Lights Out for the March Energy Challenge
Center for Sustainability (CSE) interns Grace Lange ’12 and Laura Stone ’12 finished the presentation with the results of the Energy Challenge. Kisner-Woodward had the largest overall energy reduction and won the Residence Hall Competition. The dorm’s prize was $500 to “green their common room” and the 2012 Green Cup—a trophy made by a Dickinson College art class, composed of 100 percent recycled materials. Svenja Schneider ’13, the Eco-Rep for KW also won $100 for her efforts. Adams won the First-Year Neighborhood competition and was rewarded with a pizza party, compliments of Residence Life. And, because energy from heating played a larger part in the challenge than CSE anticipated, Armstrong Hall won an award for reducing the most on behavior changes alone.
Lindsey Lyons, Assistant Director of CSE kicked off the celebration with a speech about the challenge’s efficacy. For two weeks, she said, all 16 residence halls saved energy. Lyons attributed some of that to the recent warm weather, but, she noted, “The bottom line is that a lot of people thought about saving energy.” Lyons added that she hoped to do the Energy Challenge again, but include monitoring upperclassman housing and energy usage the next time around.
Lyons then gave the podium to Lange and Stone. Stone, who went to each residence hall and read the energy monitors each week, explained, “[I] saw a lot of changes in the residence halls…I’d really like to see these continue.”
When he took the stage, Daniel Webster, Projects Coordinator for CSE, talked about the Friday Night Lights Out initiative. The plan, he explained, was to turn off all the lights on Friday nights, but it was vetoed by the administration. Instead, CSE wanted to turn off all the computers on Friday night. “But that turned out to be more difficult than we thought,” Webster commented. The end results looked like this: CSE averaged turning off 298 computers on the three Friday nights they turned off computers. Dickinson College, Webster clarified, could save up to $9,000 every weekend if all computers were turned off for 48 hours. Webster then thanked Facilities Management and CSE interns Stone and Lange.
At 8 p.m., the ceremony moved to a bonfire pit on Morgan Field where students gathered and roasted marshmallows and another announcement about the Energy Challenge winners was made.
At 8:30 p.m. Earth Hour—an international movement to raise energy awareness by turning off all non-essential electronics—began and a series of performances by Dickinson’s clubs, including Anwar belly dancing, Run With It!, the Octals, the Syrens, the DTones, Synergy Dance and Third Degree Step. Samantha Stahl ’12 of the Environmental Majors Committee coordinated the event in conjunction with CSE. “The idea was to have a fun, interactive, all campus event that people would want to...leave their rooms and their computers and TV’s behind and come outside,” she explained in an email. “The idea of having campus groups perform [would] get everyone involved.” She added, “The student response was great. We had a much bigger turnout than I expected…and people genuinely had a good time. The crowd got bigger as the night went on, and speaking with people afterward, it seemed like the event was an overall success.” Stahl acknowledge CSE’s role, noting that, “It would not have had the same level of success without the coinciding bonfire and Energy Challenge.”