The race to determine which of Trinity’s 20 residence halls can produce the biggest percentage decrease in energy consumption will begin Sunday, Nov. 3 at midnight and continue through Sunday, November 17, also at midnight.
The two-week Bantam Blitz is similar to the one waged in April in which Summit East and Goodwin Hall came out on top, each reducing their electricity usage by 18 percent.
This contest was intentionally designed for the Nov. 3 to Nov. 17 timeframe because the two- week period comes after Daylight Savings Time and before the Thanksgiving break, thereby providing an uninterrupted snapshot of the students’ energy habits. The competition is being run and monitored by the Facilities Department, managed by Aramark, and the Office of Residential Life.
“The goal of the Bantam Blitz,” said Kira Sargent, sustainability analyst for Aramark, “is to raise the awareness of students about ways they can reduce their electricity usage in their dorms and also so that they can take small steps to combat rising energy use and climate change.”
In order to be accurate, real-time readings need to be obtained. Thus, Aramark worked with Noveda Systems to install sub-meters on each of the buildings. The sub-meters are connected to an online database. Students will be able to view their dorm’s status at any hour on any given day by going to: www.trincoll.edu/bantamblitz.
A new format is being introduced for this competition. The residence halls will be grouped in four brackets and the winners at the end of the Week One elimination round will proceed to the second round. During the second week, the residents of the four dorms will be vying for bragging rights as the most energy conscious students living on campus.
The first bracket includes Summit North, Summit South and Summit East. The second bracket includes Elton, Jones, Jackson, Wheaton, Smith and Funston. The third bracket includes Vernon Place, High Rise, North Campus, Board Walk, Park Place and Doonesbury. And the fourth includes Cook, Goodwin, Woodward, Jarvis and Northam. The students in the winning dorm will each receive a prize.
In determining the percentage decrease, the amount of electricity used will be measured against the baseline established between October 26 and November 2, Sargent said.
Each of the residence halls will have a contact person – either a resident adviser or a volunteer representative -- responsible for publicizing the event. He or she will remind students to be aware of lights that are burning unnecessarily or computers that should be turned off because they’re not being used.
Also, the RA or dorm representative will be given a Bantam Blitz poster in which students will be asked to pledge to turn off their computers and other electronic devices, unplug electronics, and turn off lights in rooms and common areas. At the end of the first week, the dorm with the most pledges will be eligible for a raffle.
Trinity is a signatory of The American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, which means that the College is required to shrink its carbon footprint and lower its greenhouse gas emissions to help stabilize the earth’s climate. Institutions that are party to the Commitment must have completed an emissions inventory; set a target date for becoming carbon neutral; taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; integrated sustainability into the curriculum; and made the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.
Curbing electric consumption would help Trinity in meeting its goals, especially since electricity usage contributes about half of the greenhouse gases that Trinity produces annually.