April is always a busy month in Oberlin. But this year the variety of remarkable events is exceptional even by our standards.
The Earth Day celebrations earlier this week, and the culmination of our annual Ecolympics competition this Friday, help highlight the collaboration between Oberlin College and the city of Oberlin on a wide range of sustainability initiatives that have made our community a recognized national leader.
Earlier this month, the college was recognized by Second Nature, a national nonprofit that works to create a healthy, just, and sustainable society by transforming higher education, as one of 20 colleges and universities nationwide that exemplify the mission of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) to restabilize the earth’s climate through education, research, and community engagement.
As signers of the Clinton Foundation Climate Positive Development Program, the city and college are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions below zero by 2050 and 2025, respectively.
Second Nature’s “Celebrating Sustainability” series highlights the sustainability initiatives of finalists for the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards. Oberlin is also competing in a sustainability video competition. You can vote online for our student-produced video featuring our campus’s sustainability initiatives. Voting is permitted once every 24 hours.
Oberlin’s Ecolympics is a three-week competition between our residence halls in which students vie to reduce their electricity and water usage. The two dorms that reduce their electricity and water consumption by the largest percentage win, and there is also a prize for the dorm whose residents participate in the most Ecolympics-sponsored events.
This event is part of Campus Conservation Nationals, in which 250,000 students at 150 colleges and universities compete and try collectively to reduce electricity usage by one gigawatt hour.
These events are great. But what I find even more impressive is the breadth and depth of Oberlin’s ongoing, everyday commitment to sustainability. Those efforts include the Oberlin Project; the reuse and recycling initiatives our students are leading; the construction of the solar array on north campus; the energy monitoring system; and various research projects. Earlier this year, Oberlin was named the best four-year higher education institution by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools.
I want to thank and congratulate all the students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends of Oberlin, and—of course—Oberlin’s civic leaders and our fellow citizens for working so hard to make Oberlin a global model of sustainable development powered by education and the arts.
April is also a very musical month in Oberlin. In addition to the usual heavy slate of concerts, recital season is in full stride. Please go and support your conservatory friends in their public performances.
Oberlin’s 14th annual Dandelion Romp took place April 12 to14. This event brings a diverse group of folks from the college and the community together in Hales Gym for three days of great music and contra dancing. And this year’s edition was another great success.
Looking ahead, we’ve got three outstanding symposia happening this weekend.
First, the 2013 Senior Symposium, to which I want to invite everyone—but especially members of the senior class. This annual celebration of the academic and artistic accomplishments of members of the graduating class, will take place on Friday, April 26, from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Science Center.
Art students, scholars, and aficionados are in for a treat when the Allen Memorial Art Museum hosts Religion, Ritual, and Performance in the Renaissance Thursday, April 25, and Friday, April 26.
And on Friday, April 26, and Saturday, April 27, the country’s top labor economists, including several generations of alumni, will come together for the Learning and Labor Economics conference hosted by the Department of Economics.
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