By Dorothy Hazan ’16
Enlightening students about energy conservation is the aim of “Do it in the Dark,” an annual energy awareness campaign and competition taking place across campus this month and in early March.
“This year’s competition should be exciting because we are competing on a national level,” said Annie Nelson ’15, an active member of U-Sustain and Environmental Club who is coordinating “Do it in the Dark.”
Union is competing in the New York Megawatt Challenge against the five other members of the New York Six Consortium – Colgate, Hamilton, Hobart and William Smith, Skidmore and St. Lawrence. The challenge is part of Campus Conservation National, the largest nationwide electricity and water reduction competition on college and university campuses.
At the end of January, students signed up to participate on behalf of their living spaces, including Greek, Minerva and theme houses, residence halls and apartments. A total of 25 residences joined in, and the one that can most reduce its energy consumption over the six-week period will win a trophy and a prize.
The competitors are encouraged to take such simple steps as unplugging devices or power strips and turning off lights when they are not in use.
“Our campus building maintainers take the meter readings for energy usage,” explained Sustainability Coordinator Meghan Haley-Quigley ’11, who is working closely with Fred Puliafico, assistant director of Utilities Management, to support students’ efforts. “The readings are then converted into spreadsheets that each residence can use to see and monitor its baseline energy consumption each week.”
“I’m definitely happy to do my part for West College,” said Chris Graff ’16. “It’s going to be the most efficient dorm on campus.”