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Eco-friendly living coming to WSSU

By Grace Anderson
On September 29, 2011

Grace Anderson


Eco-friendly living in the guise of "themed housing" is coming to Winston-Salem State.

High-recycled content carpeting, programmable thermostats, energy efficient appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs are just a few of the upgrades that will be used in a four-bedroom unit in Rams Commons this semester.

The upgrades, funded by Housing and Residence Life and donations from businesses such as Shaw Floors, are part of the University's sustainability initiative.  

The installations, set to begin fall break, will serve as  test plans for University themed housing.

Peter Blutreich, interim director and associate director of Housing and Residence Life,  proposed the idea of themed housing.  

He said that themed housing  is more conducive to student learning and student living. Projected themes include arts and drama, future teachers, and  women in science and health professions.

Select students who meet University requirements will have the option of living among like-minded students.

The sustainable housing initiative is one of the first housing options tested.

Four students were chosen to be in the pilot program.  David Butler is one of them.

"It's a great initiative for the school to take on and will teach students about sustainable living," Butler said.

"We live in a microwave society, " he said.

"Everyone is looking for a quick fix, but sustainability ensures long term success."     

Butler is a junior business management major from Charlotte.  

If the program is adopted, WSSU will be one of the few HBCUs providing  sustainable student housing.

"Offering sustainable housing is not only the right thing to do, but it is also an educational opportunity for students to see the life cycle cost of products and see firsthand how they can do their part," Blutreich said.

Timothy Richardson, a senior healthcare management major from Goldsboro, N.C. said that there is a need for the University to be involved in sustainable growth.

"It's  important because if the student population is aware of sustainable activities they can do, then they are able to take what they've learned home and pass it on to their friends and families," Richardson said.

Richardson said he would like to see the school offer more environmental-focused programs so that students can learn to do their part.

Students will be educated about the products, terminology and results associated with sustainability and living eco-friendly.

WSSU has gradually offered eco-friendly services on campus such as eliminating trays in the cafeteria, recycling bins throughout the campus and providing environmental friendly products in the cafeteria.


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