Kristina Xie ’16, Contributing Writer
The beginning of November is a great time to be on campus. From Homecoming to the EROS Film Festival, Trinity is filled with all kinds of excitement and activities. To add to the madness is the Bantam Blintz Competition to conserve the most energy in Trinity’s residential dorms. The contest began on Sunday, November 3 at midnight and will continue until midnight of Wednesday, November 20.
Last April, Summit East and Goodwin Hall were able to reduce their energy consumation by 18 percent, the most out of all the dorms on campus. Bantam Blintz is being monitored by the Facilities Department and managed by Aramark, Trinity’s food, facilities, and uniform services. For students who are interested in monitoring their dorm’s progress, they can log onto www.trincoll.edu/bantamblitz to get updates on the competition.
To make this year’s contest a little more competitive, some changes have been made. Some of these amendments include elimination rounds and grouped up residential halls. All of the dorms on campus are grouped in four brackets, each consisting of multiple dorms. At the end of the first week, one group will advance to the next round. The three least eco-friendly groups will be eliminated.
During the second week, the residents of the remaining dorms will compete for bragging rights as the most environmentally-friendly dorm on campus. The first bracket includes Summit North, Summit South and Summit East. The second bracket includes Elton, Jones, Jackson, Wheaton, Smith and Funston. The third bracket includes Vernon Place, High Rise, North Campus, Board Walk, Park Place and Doonesbury. And the fourth includes Cook, Goodwin, Woodward, Jarvis and Northam. The students in the winning dorm will each receive a prize along with much gratitude from Mother Nature!
“The goal of the Bantam Blitz is to raise the awareness of students about ways they can reduce their electricity usage in their dorms and also so that they can take small steps to combat rising energy use and climate change,” said Kira Sargent, sustainability analyst for Aramark.
In order to accurately determine results, real-time readings need to be obtained. Thus, Aramark worked with Noveda Systems, an energy and water monitoring company, to install sub-meters on each of the buildings. The sub-meters are connected to an online database, which will allow students to easily view their dorm’s progress. To determine the percentage decrease, the amount of electricity used will be measured against the baseline established between October 26 and November 2.
To publicize the competition and to remind all students and faculty members to conserve energy, each of the residence halls will have a contact person – either a resident advisor or a volunteer representative. He or she will remind students of some of the easiest ways to save energy such as unplugging chargers when not in use or turning off the lights when no one is present in the room. Other simple tactics to combat energy consumption include turning off computers and recycling plastics, paper, and other reusable materials. Students can also pledge to be proactive members by signing a petition. At the end of the first week, the dorm with the most pledges will be eligible for a raffle.
Trinity has eagerly jumped on the “go green” bandwagon in their commitment to conserve energy at the most basic level. For those students who do not know, Trinity is a member of The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. This means that Trinity is required to decrease its carbon footprint and lower its greenhouse gas emissions to reduce global warming. Other institutions have also completed an emissions inventory, set a target date for becoming carbon neutral, taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, integrated sustainability into the curriculum, and made the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available. Curbing electric consumption would help Trinity in meeting its goals, especially since electricity usage contributes about half of the greenhouse gases that Trinity produces annually.
Trinity takes pride in being a proactive leader of change. The campus can add to its winning titles and recognition by becoming more an eco-friendly school, especially since climate change is such a prevalent issue today. If all students and faculty members take simple measures to save energy in their dorms and in classroom buildings, the entire college will be doing a service to the Earth. But quite frankly, our campus looks more charming greener!