Let’s really commit to this green thing, OK, Elon?

Last week, I went into the McEwen School of Communications around 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, to print something. The large flat screen TV inset in the wall in the foyer was on, flashing its usual images advertising workshops, speakers and the like. And in the main lobby, the other large flat screen TV was blasting CNN at its full volume and image level. I ask, who is standing in the McEwen lobby watching CNN at 7:30 on a Saturday morning.

This afternoon, I crossed through the first floor of Alamance to get out of the rain for a few minutes around 6:30 p.m. The small TV screen in Alamance was on, again with CNN, although granted it was muted. I ask, who is EVER standing in the center of Alamance watching that TV on a Sunday evening. Or ever, really.

These two events illustrate a phenomenon on Elon’s campus: while crowing about a commitment to energy savings and efficiency across campus, the university is not fully doing its job practicing what it preaches. TV’s are on at all hours of the day and night. Eerie blue lights shine from windows in various academic buildings whenever it is dark out, indicating a projector on, although I doubt students are watching any sort of presentation at 3 a.m. Computers in labs undoubtedly sit on far more often than they’re actually in use.

And what is the point of all this? To save the 30 seconds it takes to fire these devices up again? Before Elon continues in its never-ending quest for energy-efficiency in new construction, it should take a good look at the wasteful use occurring in its existing facilities.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Let’s really commit to this green thing, OK, Elon?

  1. Liz

    I fully agree with this comment. My freshman year (I’m a senior now). I actually did a project on it. At 2 am on a Thursday night, I went around all of the campus to look for these kind of problems. I did find many lights still on and other TVs on. After tallying up all of these issues, I went to talk to Gerald Whittington, the then vice president of business, finance and technology. He did listen to us, and he did note that most of the lights that were on were for security purposes, which was and is very important to Elon. He said he would definitely think about it and try to make improvements if he could, but obviously some problems still exist.

  2. Carolyn

    As an intern for the Office of Sustainability, this isn’t really an issue with Elon’s green initiatives, but rather an issue with people in McEwen or Alamance failing to turn these TVs off. Obviously, the TVs should be turned off by whoever is the last person to leave the building, whether that be a professor, cleaning services employee, or whoever. If you’re in the building at odd hours and see that unused TVs have been left on, you can certainly turn them off yourself too! Really every little bit helps, but everyone on campus needs to know that they can (and should) help the university conserve.

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