resident students have been in the dark.Literally.
In an effort to lower energy useacross campus, lights in the hallwaysof University residence halls have beendimmed.
This latest initiative is a part ofUniversity’s participation in this year’sRecyclemania competition and othersustainability efforts which includes acompetition among residence halls todecrease their overall carbon footprint.
“The dimming of the lights wasn’tjust a way to save energy,” said ThomasGoldsmith, director of environmental andenergy conservation.
“It was a way to remember thatwe’re in the time period of the challenge.
The lights in the halls are already veryefficient.”
Residents were informed of thechange Feb. 5 via e-mail from residencedirectors.
The lights are expected to return tonormal on Feb. 17, while Recyclemaniaruns until the end of March.
While some residents have applaudedthe University’s efforts to go green, othersare concerned about the practicality of thedecision to dim the lights.
“It does conserve energy, but nowit’s kind of dark when I’m doing myhomework, it’s hard to see,” said JosephineMarescot, a freshman.
Armond Banks, also a freshman, saidhe thought the school could have usedalternative methods to reduce energy use.
“It’s pointless,” he said. “They had itthe same over Thanksgiving. They shouldjust turn down the heat instead.”
Some lights have even been turnedoff altogether, resulting in much darkerhallways, prompting some residents toquestion the safety of the program.
“It’s alright for me because I live in St.Vincent’s, but that doesn’t seem very safefor the bigger halls,” said Lily Topalian,a freshman.
University offi cials and residentassistants, however, are adamant thatthe current lighting conditions are only ameans of conserving energy, and do notpose any threat to students or their safety.
“Since all the safety precautions arestill in effect, I think it’s nice that theUniversity is trying to go green,” said LizKugler, a senior and a resident assistant inO’Connor Hall.
“The dimming of the lights in the hallsis a way of saving energy.”
According to members of thesustainability initiative, dimming thelights in halls was a simple way foreveryone to cut energy costs.
“A small change in lifestyle can helpfi ght climate change,” said Goldsmith.
Topalin added that the dim lights inthe halls have made previously normal,day to day activities more diffi cult.
“Sometimes I would sit in the hall todo my work or study, if my roommateswere asleep or talking. Now, with thedimmer lights, I can’t do that.”
In the wake of news of budget cutsthroughout the University, the decisionto decrease light use has caused somestudents to question the real motive.
“I don’t feel threatened by it, butI should be able to expect more from aschool where we pay what we do,” saidRyan Garcia, a freshman. “Next thing youknow our dorm lights won’t work.”
Although some students dislike thedecision, there are those who think it wasa useful idea.
“It’s admirable of the University to bemaking such a conscious effort to lowerenergy use,” said senior Jessica Sides.
“Nothing bad is going to happenbecause the halls are a little darker.”