Not Just Maroon Anymore

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Published: August 30, 2007

The Ram Vans that transport students between the Lincoln Center and the Rose Hill campuses are maroon.  The backpacks given out during freshman orientation are maroon.  Even the couches in the McMahon Hall dorm rooms are maroon.  But now, Fordham is bleeding a new, environmentally friendly color—green.

Some would say that “going green” has been the dominant trend of 2007.  Reducing our “carbon footprint” is becoming a worldwide mission that people are taking seriously and striving to achieve.  As of June 6, Fordham is officially dedicated to reducing its “carbon footprint.”  Mayor Bloomberg has given Fordham the following test.  Can we, the Fordham community, reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2017?  It’s a big question that we hope will have a simple answer.

Yes.

We realize that this is the obvious answer and that some readers probably just rolled their eyes.  But think about it for a minute; each Fordham community member does not have to do that much to make this work.  Instead of tossing that empty bottle of Diet Coke into the trash can, put it in a blue recycling bin.  A few extra steps might be involved in trying to locate the blue bin, but hey, everyone can use the additional exercise.

Turning off lights and air conditioning/heating units in dorm rooms can also help.  After using the bathroom, turn the light off.  If all of the roommates are going to be out of town over the weekend, make sure the last person to leave turns off all lights and air conditioning units.

For those commuters who drive in, why not take the subway, train, or bus instead?  Regardless of whether you take these modes of transportation or not, they are still going to operate; so for once in your life, follow the crowd and take public transportation. Not only will those students be reducing their personal “carbon footprints” along with Fordham’s, they will be proof that Fordham students are concerned about the state of the environment.

The University has already taken the first steps to ensure that we pass Mayor Bloomberg’s test. The Lincoln Center and Rose Hill campuses now have building management systems that help save energy by regulating the heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems around the campuses. Many McMahon Hall dorm rooms received new GE energy-saving refrigerators, so Residential Life has already begun doing its part.

To echo the sentiments of Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham University, and Joan Cavanagh, associate director of Campus Ministry, expressed in the “Fordham Accepts Green Initiative” article, Fordham has taken on this challenge because it is our responsibility as a Jesuit institution to care for the earth that God has given us and to fulfill the Jesuit ideals that Fordham tries so hard to exemplify.

Keeping these ideas in mind, we find our mission to become a greener campus a personal battle. Does each student and faculty and staff member want to “go green” for themselves and the community?  Finding that part in all of us that wants to live in a cleaner and safer world is what we need to do to help Fordham pass Mayor Bloomberg’s test. Think about it as the ultimate final exam. We must pass this test to become a greener University, because if we don’t, the consequences will be far worse than having to repeat a class.

So welcome, class of 2011, to Fordham College at Lincoln Center and our already greener environment. We challenge you to see how green you can make Fordham during the next four years.