The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th


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Makes 'Sense' to me

Last week, The Signal published an article about power consumption by the College.

This letter included an appeal to students to try to conserve electricity. Lori Winyard, director of Energy and Central Utilities, and the office of Residential and Community Development are working to come up with a comprehensive plan to promote energy conservation.

I have a suggestion for Ms. Winyard. This semester, the College has introduced a program called PrintSense. This program allots a quota of pages that may print from the College's computer labs, and bills them for exceeding their allotment. I call my program PowerSense.

Under PowerSense, the College would install a readable electric meter inside every dorm on campus. Each student would be allotted a certain number of kilowatt-hours for consumption per semester. Students can read the meter to determine their consumption to date, and adjust use of computers and lights accordingly. In cases where students have a roommate, the allotted kilowatt-hour limit for the room would be doubled, the excess at the semester's end being divided between the two roommates. Is this fair? Not at all. But the College uses the same system to allot communal damage charges to students, so what the heck.

After the implementation of PowerSense, the College should start looking at other programs to curb student consumption of resources. I next propose WaterSense.

Under WaterSense, students will be granted a certain number of gallons of water for consumption per semester. An ID swipe will be installed next to every sink, outside every shower and over each toilet. Before any student wants to wash hands, shower, or flush, you simply swipe your ID so the College knows whose allotment to subtract the gallons. Upperclassmen - shorten those showers, and freshman, let a few of you puke into the same toilet before hitting the flush.

Perhaps a more drastic program I hope to see Ms. Winyard and the office of Residential and Community Development implement AirSense. With tons of greenhouse gases released into the Earth's biosphere each year, it is simply unconscionable to think how shamelessly students breathe. Under AirSense, students will have their average carbon dioxide output measured, which will be used to extrapolate how much ozone-depleting carbon dioxide they'd be expected to produce over the course of the semester. This will be compared to the average rate of carbon dioxide production per unit body weight over the entire student body (separate average indices for male and female students), and each student's bill will be charged or credited according.

Maybe I'm overreacting. But after paying thousands of dollars to come here, I get kind of peeved that the College only lets me print 600 pages per semester.

Martin Smith


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