The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

COCC and OSU-Cascades residence halls participate in third annual Energy Efficiency Challenge

A+COCC+student+making+a+pledge+for+the+Energy+Efficiency+Challenge+inside+Wickiup+Hall.
Joaquim Alvarez
A COCC student making a pledge for the Energy Efficiency Challenge inside Wickiup Hall.

During the past two years, Oregon State University Cascades and Central Oregon Community College had an Energy Efficiency competition in February between the residence halls. This year, the competition has returned as a challenge between the residences in each of the colleges.

Oregon State University Cascades Residence Hall ( Joaquim Alvarez)

According to Noelle Copley, Sustainability Coordinator at COCC, since students did not seem very engaged in a competition format, the sustainability staff decided that this year the colleges should have the students compete within their own residences, and have it be more of a challenge between the residence halls.

“They seem a lot more engaged this year than last year. I think maybe we just have a lot more students that care about sustainability. So that’s fun to see, [it’s] just more interesting when everyone involved wants to be,” said Emily Michael, an OSU-Cascades student and organizer of the challenge.

This year, residence hall students wanting to participate in the challenge sign a pledge denoting which energy efficiency tasks or steps they would incorporate in their daily lives. At OSU-Cascades, prizes are awarded based on the promotion pledge or theme related to that week that the student took part in, such as a blanket for conserving heat. Prizes at COCC are also based on the theme of the week.

The theme of the week could be using less heating, using less electricity or taking shorter showers. Students are given a postcard that they can hang on their resident doors to show others their commitment to the challenge.

At the OSU-Cascades residence hall, on the

Wickiup Hall, Central Oregon Community College’s residence hall ( Joaquim Alvarez)

ground floor, there is a monitor that displays the energy use of each floor, which is calculated based on the energy used on each floor, it is measured when there are changes in thermostat temperatures and electricity use. Examples include, if someone was gaming or leaving a light on, and how many residents are on that particular floor. It is updated every 15 min, according to Casey Bergh, Transportation Program Manager at OSU-Cascades. Student residents are sent an email report each week on each floor indicating which floor is using less energy.

The Broadside spoke with OSU-Cascades student, Zaquary Funderberk, regarding his thoughts on the challenge.

“In today’s culture, where people are more energy minded in terms of how they consume and what not, you know, I think getting students in on it and getting them to commit is good for the college. It definitely shows in consumption savings. We have a billboard in the residence hall that tracks the energy usage,” he said.

Another OSU-Cascades student, Ava Cordle shared her thoughts on the challenge and the past competition between the two residence halls.

“I haven’t heard anybody talk about it. I think the competition does add an extra factor to it. Like it’s just a little more exciting. I have friends at COCC, and I think a lot of people are dual enrolled and know people over there that live in the residence hall. So it’s just kind of a cooler factor too.”

OSU-Cascades students seem to enjoy competing and contributing to sustainability efforts of this challenge.

Gladys (left), a student at COCC, working at the Energy Efficiency Challenge table at Wickiup Hall, informing another student about the challenge. ( Joaquim Alvarez)

One of the energy challenge organizers, Emily Michael, an OSU-Cascades student said, “it’s just fun to see the students get involved. And it’s also fun to see them get competitive. It’s a way to get them engaged and practicing good sustainable habits.”

Zaquary Funderberk also shared his thoughts on the competition between floors.

“It definitely shows in consumption savings. We have a billboard in the residence hall that tracks the energy usage. And it’s pretty much been down this entire month since we started,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Joaquim Alvarez, Staff photographer
Joaquim (Jo) Alvarez is a graphic designer and photographer who worked previously as a designer for The Broadside. Alvarez has a mix of work and college experience in newspaper (advertising and pagination), marketing (graphic and web design), film production and business administration. He enjoys learning new techniques in the fields of graphic and web design, hiking outdoors, and listening various music artists from around the world.

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