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.