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RIT gets the grade

(October 15 2009) Written by: Amanda Williams

The College Sustainability Report Card ranked over 300 schools on their sustainability efforts. RIT gets top grade.  Campus operations, dining services, endowment investment practices and student activities were evaluated to determine what grade the college will receive.  RIT received a B overall, denoted as a Campus Sustainability Leader, placing it in the top 100 schools.  The complete list of campus sustainability leaders can be found here.     

picture_17.pngI remember taking the survey to evaluate RIT’s sustainability practices.  I was on the fourth floor of the library studying for a test in Environmentally Sustainable Management and preparing a presentation for Energy Policy.  My mind was on sustainability, what better time to leave feedback for RIT, not knowing at the time it would be used for the College Sustainability Report Card.   

I was a little harsh on RIT in the survey, but only to motivate them to develop more sustainable practices. In the lengthy comments that I left, I complained about the transportation and energy wastes. RIT has poor campus planning.  The campus is not conducive for walking.  Buildings are spread out and the campus housing not located near the academic buildings.  The public transportation is lacking and all faculty have to drive to campus.  Not that RIT can change the campus layout at this point but why was there no consideration for this when building Park Point? Why did RIT agree to build great campus housing that does not allow for students to walk to class.  Seems unreasonable to me.  Perhaps Wilmorite wanted a convenient location in hopes of increasing traffic in the restaurants? Seems about right to me.  Riverknoll is the only housing complex that students could walk to campus.  Now it has been knocked down.

Next I went off about energy consumption.  There is no incentive for students to save electricity as RIT foots the bill for electric in all campus apartments.  Students waste energy by leaving lights on, cranking up the heat, and having a mini-fridge in every room. A few years ago RIT sent out a notice that energy prices where increasing and in order to pay the energy bill they would raise our tuition.  This is not an incentive for students to be conservative on the energy use.  Students should have to pay for their own energy bill. 

 I then proceeded to complain about the use of disposable utensils and dinning ware on campus and the amount of food wasted in Gracie’s.  RIT has come a long way even since I started as a student but there is still a long way to go.     

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