Kent State ranks second in Campus Conservation Nationals

Megan Wilkinson

Kent State ranks second in the state of Ohio and 14th nationally among 39 other U.S. universities on Campus Conservation Nationals.

Overall, Kent State reduced .4 percent of energy-use among all 19 residence halls on campus as of the first week of the competition.

Although competition among halls and universities is voluntary, it is beneficial that Kent State takes part in this nationwide competition.

Andrew Weyand, of Kent State Residence Services, said House Bill No. 251 requires all state institutions in Ohio, which includes universities, to “reduce energy usage up to 20 percent by 2014.”

The competition runs for the next two weeks.

Wright Hall Residence Director Renee Doddy said the university could possibly lose some funding if this level of reduction is not reached in less than four years.

Weyand said Kent State spends millions of dollars on energy bills every year. Residence halls play a rather large role in energy use on campus because students are in them at all times throughout the day.

Weyand said the main initiative of this competition is to “educate, motivate and empower students to conserve resources” in the residence halls.

“We are really hoping to create a lifestyle change for students through this competition,” Weyand said. “We hope that students will embrace the energy-saving attitude and behaviors gained during these three weeks.”

Kent State has been competing for energy-use reduction between residence halls for four years, but this is the first year Kent has competed on a national level, said Weyand. He said that in 2009 Kent residence halls reduced energy-use by nearly 12 percent, whereas the halls only reduced 7 percent in 2008.

Although the winning school in the Campus Conservation Nationals gets nothing more than bragging rights, Kent State is also having its own competition among residence halls for conservation awareness. The residence hall that reduces its energy-use the most by November 19 wins a $200 incentive.

Doddy said the resident assistants of the winning hall could use this money to purchase anything they want to benefit their hall.

Van Campen Hall leads Kent State in the Campus Conservation Nationals. Van Campen has already reduced 40.8 percent of its energy-use this past week. Laura Forschone, the Hall Director for Beall, McDowell and Van Campen, credits Van Campen’s outstanding reduction rate to the small population of students residing in the hall.

“Van Campen only houses about 56 students,” Forschone said, “so it was easier to keep in touch with all of them and inform them on ways to conserve energy this month.”

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected].