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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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Open discussion addresses green issues on campus

Nick Hennessy

The Office of Sustainability hosted its first open forum meeting of the semester to discuss issues on how to transition the University to green energy.

Nick Hennessy, the sustainability coordinator, said the meetings consist of updating people on current clean energy events with an open session near the end for questions and comments.

“The University is making a commitment to reduce our carbon footprint,” Hennessy said.

The University is participating in various green programs, including Recyclemania and Friday Night Lights.

Recyclemania is a big activity that Hennessy said he hopes will help students and faculty get involved with going green.

Friday Night Lights consists of a group of students going around campus and turning lights off to conserve energy.

A well-known program is the bike share program, which lets students borrow bikes to conserve even more energy.

Other ideas for conservation included motion sensor lights and cooling adjustments.

One reason they have these meetings is to give people an opportunity to get more involved on campus energy usage.

Matt Rubel, coordinator of energy management, has been working with Mechanical Electrical Plumbing Associates [MEP], which is a company that helps find alternatives for harmful energy systems.

MEP investigated the University to see how well the campus would deal with changing to Geo-Thermal energy.

MEP reported that the University would be more suitable to use ground heating and cooling rather than geothermal.

“They suggested using the sewers and ponds with coils on campus,” Rubel said.

Wilfred Roudebush, the co-founder of the sustainability forum, said a wide variety of people showed up to the meetings.

“People from Residence Life, Dining [Services] and even grounds sometimes show up,” Roudebush said.

Roudebush hosts a radio show on WBGFM that discusses going green that is called “Beyond Green.”

Hennessy and Roudebush said the attendance number varies throughout the semester, probably because it is hard to get the word out about the forums.

The Office of Sustainability has been working with Dining Services to lessen the amount of waste they produce.

Having vegetarian dishes was a major problem people have been having.

The issue with this is that people are willing to complain, but aren’t willing to offer helpful solutions.

“Any time you can get forums set up to showcase ideas is good,” Hennessy said.

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