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Austin College Students Urged to ?Unplug?
Article By: by Austin College
Posted: 10/2/2013 Views: 3364  Impressions: 16306
Categories: Education, Entertainment: Events, Science / Technology

SHERMAN, TEXAS-"Austin College Unplugged" returned to campus September 30 as the fourth annual electricity conservation competition began between residents of the College's four residence halls. Students in Baker Hall, Caruth Hall, Clyce Hall, and Dean Hall are encouraged to reduce electricity usage during this month-long campaign. In addition to reducing electricity usage, organizers hope to educate students about the need for environmental awareness and foster behavior that will positively impact students' futures, said Brad Smucker, associate professor of chemistry and director of the Thinking Green campus awareness program.

Smucker said that the four residence halls reduced their energy consumption between 12-23 percent during last year's competition, and that evidence indicates that the reduction continues beyond the competition dates. While the competition includes only the traditional residence halls because energy consumption can be more evenly calculated, students all across campus-and those living off campus-are encouraged to cut usage also.

Students in each residence hall select a charity that benefits from their energy reduction through prize money. Selected charities for 2013 include Habitat for Humanity (Baker Hall), Hannah's Horseshoes of Hope (Clyce Hall), Sherman Women's Crisis Center (Caruth Hall), and Greater Texoma Health Clinic (Dean Hall). The residents that most reduce building electricity consumption from an established baseline will receive a monetary prize that will benefit the selected charity.

Austin College uses approximately 100,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year at a cost in excess of $1 million. Students are encouraged to reduce their energy use long term to reduce the electricity costs for the College and to lower the campus impact on the environment.

Unplugged committee members attempt to educate their classmates about ways to reduce electricity usage-from literally unplugging computers, televisions, and chargers while not in use, to watching television or using other technology as a group rather than individually, to spending time outside or in activities that do not require electricity.

The 2013 competition ends October 28. Weekly updates of energy reduction are posted in the Wright Campus Center, in each residence hall, on the Think Green website, and on Facebook, with new results announced each Wednesday at noon in the Wright Campus Center dining hall.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope's influential book Colleges That Change Lives.

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