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Sustainability Day adds herbs, blackout

November 20, 2010 Comments off

By Ember Zimmerman, Staff Writer

The hall lights in Goolsby Lecture Hall were turned off in observance of Sustainability Awareness Day. Photo by Ember Zimmerman

With the slogan “Love purple, live green,” the sustainability committee was sure to get out the word about their campus-wide Sustainability Awareness Day, which happened this past Friday.

Sustainability Awareness Day was an effort to make the campus a more environmentally-aware place. Sustainability Awareness Day was organized by the Sustainability Committee, which includes members such as Rob Campbell, who is the director of the Bonner Leaders program on campus.

Throughout the day there were several activities for students to participate in such as a campus-wide blackout, a ribbon cutting for a new herb garden and tables for students to make pledges to be more environmentally conscious in the future.

Starting at 8 a.m. Friday to 8 a.m. on Saturday, students across campus worked to conserve energy, by unplugging unused electronics, using light only when necessary and taking shorter showers throughout the day.

The blackout was probably the most noticeable part of Sustainability Awareness Day, since student residence halls and lecture halls used only a minimal amount of electricity. This left several classrooms and lecture halls in the dark, literally.

One of the participating professors, Dr. Jennifer Pemberton, assistant professor of sociology, said, “everyone needs to think about sustainability. If we don’t, we’re going to run out of natural resources and make the world an unsafe place for future generations in many ways—not just pollution, but war over scarce resources.”

Dr. Pemberton feels strongly about the issue of environmentalism and will be teaching a class in the spring semester on environmental sociology, which will feature social sources of environmental degradation and ways that students can help this global problem.

Another YHC professor who participated in the event was Dr. Isabelle Therriault, assistant professor of foreign language, forwent the use of her classroom computer entirely. Instead, Therriault planned pronunciation games and worksheets for students to work on in the dim light from the windows of Goolsby Lecture Hall.

“I’m glad they’re doing it,” Therriault said.

Dr. Therriault said she recycles at home and mentioned feeling upset that there weren’t more places to recycle in Towns County or on campus.

“It hurts my heart. It really does. I really hate to throw away things that can be recycled.”

Along with the blackout, the Sustainability Committee set up in front of Goolsby Lecture Hall and outside of Grace-Rollins Dining Hall. At these tables, sustainability members gave away sustainability bags at the tables. These bags were free for students, since students pay a “green fee” as part of their tuition; however, the cost was $1 for anyone else.  As a bonus, students who signed a pledge at one of the tables to make a personal effort to lead a more environmentally-aware life, received free white boards.

In addition, At 12 p.m., in front of Grace-Rollins Dining Hall, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to honor YHC’s new herb garden. Some of the herbs from the garden were used in the day’s lunch, which was made largely from local produce. Since the dining hall was working to conserve electricity, the hall featured a live acoustic guitar performance, due to the lack of electricity necessary for the usual radio selections.

Overall, many students and professors participated in the day’s events, allowing YHC students and staff to take part in becoming more environmentally conscious.

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SGA discusses clocks, blackout

October 30, 2010 Comments off

By Carmen Brown, Staff Writer

At 5: 30 p.m. on Wed. Oct. 27, SGA had their weekly meeting. The agenda for this week’s meeting included an update for the campus-wide blackout, a set time for all clocks on campus, student checks and the status on the hammocks that SGA ordered earlier in the semester.

As discussed at last week’s meeting, the campus-wide blackout will be held on Fri. Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8 a.m. the following day. The campus-wide blackout is scheduled as a part of Sustainability Awareness Day. This day focuses on raising awareness on the benefits of green energy and how people can reduce the amount of energy they consume.

As a part of Sustainability Awareness Day, SGA and the sustainability committee at Young Harris College have organized the campus-wide blackout. To encourage students to participate in the event, sustainability members will be coming door-to-door to hand out prizes to students taking part in the event. Some of the prizes include t-shirts, reusable coffee mugs and pens.

In addition to solidifying the plans for the campus-wide blackout, SGA also discussed the possibility to have all the clocks on campus set to the same time. This topic was brought up due to the reoccurring confusion surrounding each clock’s time. This inconsistency has caused confusion for students and professors about class times.

Adding to campus confusion is the fact that there are no clocks in the cafeteria. SGA argued that having clocks in the cafeteria would be helpful to have during times when students and faculty are eating in the cafeteria and have a class to go to soon after they finish their meal. Though the topic was discussed, no final decisions have been made about the issue; however, SGA is putting research together. So far, SGA is thinking about hanging up analog clocks in the cafeteria.

Among other topics, SGA mentioned that students will be able to bring their checks to the Student Development Office next semester. From there, students could have their checks deposited directly into their bank account and available for use on their debit card. More information about student check options will be coming soon.

Earlier in the semester, SGA decided to purchase hammocks for student use. Though the hammocks have been ordered, they are currently not on campus as the company is out of the color requested.

SGA meets weekly in the dining hall at 5:30 p.m. All students are welcome to attend.

SGA: lights out to save

October 25, 2010 1 comment

By Carmen Brown, Staff Writer

On Wed. Oct. 20, SGA held their weekly meeting in the dining hall. Among the topics of discussion were the results and future plans for TellMeTuesday. Also on the agenda, were plans for a campus-wide blackout to preserve electricity.

Through a campus-wide blackout, the sustainability committee will be able to engage the student body in its green efforts. Conserving electricity is a big problem that goes unnoticed by most students, so the sustainability committee on campus would like to put together a campus wide blackout in the efforts promote awareness and preserve energy. According to the Energy Information Administration, the average United States residence uses 11,040 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. By conserving electricity, students can make this campus ‘greener.’ This event is currently scheduled to take place on Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 8a.m. on Nov. 20. Those who participate would turn off all lights and refrain from using electricity. As incentive for participating, sustainability members will come door to door and give prizes to the participants in the event.

Among other news, TellMeTuesday, which is an opportunity for student feedback, continues to be a success. It will be held every other Tuesday. The next opportunity to participate in TellMeTuesday will be on Tues. Nov. 2.