Green Cup Challenge Announced at ASM; PA To Compete with Other Schools in Conservation

PA students, athletes and non-athletes alike, can now participate in an interscholastic contest. On Wednesday, Andover officially announced its intention to enter the Green Cup Challenge, urging students to compete with 15 peer schools to lower energy consumption and promote sustainability efforts. The competition will take place throughout the month of February. Student and faculty speakers presented the different aspects of the competition, the effects of global warming and ways to reduce our daily energy expenditure. Dean of Studies John Rogers said, “It is tempting to choose to deny [that climate change is occurring], but we must act now, and radically.” Mr. Rogers also spoke about the consequences of global warming, which include melting glaciers, extreme weather conditions and widespread starvation and disease. “We have come to rely on a lifestyle fueled by oil and coal… and are complicit in convenient lies and half-truths,” said Mr. Rogers. “Seize the day and beat Exeter.” Sustainability Coordinator Rebecca Bogdanovitch, presented the rules of the competition, including the importance of adhering to safety codes and the strict policy against sabotaging competitors. “I hope [the GCC] is really just a jumping off point to talk about issues concerning the environment and climate change, that it’s just the beginning of a broader conversation with other schools as well,” said Ms. Bogdanovitch of her goals for the competition. But students might not be motivated to participate. When asked about their initial reactions to the GCC, students had a variety of responses. “Finally Exeter got something right,” said Ali Flanders ’09. Some students, however, are skeptical and feel students’ motivation to save energy will be out of a competitive spirit, rather than concern for the environment. Andrew Malin ’09 said, “I think kids are much more focused on the competition than actually saving energy. It’s fun. But the [compact fluorescent] lights really aren’t so great, they make me feel like I’m in a hospital or a prison. If they want me to use energy efficient bulbs, the light shouldn’t have such a harsh quality.” Others offered more “practical” suggestions. “I think there should be individual prizes for each dorm because $3,000 for the whole school won’t do anything,” said Dillon Travers ’09. While it isn’t currently possible to measure the energy consumption per building, as the measurements are an overall amount, student feedback is important to improving the competition and involving students in the future. “If you make people aware of energy consumption and climate change, then why not make these stupid changes that will potentially make big differences in the environment?” said Lindsey Hildebrand ’07. She continued, “People might do it for the sake of the world and environment, but realistically it will be for the competition. Let’s face it, it’s Andover.”