If you've been in Pulver lately, you know that this Friday, April 22nd is the kick off for Do It In the Dark Week. What you might not know is what Do It In the Dark Week is all about. I sat down with Danielle Sheppard '11, the creator and the driving force behind Do It In the Dark Week to find out more.
Do It In the Dark Week is a culmination of Sheppard's two-part senior seminar in engaged anthropology, and it is aimed at raising student's awareness of the role the individual plays in making a college greener. "When it comes to green issues, I think that most students are complacent, which can be frustrating," says Sheppard, "This project is trying to challenge that."
A statement supported by the survey Sheppard conducted aimed at gaging student's general awareness of the steps Colby has taken as an institution and their attitudes towards sustainability. "I saw a disturbing trend, not that students are indifferent but that they don't even know about the large sustainability initiatives that are already in place, for example, green graduation and Colby's steps towards becoming carbon neutral," says Sheppard, "things that I thought were well publicized. There is just a very low level of awareness when it comes to sustainability on campus."
Michael Herriman: So, what exactly is Do It in the Dark Week?
Danielle Sheppard: "It's simple, it's a week long competition between dorms to reduce electricity and water consumption," says Sheppard, "it's based on a model that has worked at other campuses. I was hoping to be able to measure each individual dorms consumption, however, unfortunately the school does not have meters in place, so I will be judging the competition based upon the participation in each dorm. And, the winning dorm will receive a Slip and Slide, just for that dorm, on Chapel Hill on April 30th."
Sheppard has been working closely with CA's, so that people can either sign up in Pulver at the table or with their CA's. "Every student that signs the pledge will get a door hanger to show that they are participating," says Sheppard.
M: Are there any other events tied to Do It in the Dark Week?
D: "Yes, on Friday, April 22nd, we are going to have a Dine in the Dark event. Dining services has agreed to turn off the lights for Friday night dinner from 6-7, and hopefully we will be having some performances to help kick off the week," says Sheppard.
"It really is individual efforts make all the difference,"says Sheppard.
So, be a part of the solution and sign up for Do It In the Dark Week today! And, while your at it get your neighbors to sign up too!