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Ohio Wesleyan University Launches Green Campus Initiatives

September 11, 2008

DELAWARE, OHIO – The leaves may be turning brown, but things are greening up at Ohio Wesleyan University. Students have proposed 19 initiatives to make the campus more ecologically friendly, and they are forming committees to study the ideas as part of the university’s 2008-09 Sagan National Colloquium.

“The students have really embraced this year’s Colloquium, and are excited about working to improve the campus environment,” said Charles L. Stinemetz, dean of academic affairs. “Faculty and staff are working with the students, too, making this a true campus-wide effort.”

Each year, the Sagan National Colloquium examines an issue of global significance. This year’s topic is “Cultivating a Green Campus: Promoting Sustainability and Environmental Understanding on the OWU Campus and in the Delaware Community.”

Examples of projects being explored by Ohio Wesleyan students are:

  • Adding solar power. This project involves taking sunlight measurements, examining current buildings, and studying solar panel arrays.
  • Creating a community garden. This involves planning a garden to create an additional source of local, organic food.
  • Restoring portions of the flood plain terrace along the Delaware Run. Students will examine adding flood-plain plants in an effort to reduce maintenance needs and increase plant and animal diversity.
  • Reducing the amount of paper used in classrooms. This will involve increasing electronic communication, such as replacing paper handouts with electronic documents and utilizing blogs to share information.
  • Enhancing the university’s composting program. Students will examine different processes and equipment to determine what would best meet the university’s needs.

This year’s Colloquium also includes a series of fall and spring lectures, as well as special workshop-style presentations. A full list of events is available online at the Sagan National Colloquium Web site. All lectures and workshops are free and open to the public.

Established in 1984, Ohio Wesleyan’s Sagan National Colloquium was endowed in 1999 by John and Margaret (Pickett) Sagan, both 1948 university graduates. The late John Sagan also served as chairman of the Ohio Wesleyan Board of Trustees from 1980 to 1984. Past Colloquium speakers have included President Gerald Ford, Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams, and author Kurt Vonnegut.

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 47 states and 50 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.