Lack of heat shuts down classes at CUNY’s Bronx Community College

Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams – turn on the heat.

CUNY’s Bronx Community College has canceled most face-to-face classes due to lack of heat on campus – and the school’s faculty union is blaming government leaders for the long-simmering maintenance issue.

The deep freeze was unveiled this week by BCC President Thomas Isekenegbe, who said students will have to study and work remotely until at least Thanksgiving.

“Bronx Community College continues to experience intermittent warming issues. As a result, all classes except laboratory courses and clinics will be switched to an online format effective Wednesday, November 16 through Wednesday, November 23,” Isekenegbe said in an email blast on November 15 students and staff.

“We are currently working to fix the heating issues in time for when students, faculty and staff return after the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Bronx Community College
In-person classes at Bronx Community College have been canceled due to lack of heat.
Angel Chevrestt

James Davis, the president of CUNY’s faculty union, the Professional Staff Congress, raged: “The BCC can’t keep the heating going because CUNY is understaffed due to years of delayed maintenance and underfunding and is unable to keep our buildings in a safe and functional condition .”

New York City law requires heat to be provided from October 1st through May 31st. If the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, the inside temperatures must be at least 68 degrees.

The City University of New York community college campuses are jointly funded by the state and city governments.

Students and faculty complain that heat deprivation is a festering problem at Bronx Community College.
Christopher Sadowski

“The coldness felt in class this week by BCC students, 93% of whom are Black and Latinx, was a chilling reminder of how little respect the political establishment has for our communities. And Mayor Adams, who cut the City of CUNY’s funding by 3% last year, is cutting another 3%!” said Davis.

BCC biology professor Yasmin Edwards said complaints about the heat on campus were being registered for the first time since early October. Staff and students even filed complaints with the city’s 311 system.

But it has become an urgent concern as temperatures have fallen close to freezing in recent days.

“Please, we need warmth! We had thermometer readings of 57% in class,” she said.

Bronx Community College.
The Bronx Community College is looking to replace its aging boiler system to address campus heating issues.

“We have an ancient cauldron. I don’t know how the authorities allowed this. It’s outrageous. It’s ruthless,” Edwards said.

In the meantime, she said, space heaters would be distributed to lab classes that require in-person instruction.

A spokesman for Mayor Adams responded Friday: “We are in contact with CUNY about the heating issues at Bronx Community College. The school is currently working to fix the heating issues in time for when the student faculty and staff return after the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Governor Hochul’s office had no immediate comment.

BCC has an outdated infrastructure. Half of the 34 buildings are at least 80 years old, according to the college’s budget records.

BCC last year applied for $32 million in equity funding to replace “the aging boiler plant” by September 2024, which includes three boilers and two chillers.

A City University spokesman said in a statement released late Friday: “CUNY’s Vice Chancellor for Facilities went to Bronx Community College on Wednesday to help them fix the situation. Two boilers were repaired immediately.

“The university also supplies a makeshift boiler in case another boiler breaks. The campus has been closed as a precaution for the comfort of students, staff and faculty, but classrooms will be fully operational after the Thanksgiving break.” Lack of heat shuts down classes at CUNY’s Bronx Community College


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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