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Over 250 Students Are ‘Doing It In The Dark’

Dallas Steffen | Staff Writer | 02/09/2011

Students across the BSU campus, concerned with the environment, joined the “Do It In the Dark” competition for the month of February.  The contest includes all dormitory buildings, and challenges students to reduce their energy consumption in their dorm rooms.

The competition is being held by Students for the Environment (SFE), a club of students concerned with environmental harm who look for solutions to make the campus more environmentally friendly.

Hannah Hutchins, senior and President of SFE, was excited about the turn out for the “Do it in the Dark” competition.

“I am very pleased with the amount of people that have signed up this year,” Hutchins said.  “It should be a good competition this year.”

Hutchins is proud of her club’s determination to inform the students of the competition by dispersing posters and through sign up tables across the campus.

“We had a really good group of students from Students for the Environment that were really willing to help and were determined to get students aware of this energy saving competition,” said Hutchins.

This year, 258 students are participating in the competition. Students participating in the competition will have the chance to win one of five prizes, such as a Frisbee or a bike lock.  The winning dorm will receive a party with cake and other prizes yet to be decided.

“At this time, the prizes for the winning dorm haven’t been determined yet,” said Hutchins. “We’re working with Dale Ladig, the Director of Residential Life, to figure out a prize. We do have some ideas in mind like environmentally friendly dish soap, laundry detergent, or something like water filters, but it’s still up in the air.”

The contest is in its third year, and the winners of the previous two years were Pine Hall in the 2009 and Cedar Hall in 2010.

“[The title’s] used as a metaphor for students to be more aware of shutting their lights off more frequently, as well as other electronic devices within their rooms,” said Emily Johnson, Secretary of SFE.

Unlike the previous two years, SFE is not sponsoring an off-campus competition.

“We have done it in the past,” explained Hutchins, “but it can get really complicated because people get their energy from different sources, so this year, we wanted to focus on just the dorms and get that momentum going, then add the off-campus competition back in later years.”

Some students have heard about the competition from friends and members of SFE, but have declined to enter the contest.  Freshman Kendra Lisle supports the environment, but shared her discomfort in the idea of joining the competition.

“I like my light,” said Lisle. “I am all for saving the planet, but I like things like my light.”

As a result of the contest being held every year, BSU has saved not only carbon dioxide from being released into the air,but money as well.

Vice President of SFE, Crystal Rayamajhi, shared results from the last two contests.  “As for how much money and carbon this is saving, we have saved a total of about $1,800 total from the previous two years,” she said. “Since our electricity costs about six cents per kilowatt, we must have saved around 30,000 kilowatts.”

Rayamajhi continued, “There are 2.3 pounds of CO2 released per kilowatt-hour.  That’s 69,000 pounds of CO2 not released into the air.”