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Residence Challenge to align with Earth Month


This year the Office of Sustainability’s Residence Challenge will switch quarters to collaborate with Earth Month.

Historically the challenge kicks off winter quarter alongside RecylceMania, however these events were often confused.

“The two events sound similar and can be viewed as having similar objectives,” Mary Leciejewski, special programs coordinator and graduate student assistant for the Office of Sustainability explained. “We have decided to split the two events to make sure the campus understands the difference.”

In the past the Residence Challenge focused on energy reduction by creating a competition between residence halls. The new spring model will turn its attention to educating residents on sustainable living.

“We are trying to gauge the campus’ sustainability literacy so we can increase it throughout the four weeks of competition, instead of only cutting back on energy consumption,” said Leciejewski.

The aim for educational advancements will be mostly conducted through a series of surveys given to the students in each residence hall. Winners will be decided based on survey completion numbers accumulated by each floor.

“We are hoping that the sustainability literacy push will increase residents’ awareness of energy, and therefore create change,” said Leciejewski.

Energy reduction will still be encouraged with the new Residence Challenge, however it will not remain the main focus of the new model.

In addition to changes in the Residence Challenge, Earth Month will also undergo its own restructuring, moving away from its previous framework.

“In the past it has been a top down model where the Office of Sustainability has planned the majority of events in coordination with certain groups on campus,” said Leciejewski, “but this year we are doing it kind of differently.”

The office will take a more democratic approach to the month by offering faculty, students, and student groups $500 in mini grants to have the opportunity to plan what they would like to see happen during Earth month.

“Sustainability is changing so much that you need to change with it. This is one attempt to do so,” said Leciejewski.

For more information regarding the Residence Challenge, RecyleMania or information on campus sustainability email the Office of Sustainability at sustainability@ohio.edu.