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In Peirce atrium, sustainability takes backseat to Top 40

In Peirce atrium, sustainability takes backseat to Top 40

By Staff

KEY can’t stop, and KEY won’t stop.

Visitors to Peirce Dining Hall during the past week or so may have been regaled by Miley Cyrus music or episodes of Family Guy blaring throughout the atrium. The entertainment is all thanks to Kenyon’s Sustainability KEY Kiosk, which has recently been used for amusement rather than education.

“The website, [] went down,” Ed Neal, Kenyon’s sustainability director, said. “When it went down, that shut the program down, and people were using the big kiosk as a computer because it didn’t have a capability to run its program.”

The kiosk’s original purpose was to inform students about Kenyon’s recently completed $8,000,000 sustainability overhaul.

Neal spearheaded the program, which was completed over approximately one year and included over 11,000 fluorescent light tube replacements, devices to monitor heating and air conditioning in dorms, low-flow toilets all across campus, a well at the Maintenance Department and additional measures to make Kenyon more environmentally friendly. Along with the large kiosk in Peirce, smaller iPad stations are set up in residential halls around campus, meant to expose students to information about how much electricity their dorm is using.

Later in the year, Neal hopes to have dorm contests, which will allow students to compete to see which dorm has the smallest carbon footprint. “When we did the dorm contests, we would notice that we would save as much as 10 percent on electricity consumption just by making people aware of what is out there,” Neal said.

The goal of the overall sustainability project is a 10-year payoff, meaning that within the next 10 years, the College will have saved a projected $8,000,000 that it would have originally spent on energy bills. The project is already succeeding and is one year ahead on its payback schedule according to Neal. “If we can reduce our carbon footprint and reduce our budget at the same time ラ that’s a really great project,” Neal said.

Many students don’t understand the purpose of the Sustainability Kiosk and are completely unaware of the sustainability measures that Kenyon is taking. “I really don’t think it’s serving its purpose because I don’t even know about it,” Aaron McIlhenny ’16 said. “It’s just in a really awkward place.” Faith Masterson ’16 agreed, saying, “I really don’t notice it when I’m trying to eat.”

“It’s more like the sustainability jukebox,” added Jody Frye ’16.

However, Neal believes students do appreciate the information they learn from the kiosk. “Students seemed to use [the kiosk] a lot and they seem to have respected it and enjoyed the information they’re getting,” Neal said.

Nevertheless, the iPad kiosk program will continue and Neal hopes more iPads will be added in the future, explaining there is a possibility that each North Campus Apartment could have its own iPad kiosk some day. As for the future of Peirce entertainment, it seems the days of kiosk amusement are over as the Sustainability Kiosk has been restored to its original state. “The idea is to get everybody engaged and have them see the measurable difference and that they have an impact,” Neal said.

While the kiosk will no longer be taking music requests, students can submit sustainability articles to the sustainability intern, which will be made accessible on the kiosk.

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