Energy & Money

“I suggest we move to four-day school weeks starting with spring semester. Not only would that schedule save on overhead, it would also save our students in gas money.”

“I attended one of the discussion groups arranged on campus in the spring. We reviewed the possibility of creating electricity from methane and wind power. No cows are allowed to graze on the property but we do have lots of wind on the hilltop as we experience during our walking from building to building. Would it be possible to harness that wind power and use the electricity to generate some of MSSU’s power needs?

Also, solar power might be added to the buildings being built. New streetlights that would be solar and battery powered to transfer away from coal generated electricity. It would be a great selling point for the “green” students that might be interested in preserving our world.

“Green” insulation might be too late for the present buildings, but future building or repairs could advertise that MSSU is progressive and conscious of the latest technology.

Pittsburg State University has the wood technology, plastic technology and interior design that draw a type of student to it for their offerings. Crowder is known for its solar buildings and cars. Maybe Southern could offer something that the other campuses are not offering. Fill a niche that needs to be filled.”

“I am positive this has been already been suggested, so consider this another supporting vote in favor of finding alternative energy sources to reduce utility costs. Northwest Missouri State’s Web outlines steps it has made to decrease oil and gas dependency and how over the years has saved NWMSU more than $12 million.

While I do not know the age or condition of our current heating and cooling systems, I know that updating those could save the University many thousands of dollars in the first year alone and possibly pay for themselves in as little as five years. There are so many options available. Has anyone ever considered installing ground source heat pumps?

Currently, employees have the opportunity to give donations to some charities through payroll deduction and they are tax deductible. Could MSSU somehow allow employees to donate to a fund to contribute to the process? Personally, I have little to give, but I would definitely support such an endeavor, whether or not it is tax deductible.

I realize these things cost money to implement and may not be possible right now given our current financial strain. But please consider reducing our dependency on oil and gas as an “in the near future” improvement. Even baby steps toward using alternative energy are steps in the right direction. At a time when everyone likes throwing around the phrase “going green” and you have heard the words “green with envy,” I say MSSU should start a campaign to become “green with pride.”

[Editor’s note: Suggestions may be edited for length and clarity.]