Kissam Quad wins Freshman Energy Conservation Contest
[Originally published by Vanderbilt Student Communications on InsideVandy]
By Harish Krishnamoorthi
Students Promoting Environmental Awareness and Recycling announced Kissam Quad as the winner of its Freshman Energy Conservation Contest.
The contest, a pilot program for the organization’s sustainability and conservation initiative, took place March 18-31.
“We decided to sponsor the competition for several reasons. One was to increase awareness of the student body of energy use and the very simple practices students can do to decrease energy use,” said SPEAR President Jenny Magill. “The freshmen were the most obvious group to target because they will be here for the next three years.”
SPEAR encouraged students to follow the simple conservation measures posted on its Web site in order to compete.
Turning off appliances when not in use and using windows as a method of air circulation were two of the suggestions included in the list.
Kissam Quad decreased its energy use by 7 percent by utilizing techniques these techniques and others. This 7 percent equals approximately a .6 kilowatt-hour decrease per person.
Energy use data was collected with the help of the Office of Housing and Residential Education and Plant Operations.
Keagan Compton, a freshman living in Dyer Hall, said he felt that he did not have to do much to decrease energy consumption.
“Just a tiny bit of change from a bunch of people can add up to a lot of energy savings,” said Compton, who did his part in the competition by avoiding the use of his main lights and trying to watch less television.
“It’s seemed like a good idea to cut down on energy,” he said. “We take advantage of how much energy we use.”
Kissam and Hemingway Halls both turned off their common room and individual dorm room lights for large segments of time in order to contribute to their quad’s efforts.
“With as many rooms as there are in Kissam Quad, you shut off your main lights for a good hour or two and save a ton of energy, so I guess a little bit each day from everybody you can save a bunch of money, and 7 percent is good I guess,” Compton said.
In recognition of their efforts, residents of Kissam Quad will receive a pizza party with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a massage therapist April 15.
While this year’s competition included only the freshmen, SPEAR plans to expand the competition to the entire campus.
“This was a trial competition, and we’re going to do a more full-scale, broad competition that will include the entire campus,” Magill said.