OP-EDS

  /  

January 24, 2003

Staff Editorial

The University of Chicago, as a student body and as an institution, has long had a charitable attitude towards progressive ideas; it has been a point of pride. As such, the Green Campus Initiative has begun a two-month contest to see which dorm can use the least electricity and has completed a proposal intended to encourage conservation of energy, and encourage the use of power from renewable sources. The Maroon supports this venture both for its ideological underpinnings and for the practical benefit of saving money on electricity. We believe that the Green Initiative proves the University's commitment to conservation, but also that by reducing our energy expenses we can reallocate money to those aspects of the University that the Capital Campaign does not directly benefit.

More than that, though, we believe that the University has a certain responsibility to its reputation as a progressive institution. The development of environment-friendly technology and practices in government laboratories is not enough; the public must come to accept these innovations as well. It is here that this school, with all of its constituent actors, can make a difference. By equipping its students with both the relevant information and the relevant habits, the U of C can establish a foothold for the integration of these habits into the country at large. It is only a matter of putting these ideas into practice on campus.

While we believe that the majority of the student body is amenable to energy conservation, we must also realize that energy consumption can only be diminished a certain amount through individual controls. Therefore we must pursue new means of conserving energy, especially by reinvesting the money we save on consumption on further efforts to decrease it. While there won't be an overnight revolution in power conservation, the Green Initiative's contest and coming proposal are a step in the bright direction.