Science Building wins Wattage Wars

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Strider Van Arathorn–Staff Writer

In a surprising twist of events last week, Residence Life has declared the Science Building as the winner of Wattage Wars. West Hall has been awarded second place, and Southview Apartments will take third place.

“The results came completely out of left field,” said West Hall resident Rosie Cotton. “We had no idea the competition included all the buildings on campus.”

Residence Life director Derek Buteyn said that he spent most of Thanksgiving break going over statistics, such as water and electricity use, for every building on campus throughout the month.

“We wanted to make sure that the results accurately showed what took place over the course of the month,” he said. “Since many students spend most of their time in the classroom buildings, either in class or studying, we decided to count these buildings as residence halls.”

Students and professors alike seized the opportunity to include Wattage Wars in their classes. Computer science students hacked into the sensors that control the lights, effectively creating a building-wide blackout for the month. Chemistry professors cancelled labs to save water while engineering professors granted extensions on all homework needing a computer.

“It was nice to have some time off from homework this month,” said junior engineering student Sam Gafferson. “I didn’t know exactly what to do with myself, so I went over to the Grille and ordered a bunch of pizzas. I spent over half my Defender Dollars and probably doubled the Campus Center’s wattage use while at it.”

Gafferson wasn’t the only engineering student who used unusual methods to give their building an edge in the competition. A group of sophomore engineers adjusted the solar panels on top of the science building to make better use of the shorter days.

“We found out that people were checking the wattage meters to measure how many kilowatts we were using,” said Lee Christopher, one of the students who helped realign the solar panels. “We figured if we produced our own electricity, we could hobble along without anyone noticing until the competition was over. Most of us ended up using the extra electricity to charge our phones and computers.”

Other students took the opportunity to cause some mischief. Residents of North Hall are rumored to have turned off the hot water supply in East Hall. East Hall residents supposedly retaliated by raiding North Hall, turning on all the first-floor faucets, and leaving them running all night. RA reports, however, varied greatly on who was involved.

“I thought it was someone from the apartments,” said East Hall RA Bill Turner. “There were a couple of seniors who hung around every night last month.”

Through the efforts of creative students and professors, the Science Building reduced its electricity consumption by more than 30 percent. West Hall’s wattage dropped by 28 percent, and Southview’s went down by 25 percent.

“I would like to congratulate everyone on their efforts this month,” said Buteyn. “It was fun to see the innovative ways students used to reduce energy consumption and save the planet.”



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