Andover Dormitory Receives Abbot Grant To Fund Sustainable Living Project

Alumni House, Andover’s first-ever sustainable dormitory, hopes to spark campus discussion on sustainability by hosting special activities throughout the year. Abbot Grant funds will allow the dorm to pursue research on sustainable residential life and host field trips, book club meetings and movie screenings throughout the year. The first of these activities will be the screening of the movie, No Impact Man, next week. Anna Milkowski, Instructor in Science and House Counselor in Alumni House, said, “There are a lot of people who expressed interest in joining Alumni this year, but for some reason it didn’t work out. We still want to give them a chance to participate. You don’t have to be in Alumni to get involved.” Tia Baheri ’12, an Alumni House proctor, said, “It is our hope that everyone who is interested in sustainable living will try to reduce their impact individually and join us in our activities.” Milkowski started the green dorm project in order to raise community awareness and provide another forum for sustainable discussion on campus. “I am hoping that Alumni House will contribute to a movement that is already going on around campus,” said Milkowski. For Non Sibi Day, Alumni House will work on a separate project as a dorm. The project will involve the Alumni House students to present their findings on sustainable residential life at the Green Initiative Expo at Andover’s Town Hall. The dorm also plans to give informational tours at the Addison Gallery of American Art for the local public to explain the eco-friendly measures taken during the renovation, including the new green roof. “We want to show the greater community that Andover cares,” said Elizabeth Goldsmith ’11, Alumni House proctor. This fall, the dorm will focus its research on food. The students in Alumni plan to address topics regarding the production and distribution of local food. “Fourth meal is great, but we are also trying to get things that aren’t normally accessible, such as whole wheat bread and organic fruits,” said Goldsmith. One of the ideas the students had was to make their own dorm munches. “We had a fruit munch, with platters of different produce and on every platter it was written where the fruit came from. For example, we talked about oranges from New Zealand. In today’s world we can have oranges when they are not in season, but considering sustainability, should we?” said Goldsmith. To start off their research, Alumni House plans on establishing a baseline chart of the dorm energy consumption. According to Milkowski, Alumni House will not be labeled the only Green dorm on campus. She said, “The hope of the school is that Alumni House is just a pilot dorm rather than a permanent theme dorm. It is just a really useful project which eventually we will outgrow, making green dorms the norm.” Baheri said, “Alumni House is a really fun dorm. Being green hasn’t taken over our lives. Because it’s not something extra, it’s just a different way of looking at things.” In addition to the nine girls who voluntarily chose to be in Alumni this year, two new Lowers also joined the dorm. Isabel Cropsey ’13 said, “I was a little bit worried at first. I thought a green dorm was a great idea, but I didn’t know how I would fit in.” “You get all the aspects of dorm life, and you get people who are interested in being green and you are too. Everyone is willing to make a change together,” added Cropsey. Baheri said, “The new Lowers didn’t know that Alumni was a green dorm coming into Andover, but they are now just as enthusiastic as the rest of us.” In the winter, Alumni House plans to adopt the theme of electricity and energy use. To start off their research, Alumni House plans on establishing a baseline chart of the total dorm energy consumption during fall term. The green dorm will keep students and faculty posted about their progress via its online blog at