The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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A dimmer shade of green in the dorms

resident students have been in the dark.
Literally.

In an effort to lower energy use
across campus, lights in the hallways
of University residence halls have been
dimmed.

This latest initiative is a part of
University’s participation in this year’s
Recyclemania competition and other
sustainability efforts which includes a
competition among residence halls to
decrease their overall carbon footprint.

“The dimming of the lights wasn’t
just a way to save energy,” said Thomas
Goldsmith, director of environmental and
energy conservation.

“It was a way to remember that
we’re in the time period of the challenge.

The lights in the halls are already very
efficient.”

Residents were informed of the
change Feb. 5 via e-mail from residence
directors.

The lights are expected to return to
normal on Feb. 17, while Recyclemania
runs until the end of March.

While some residents have applauded
the University’s efforts to go green, others
are concerned about the practicality of the
decision to dim the lights.

“It does conserve energy, but now
it’s kind of dark when I’m doing my
homework, it’s hard to see,” said Josephine
Marescot, a freshman.

Armond Banks, also a freshman, said
he thought the school could have used
alternative methods to reduce energy use.

“It’s pointless,” he said. “They had it
the same over Thanksgiving. They should
just turn down the heat instead.”

Some lights have even been turned
off altogether, resulting in much darker
hallways, prompting some residents to
question the safety of the program.

“It’s alright for me because I live in St.
Vincent’s, but that doesn’t seem very safe
for the bigger halls,” said Lily Topalian,
a freshman.

University offi cials and resident
assistants, however, are adamant that
the current lighting conditions are only a
means of conserving energy, and do not
pose any threat to students or their safety.

“Since all the safety precautions are
still in effect, I think it’s nice that the
University is trying to go green,” said Liz
Kugler, a senior and a resident assistant in
O’Connor Hall.

“The dimming of the lights in the halls
is a way of saving energy.”

According to members of the
sustainability initiative, dimming the
lights in halls was a simple way for
everyone to cut energy costs.

“A small change in lifestyle can help
fi ght climate change,” said Goldsmith.

Topalin added that the dim lights in
the halls have made previously normal,
day to day activities more diffi cult.

“Sometimes I would sit in the hall to
do my work or study, if my roommates
were asleep or talking. Now, with the
dimmer lights, I can’t do that.”

In the wake of news of budget cuts
throughout the University, the decision
to decrease light use has caused some
students to question the real motive.

“I don’t feel threatened by it, but
I should be able to expect more from a
school where we pay what we do,” said
Ryan Garcia, a freshman. “Next thing you
know our dorm lights won’t work.”

Although some students dislike the
decision, there are those who think it was
a useful idea.

“It’s admirable of the University to be
making such a conscious effort to lower
energy use,” said senior Jessica Sides.

“Nothing bad is going to happen
because the halls are a little darker.”

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