Computer labs go green

Computer labs go green

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Each green lab has to be certified.  The James C. Jernigan Library was the first lab to be certified.
Each green lab has to be certified. The James C. Jernigan Library was the first lab to be certified.

Computer labs across campus may seem a little cooler than usual, as more of them are making shifts to become green.

The changes began last year, during TAMUK’s Sustainability Week, which is dedicated to promoting awareness of cutting down on waste and becoming more energy efficient. The initiative is known as the Green Certifications Program.

The Library Commons in Jernigan Library became the first lab to get certification, but other labs are beginning to catch up, like the computer lab in the College of Business Administration.

“They’ve been very proactive,” said Greg Rodriguez, energy steward in the Office of Sustainability.

“Some of things we did included lowering the brightness on monitors, and lowering the light levels which helps decrease temperatures,” said Shawn Speckman, technology coordinator in the College of Business Administration.

To get certification, labs also had to install GoPrint to enforce student printer limits. Speckman said the idea isn’t to reduce expenses, but to reduce waste by encouraging students to only print what’s necessary.

“It’s not to offset college’s costs,” he said. “It’s to put (the responsibility) in the student’s hands.”

Some of the responsibility also falls on TAMUK professors. A quarter of each college’s faculty has to go paperless in order to meet another certification requirement. The College of Business Administration has met that requirement.

“So far, we have seven professors that are 100 percent paperless,” Speckman said.

Though some professors had to adjust to go paperless, others had already been doing that before the initiative.

“There are certain professors who are sustainable in their practices,” said Laura Prange, Director of the Office of Sustainability. “We’re trying to support it and promote it.”

The Green Certification Program is still relatively young, so the requirements of certification aren’t finalized yet, Prange said.

“It’s pretty well developed, but it’s going through some refinement,” Prange said.

“We’re just trying to get the details ironed out to make the transition as smooth as possible,” Rodriguez added.

Still, feedback from each college has been positive, Prange said.

“The deans of the colleges were unanimously supportive,” she said. “It just takes time for this kind of program to be implemented.

Fares Sabawi
Managing Editor