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After ‘chaotic’ first day of fan distribution, fans continue to trickle onto campus

Man in navy shirt stands in front of two white trucks filled with fans in blue boxes.
Fans on a truck in front of Blair Arch.
Tess Weinreich / The Daily Princetonian

As temperatures cool after last week’s heat wave, the University continues to work to provide box fans to students in dormitories without air conditioning — an effort set back by an initially disorganized distribution system. About 150 extra fans have arrived on campus after the first day of distribution.

Housing Operations announced its plan to distribute fans last Thursday, after a sweltering first week of classes saw temperatures peaking at 95 degrees. The Sept. 6 email noted that distribution would begin promptly after the fans’ expected delivery “sometime before 2 p.m.” the following day. 


The University has turned to this solution to extreme heat in campus housing before, giving out 600 fans to students last year. At the time, an application was used to coordinate distribution, according to University Spokesperson Amhad Rizvi, and approximately half of those who registered never claimed their fans. Remaining fans were then distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. This year no such sign-up process was used.

Students were advised to bring their student IDs to pick up fans and were told that distribution would operate on a first-come, first-served basis. This email was followed up the next morning with a notice that fan distribution would begin at 10:30 a.m. in Blair Courtyard; however, by 10:10 a.m. all the fans had already been claimed.

“The demand for fans was very high, and 800 were distributed within 40 minutes of arriving on campus this morning,” University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss said in a statement to The Daily Princetonian at the time.

Amelia Feiner ’25 was among the students who were able to acquire fans at the initial distribution.

 “I live in 1901 Hall, which is one of the older buildings on campus. We have no air conditioning and the room has been very hot,” she wrote in a statement to the ‘Prince.’ Feiner recalled going to the distribution station around 9:00 a.m., after receiving the email from Housing that the fans had arrived. Although she arrived 40 minutes before the scheduled start, the distribution had already begun.

“I would describe the process as chaotic,” Feiner wrote. “They weren’t checking IDs and they told us to take fans for ourselves, for our roommates.”


“I saw people running away from the distribution with four or five fans,” she continued.

Helena Ploss ’26 reported a similar experience.

“One of my roommates passed the place where they [the fans] were being handed out and texted around 9:00 a.m. that they were already handing fans out,” she wrote in a statement to the ‘Prince.’  “They didn’t check proxes or limit the amount per person.”

Rizvi confirmed that the intention was “to provide one fan per sleeping space.”

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Housing did not notify students that all fans had been distributed until 12:53 p.m., hours after the fact. However, on Sept. 8 an email was sent directly to non-air conditioned dormitory listservs with a form to request additional fans available on a “first come first serve basis as defined by receipt of the form.” The email also specified that photo identification matching the email recipient must be provided to collect a fan.

According to Rizvi, an additional 150 fans have since been received by the University, and Housing is in the process of distributing them. Approximately 200 additional fans are expected to arrive by the end of the week.

Tess Weinreich is an associate News editor for the ‘Prince.’

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