While stu­dents were away on spring break, Hillsdale College faculty and staff faced record high tem­per­a­tures.

On March 21, Hillsdale County joined 422 other record highs across the nation when the tem­per­ature reached 86 degrees Fahrenheit. According to histori- cal weather data, that is 35 degrees above the average high tem­per­ature for March 21 in Hillsdale County.

By com­parison, the record low for March 21 was set in 1993, when the tem­per­ature dropped to minus 7 degrees.

The high tem­per­a­tures fol­lowed a national trend. The National Climate Data Center has called the months from December 2011 to Feb­ruary 2012 “the fourth warmest winter on record for the con­tiguous United States,” with much of the north­eastern United States expe­ri­encing higher than normal tem­per­a­tures.

Though the warmth that week brought the foliage on Hillsdale’s campus to full bloom, it “cer­tainly posed some challenges,”said Timothy Wells, energy edu­cation spe­cialist.

All week, windows could be seen thrown open in campus buildings. Mossey Library even kept both sets of its doors open for several days, freshman Anna Chuslo said.

“We had both sets of front doors open, just to get air, and it was still 84 degrees inside,” Chuslo said.

While the tem- per­ature soared and the cro­cuses and daf­fodils sprouted, Wells faced the chal­lenge of main- taining the interior tem­per­ature of campus buildings.

“Last week with the warmer tem­per­a­tures outside, it did have an effect on interior tem­per­a­tures, but we just managed as best we could.”

Chuslo said it felt like August for Michigan, and that was her description of the external tem- per­ature. Chuslo spent time in the Grewcock Student Union, Moss

Hall, and the library. “None of the buildings had air-con­di­tioning, so we were cooking,” she said.

Part of the chal­lenge lies in the nature of the campus buildings, which Wells said have “unique char­ac­ter­istics, depending on the purpose of the building, the age, or con­struction.”

Despite uncom­fortable heat, however, “The staff across the board was very under­standing,” Wells said.