Get ready to unplug that cell phone charger dangling idly from the wall and turn off the water while brushing your teeth as part of the Unplugged, Untapped ... Game On! sustainability residence hall competition Feb. 1 through Feb. 19.
This year's competition, sponsored by housing, dining and guest services' improved energy efficiency committee, in cooperation with the office of residence life, has been expanded beyond reducing electrical usage to also include water conservation.
“This is a great opportunity for everyone to get involved in a practical way to make a difference,” said Matt Frericks, director of auxiliary construction and facilities in the department of housing, dining and guest services. “And, it’s going to be fun and easy to participate. For example, all residence hall students who pledge to actively participate in the competition will be automatically entered to win one of 100 $15 iTunes gift cards.”
To make the pledge, students simply need to go to the Unplugged, Untapped … Game On! Facebook page. Winning names will be drawn weekly throughout the competition. In addition, an all-hall pizza party will be awarded each week to the residence hall (including Heritage Commons apartments) demonstrating the largest reduction in electrical use on a per student basis during the previous week. The winner for the first week of the competition will be announced during the Miami men’s home basketball game against Toledo on Feb. 10; the second week winner will be announced during the basketball game against Akron on Feb. 17.
“Students living in the residence halls are especially encouraged to attend not only to cheer on the basketball team, but also to cheer on the winning hall when it’s announced,” Frericks said.
At the end of the competition, one grand prize will be awarded to the residence that demonstrates the greatest reduction in both electricity and water use on a per student basis over the nearly three-week period. The grand prize includes an all-hall pizza party, aluminum water bottles and the grand champion trophy. President Hodge will announce the grand champion winner during the ice hockey game against Ohio State on Feb. 26.
There are many ways individuals are already showing their support for the competition, including: promoting it through staff and corridor meetings; encouraging others to the take the pledge on Facebook; challenging residence hall community councils to help lead the effort; encouraging RAs to conduct programming focused on conservation themes; and planning a “Friday Night Lights Blackout” where residents agree to turn off as many lights as possible over a 12-24 hour period.
“We want students to brainstorm with other residents and staff to come up with new and creative ways to save water and electricity,” Frericks said. “Ultimately, we hope that the positive efforts made during the competition will continue throughout the entire school year.”