat as he traveled from class to class in Tuesday’s more-than 100-degree heat.

“You can look at my face and see how I’m dealing with the heat,” said Garner, a junior in radio-television.

There are a few who have been able to deal with the heat.

Tony Bigler, a carpenter at Bigler Construction, said his years working in humid conditions have allowed him to become used to the heat. But for those who have not built up a “tolerance” to the heat, recent temperatures, between 90 and, occasionally, more than 100 degrees, have been unbearable.

There is nothing unusual about a humid summer, but many are finding it particularly hot for a time of year when fall is supposed to be slowly and surely approaching.

Bret Dougherty, coordinator of marketing at Touch of Nature, said that although he does not see a decrease in attendance, Touch of Nature, an environmental research center that holds conferences and sponsors programs, has been affected by the weather.

“One of the things it does is slow down the rate of activities,” said Dougherty, who said the current heat has caused a decrease in the amount of programs planned for each day and a concentration on programs geared toward water activities. “When you’re not acclimated to the intensity of this heat, it really zaps you.”


He said the decision of coordinators as to whether to cancel programs is based on the age and physical ability of participants, but all programs are making certain they provide a great deal of water for those involved.

People are not the only ones dealing with the heat. Beth Degroof, a certified veterinary technician at Lakeside Veterinary Hospital, said that while heat-related incidences are lower than the previous year, there have been a few cases of over-heated animals.

She reminds pet owners to keep animals in the shade, provide an adequate amount of water for outside pets and basically use “common sense” when it comes to dealing with the heat.

While the current heat provides a certain level of discomfort for pets as well as humans, particularly those who walk on a regular basis, similar temperatures from previous years show that such heat is nothing new.

Ed Varsa, a professor in plant and soil, suggested that complaints might come from being spoiled by cooler temperatures in previous months.

“We were rather blessed because it was cooler than normal in June and July,” Varsa said. “It’s only been about three or four degrees above average, but it feels like an oven. We got used to the cooler temperatures, but we’re paying for it now.”

Varsa said three days of temperatures topping out more than 90 degrees and three weeks without rain have taken their toll on plants and soil but said he is looking forward to this weekend, when temperatures are expected to be in the 80s.

Reporter Jessica Yorama can be reached at [email protected]