By Carmen Perry
Although Kenyon has taken on a number of environmental initiatives, it still pales in comparison to the efforts of other liberal arts colleges in its category. Kenyon staff and students on the Sustainability Council are looking to change that.
The Council is granting funds to support the activities of students, faculty, administrators, staff and local residents that “empower a diverse spectrum of community members to cultivate a culture of sustainability on and surrounding the Kenyon College campus.”
The council hopes the grant, along with education and other actions, will encourage the community to be more environmentally conscious.
The president, provost, Business Office and Jordan Professorship have generated the financial resources collectively. Anyone associated with Kenyon is eligible and encouraged to apply for grants ranging from $200-1,000. The Council is looking to fund projects that provide long-term benefits to the College and community, provide new opportunities for education about sustainability issues and, above all, are innovative. “The Sustainability Council wants to provide more resources for trying new ideas and getting obvious changes started,” said Professor of Environmental Science and Biology Ray Heithaus. “We also want to encourage more people to apply their creative talents to generate new ideas … The point of the whole project is to get a lot of people thinking together.”
No idea is too small, according to Heithaus.
“The College has already funded major refitting of electric fixtures and water flow things and sensing devices, so the College is already doing a lot of stuff without this project,” he said. “We’re really trying to get the more sort of grassroots projects going.”
Sustainability Intern Anna Peery ’14 suggestsed projects such as weatherizing the dorm windows on campus, which would regulate heat and save energy. Peery also said that the Environmental Campus Organization (ECO) has been talking about using the money to get recycling bins placed on Middle Path.
Heithaus stressed that while this grant could potentially bring major changes to the sustainability of Kenyon, it is up to all institutions to be more efficient in how they operate and look at sustainability.
“We’re not exactly the leading college in terms of implementing changes for sustainability,” Heithaus said. “But we can get there. We’re open to new ideas and anxious to hear what they are.”
Applications for the grant are online and due Feb. 15.
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