Scott Lang - Pennsylvania State University

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Scott Lang - Pennsylvania State University

Transcript Of Scott Lang - Pennsylvania State University

Prepared for: Dr. Rob Andrejewski Director of the Eco-Reps
Prepared by: Galym Dyussembayev Scott Lang Terry Kim Yohana Asmelash
April 22, 2014
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Memorandum

TO:

Dr. Rob Andrejewski, Director of the Eco-Reps

FROM: Galym Dyussembayev, Scott Lang, Terry Kim, & Yohana Asmelash

DATE: April 23, 2014

SUBJECT: Recommendations Report for the Eco-Reps

Here is the Recommendations Report our group has prepared for the Eco-Reps.

Our survey has shown that not many students on campus are aware of the sustainability related organizations on campus. The Eco-Reps is the most acknowledged among these groups, but it is still not known at the scale of the entire university. It is due to low student involvement in the program and inefficient marketing of the Eco-Reps agenda.

The observations have also shown that there is a lack communication and collaboration among sustainability related student groups. Currently these organizations operate independently from each other, which leads to redundancy and decreased efficiency.

We believe that the Eco-Reps is exactly the kind of group, which has the potential to create a university wide network that will promote environmentally responsible behavior and energy use on campus. In order to address sustainability to the college community the Eco-Reps needs to expand its program and operate at a grander scale. The next step will be initiating a centralized committee that will coordinate operations of the sustainability groups on campus.

We are grateful for your assistance in helping us gather the necessary information to successfully complete this report. It was certainly a great learning experience and an exciting challenge.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to work with the Eco-Reps and the Sustainability Institute. If you have any questions regarding this report, please feel free to contact any of us.

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Table of Contents
Page
Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Purpose of the Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Problems within Eco-Reps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Research Tactics and Collected Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Recommendations for Eco-Reps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Step 1. Program Expansion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Step 2. Centralized Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Works Cited . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
List of Illustrations
Figures 1.1 Electricity Consumption, University Park Campus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 1.2 Results of the online survey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 1.3 Centralized Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
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Executive Summary
This report analyzes the Eco-Reps program and presents recommendations for improving the efficiency of its operations.
Low Involvement and Lack of Collaboration
After surveying students on the University Park campus, it was concluded that the Eco-Reps profile is not widely recognized. Few participants of the survey knew about the organization and only several participants were involved in the activities held by the Eco-Reps.
Other sustainability related organizations such as Eco-Action, Earth House, Engineers for a Sustainable World, and RECA were contacted in order to evaluate the level of collaboration amongst these groups and the Eco-Reps. The observation was made that the cooperation is practically non-existent and lack of communication often leads to low efficiency and redundancy of their operations.
Expansion of the Eco-Reps program
In order to spread awareness about the Eco-Reps and raise the profile of the organization the program needs to cover a wider audience and encourage more students to be involved in sustainable activities. The expansion of the Eco-Reps program should include the following steps:
• Including other dormitories besides East Halls • Involving students of all years • Incorporating other campus buildings
Initiating a Centralized Committee
The Eco-Reps should take a leadership and initiate the establishment of a centralized committee that will coordinate operations of sustainability related organizations on campus. Forming this committee will help to set a more focused goal of developing and to utilize energy saving tools and strategies.
Expanding the Eco-Reps program and initiating a centralized committee will raise community awareness, increase efficiency of the operations, and promote sustainable behavior around campus more successfully.
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Introduction
The energy related problems are affecting our campus through the excessive electricity consumption and waste of the energy. It is a collective problem that requires attention from every member of the community. Raising awareness and encouraging more people to get involved is essential in promoting sustainable behavior. This recommendation report suggests ways on how the Eco-Reps could improve increase of students in the program and improve efficiency of sustainability related organizations on campus. Currently the Eco-Reps is a group of first-year students in East Halls that make an effort to provide leadership for promoting recycling, energy conservation, and sustainability in general. Operating within a single residence hall and involving only first-year students are the main reasons the Eco-Reps cannot become a sustainability leader on campus. Expanding the program and initiating a centralized committee will help to promote sustainable behavior among students more successfully. The following will be discussed further in the report:
• Purpose of the report • Problems within the Eco-Reps • Research tactics and collected data • Recommendations on how to improve the Eco-Reps
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Purpose
Our group’s target was to address sustainability at the scale of the entire Penn State University. Penn State is actively engaged in numerous energy efficiency, recycling, and reducing pollution initiatives throughout the state and the nation. However, these problems are being neglected on our campus:
• Inefficient use of electricity in buildings • Heat loss in buildings • Outdated heating system According to EIA.gov, the average American Household (~2.5) consumes about 10,500 kWh/year. Average American consumes about 4,200 kWh/year. According to the OPP.psu.edu, University Park consumes about 290,000,000 kWh/year and an average of 6,400 kWh/year per person, which is 52% more than the average. The figure shows the projected consumption (target) and the actual consumption of electricity on our campus.
Figure 1.1 Electricity Consumption, University Park Campus
Our campus needs a strong entity that will address the issue at a grander scale of the entire Penn State. The Eco-Reps is the organization that has the potential to promote sustainable behavior around campus and motivate the whole college community to be engaged in sustainable activities. This report aims to provide possible steps to turn the great potential of the Eco-Reps into influential, widely recognized, and effective organization that will utilize environmental strategies on our campus.
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Problems
The Eco-Reps is a comparatively small group of students committed to creating a culture of sustainability at Penn State. As it was discussed earlier, building an environmentally responsible community is a collective problem and it requires participation of every student and faculty member. To make these changes in social thinking it is essential to spread the message and raise awareness among the community members. Currently, the Eco-Reps’ effectiveness in promoting sustainability is limited due to several factors.
The Eco-Reps operates within East Residence Halls only
The Eco-Reps’ program is restricted to just one residence hall, which greatly limits the audience. It is mostly first-year and very few upper year students who live in dormitories. East Halls is only one the five residence halls on campus. All of it leaves the majority of students at Penn State out of the program and currently Eco-Reps’ agenda reaches only a smaller segment of the student community.
The Eco-Reps involves only first-year students
It is exclusively first-year students who can become Eco-Reps. This fact excludes much of diversity and experience that upper year students might possess from the program.
The Eco-Reps focuses only on Residence Halls
Even if the program covers all of the five dormitories, it is still only one part of the entire infrastructure of buildings on campus. There are many other campus buildings that consume considerable amount of energy.
Lack of communication amongst sustainability related organizations
There are many student clubs and organizations whose focus are environment and sustainability. However, they operate independently from each other and do not cooperate, which significantly decreases the overall efficiency of these groups.
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Research Tactics and Collected Data
In order to provide adequate recommendations our group conducted research. It helped us to better understand the current situation regarding sustainability movement and development on campus. Listed below are the steps the research was performed:
• Researched programs that focus on sustainability. • Attended some of the Sustainable Communities Collaborative meetings
held at Penn State. • Researched how other big Universities have managed to be sustainable. • Asked students and faculty, how many of them practice sustainability on
the daily basis. • Researched what the university is doing in promoting sustainable energy
including renewable energy sources. • Researched how much energy is being used daily by the university and
ways to reduce it.
From February 24th to March 7th our group conducted an online survey among Penn State students to evaluate their attitudes towards and knowledge of the sustainability practices on campus. The survey was posted on Facebook and Twitter. 116 students responded to the following questions:
Figure 1.2 Results of the online survey
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Recommendations
The problems related to energy consumption are significantly affecting the University Park campus. It is a massive issue that requires collective effort of the entire college community. Results of the survey showed that not many Penn State students are aware of the sustainability related student organizations on campus. The Eco-Reps is the most acknowledged among these groups, but it is still not known at the scale of the entire university. Proposed strategies to develop and improve operations of the Eco-Reps are given below.
Step 1. Expanding the program of the Eco-Reps.
The main goal is to promote the Eco-Reps as the leading sustainability related organization on campus and encourage more Penn State community members to be involved in sustainability activities. In order to spread the awareness of the Eco-Reps operations it is crucial to expand the program of the organization.
• Include other dormitories besides East Halls.
Currently, the program is only in East Halls. It makes the Eco-Reps extremely “local” and greatly limits its efficiency. Expanding to all of the five Residence Halls (East, West, South, North, and Pollock Halls) will simply increase number of students aware of the Eco-Reps.
• Involve students of all years.
Our college community is highly diverse. There is diversity within first-year students, but it is still only a fraction of all the students on campus. Upper year students might have more experience and connections in various fields, which will undoubtedly help to market the existence of the Eco-Reps to a wider range of people.
• Incorporate campus buildings.
University Park campus has a great variety of buildings – classrooms, laboratories, libraries, studios, recreation halls, etc. They serve diverse needs and have different functions, but they all consume energy. Incorporating other campus buildings into sustainability activities will significantly increase the number of the people aware of the Eco-Reps program. At this stage the Eco-Reps becomes a widely acknowledged sustainability related organization and operate at a much larger scale.
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CampusStudentsSustainabilityProgramCommittee