On the first Saturday in December, HWS students dressed up and braved the weather, heading to Saga for Eco-Ball for a night of fun semi-formal dancing. Replacing the annual Red Ball, Chi Phi put on the event to celebrate the numerous environmental groups and activities on campus.
The event raised $5,000 in support of the environmental campaigns on campus, and provided the campus community an opportunity to learn about ways to help.
“The event was not only dancing and great student performances, said Chi Phi President Jake Napier '09. “There were displays by Campus Greens, Associate Professor Tom Drennen, Mark Vogelgesang '08, and the HWS Bike Program. These displays helped to educate the attendees on how they can contribute to the movement.
This past fall, these groups made strides in the campus-wide effort to go green. With funds provided by Trustee Thomas Poole '61, P'91, L.H.D.'06, Vogelgesang purchased 500 coffee mugs to be used by students in the Café, Cellar Pub, and deCordova Cafe. The effort is part of Vogelgesang's independent study, “The Cost of Sustainability,” that he worked on with Drennen. Thus far, 83 students have signed a commitment and received a mug.
In October, Drennen's most recent book was published, “Pathways to a Hydrogen Future illuminating ideas for a conversion to a hydrogen-based economy. The book, published by Elsevier Science, clarifies the conflicting ideas about a hydrogen-based economy, explains the trade-offs and recommends steps in accomplishing a large-scale shift to hydrogen as an energy source.
The HWS Bike Program invites members of the community to take a bike and ride it to any other location on campus for free. The response to the program has been overwhelming with 37 bikes donated already. The bikes—painted in fluorescent orange, green and purple—will be unveiled next semester.
These programs are in conjunction with and in support of The American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, a group of more than 400 colleges and universities leading the way to reduce climate change. The movement provides a framework and support for America's colleges and universities to go carbon neutral. The signatories of the Commitment pledge to fulfill a three-step constitution that includes initiating a comprehensive plan for climate neutrality, taking tangible action to reduce greenhouse gases, and publicizing the action plan, inventory and progress.
“We picked Eco-Ball in particular because we wanted to help the environmental awareness that many different people on this campus have been so excited and passionate about, Napier said. “The event was particularly important for the campus because it provided a campus wide event and effort for the environmental movements to get action underway.
The event, sponsored by the President's Office, received contributions from Hobart Student Government, William Smith Congress, Campus Activities Board, Hobart Deans Office, Student Activities Office, and Campus Greens.
Funds raised will be put in an account overseen by the HWS Climate Commitment committee to support further efforts.