New outdoor charging stations support campus sustainability

Some students might have noticed new tables with solar panels by Cedar Hall. These are just one part of a greater sustainability plan by the university.

This plan has been created by the sustainable grounds committee, which is headed by Associate Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Amanda Marsili.  

“The committee had been working for quite some time on thinking about areas in and around campus that we wanted to focus on,” Marsili said. “The thought was making things more sustainable and in that, finding areas for students to be outside and enjoying the grounds.”

The plan has also led to the lowering of a wall to create more seating, building a new wall by one of the paths and paving a new walkway. There will also new sustainable plants, according to Marsili.

Marsili said the plan came to fruition after a walkthrough of campus by the committee and members of the administration. At that point, the group came to the consensus that Cedar Hall was the place to focus on. 

The tables were a nice addition to the plan, according to Marsili. “They met a lot of needs.”

“This is a great use of space for students to take advantage of,” she said. “Hopefully [we] secure more project funding and get more tables.”

“We were trying to dress up the area of Cedar and create a little hangout area for the students,” said Matt Clement, grounds supervisor for the university. “How cool would it be to just sit out there on your laptop and work on your homework.”

Clement said creating a communal space for students was extremely important.

“There’s not enough areas on campus for students to just congregate,” he said. “It’s a good little hangout area.”

According to Clement, the tables will be removed this winter to protect them from the winter weather. However, he said he thinks they will be very popular come springtime. 

More solar tables will be installed around campus in the future, including some near Willow and Stonewall residence halls, according to Clement. The new campus master plan, set to be released this year, also takes sustainability into account.

“I think it’s part of a much bigger picture,” Clement said. “We’re constantly looking for ways to become more sustainable.”