For Immediate Release—Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007


Mary E. McCrank

Media Relations Officer

(585) 245-5516

Geneseo Environmental Organization Tackles Energy Waste at SUNY Geneseo

Student challenge to begin Thursday, March 1

Geneseo, N.Y.—The Geneseo Environmental Organization at the State University of New York at Geneseo is coordinating an energy saving contest between the college's 14 residence halls. The contest is aimed at limiting the amount of electricity used by students who live on campus.

The residence hall with the least energy consumption per student will win the contest, which will run from March 1 through April 30.

"We want to encourage people to think more about the impact they have daily on the environment, whether that is turning off the lights or shutting down their computer at night," says Steve Tulowiecki, a senior English major from Orchard Park, N.Y., and student president of the Geneseo Environmental Organization. "Since students aren't directly paying the bill for their energy use, they aren't aware of the waste it produces, both financially and in terms of the environmental impact."

"We have received a lot of positive feedback and support from students and the administration so far," says Tulowiecki. "We hope that students in the residence halls will take this challenge to live in a more environmentally friendly way."

The college's environmental task force, which is charged with evaluating the environmental and financial impact of the college's activities, approved the students' proposal to hold the energy saving contest. The facilities services department also agreed to work with the Geneseo Environmental Organization and will provide historical data and current energy readings in order to accurately determine a winner of the contest.

"The Geneseo Environmental Organization's proposal of an energy saving contest supports the task force's efforts in raising student awareness of energy conservation for both environmental and financial reasons," says Kirk Spangler, assistant director of facilities services for the college and chair of the environmental task force. 

The Geneseo Environmental Organization also is working this semester to change the printing defaults on campus computers to print documents double sided in order to eliminate waste.

"Many Geneseo students feel that printer defaults should be set to print double sided in order to save paper," says Tulowiecki. "We hope to reach this goal by the end of the semester, since new printing software purchases would go into effect beginning in the fall of 2007. 

"We have already surveyed half the professors on campus in order to learn their views on the subject.  We also plan on working with the environmental task force to spread awareness of this issue," says Tulowiecki. 

Last semester, the Geneseo Environmental Organization helped sponsor a screening of "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary about global warming. The group also wrote an article about what students can do to conserve paper and print more efficiently in Computing and Information Technology's "CIT NewsBytes."

The Geneseo Environmental Organization is working with the Inter-Residence Council and the National Residence Hall Honorary in its efforts to limit electricity use among students on campus. Portions of the financial savings will be given to an environmental cause organization on campus.

For more information, contact Steve Tulowiecki at or (716) 868-0977.


Written by Joe Mignano, public relations intern in the Office of Communications and Publications.