Two Too Hot for Middlebury During Winter

By Guest Contributor

In response to fossil fuel pollution, rising oil prices and complaints about building temperatures, we, a subset of the Sunday Night Group, have formed The 2 Degree Campaign as a student/staff-run effort to raise awareness on heating issues in the dorms and to lower the overall temperature of campus buildings. This sounds easy enough – all we have to do is turn down the heating dial, sit back and let the room cool off. But, it’s more difficult than this because …wait, it’s not difficult.

Turning down a heater is possibly the easiest way to contribute to lowering Middlebury’s energy consumption. It’s very simple to understand, the hotter our rooms are, the more oil we use to run the campus heating boilers which then launch more pollutants into the air. In addition, less heat saves dollars. Fifty thousand dollars!

Oil is expensive, which means that a two-degree heat reduction of all campus buildings can save the College a significant amount of money.

Think about $50,000; now, think about how many McCullough dance parties, kegs of “Natty Light”, financial aid scholarships or Proctor panini grilles this amount of money could fund? A bunch. What does two degrees mean to you?

While you are musing over all of the environmental benefits and many other great things that a two degree reduction would entail, there are actions you can take to help this initiative:

First and foremost, turn down dorm room heaters!

The room might feel a little bit colder, so throw on your favorite birthday/holiday sweater, find a friend to cuddle with, or do 20 push ups for a study break.

Talk to your class Student Government Association representatives and other professors/students/staff about heating issues.

Report broken or malfunctioning heaters to your CRA or RA.

Tell your neighbors to do the same and start a sweater knitting/wearing club!

Take part in the Heating Awareness Week.

Our goal to have a minimal impact on our environment and lower the College heating budget can only be accomplished through extensive student, staff and faculty participation. Throughout this week there will be tables, posters, raffles, educational materials and eccentric 2 Degree Campaign volunteers helping Middlebury become more aware of the heating issues on campus and offering solutions to these problems. Be part of the reason Middlebury College is known as one of the most environmentally friendly campuses in the nation; turn down your heater and support the 2 Degree Campaign.

Written by EVAN WILLIAMS ’08