FSU named green school

(North Hall is one of the LEED certified residence halls on campus. Gatepost Archives.)

Framingham State University has been included on The Princeton Review’s list of green universities for the seventh time.

The Princeton Review is a college admission services company.

Each year the company ranks the top 375 universities in the country that offer up “the most exceptional commitments to sustainability based on their academic offerings and career preparation for students, campus apolicies, initiatives, and activities,” according to a press release from the company.

This year, Framingham State scored an 88 on a “green rating” scale of 60-99.

Carl Hakannson, associate professor of geography and author of FSU’s Climate Action Plan (CAP), said the purchase of The Warren Inn and Conference Center in 2016 positively influenced this year’s score. The Inn and surrounding conservation land is a viable space for the University to use as an interdisciplinary classroom in upcoming years, not just for the Environmental Studies program, which has already started using the space.

“When the other departments get to the Warren Center, I think that we can use it in a much broader sense,” he said.

He added, “It’s not just about being in the woods or being in the wetlands or banding birds … it’s a very natural setting and it should be a real plus for the University.”

Additonally, Hakannson said that while it may have seemed like “low-hanging fruit” compared to other projects, recycling has been a challenge to address.

“All it takes is throwing your stuff in the right barrel and our recycling rate is not nearly what we want it to be.”

With the completion of Hemenway Annex, as well as West and North halls, the Climate Action Plan will now focus on promoting awareness of environmental initiatives on campus and creating a more inclusive understanding of climate change across disciplines.

Maureen Bagge Fowler, environmental health and safety coordinator, said The Climate Action Plan, initiated in 2007 at FSU, has been credited with organizing and planning projects that have helped reduce emissions by 33 percent on campus.  Having a plan like this in place helps the school secure funding and recognition for green initiatives.

She added the largest contributor to reducing the campus’ carbon footprint was changing the power plant from oil to natural gas. Other projects completed by Dining Services have also helped in the effort to reduce emissions at FSU.

“My number one item that we did was convert the power plant from number 6 oil, which is an emitter of greenhouse gases, to natural gas,” she said.

Freshman Lauren LaPointe said “I think it’s important to be sustainable. It’s not why I came here, but it’s definitely not a bad thing.”

Executive Vice President Dale Hamel said, “While these investments have been significant – exceeding $5 million dollars – they have more significantly reduced annual operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Freshman John Decius said he’s noticed the printers in the library print on both sides of the page. “It’s good because that way there’s no wasted paper.”

Freshman Mya Brathwaite said she’s noticed there has been a lot of effort to encourage recycling on campus.

Marissa Vellucci, a freshman, said, “Having all of the separate recycling bins in the newer dorms is something I’ve noticed. They’re nice to have.”

Freshman Mariah Yoder said, “It’s always good to be bio-friendly.”

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