Find better ways to spend money
Today as construction rattles the walls of campus here at MSU, I can’t help but object to some of the information contained in the article “New construction projects replace parts of campus,” published Sept. 15.
As stated in the article, we plan to spend about $18.5 million on repairs being made to the ventilation and heating systems along West Circle Drive. Although I agree an upgrade is in order, I feel there is a significantly better way to “(get) our money’s worth” out of the new system.
In contrast to a mere replacement of parts, we should be transitioning our buildings toward renewable energy sources during this time of change.
According to MSU’s Energy Transition Steering Committee, it is our goal as a university to run on 20 percent renewable energy (as compared to the 3 percent we use now) by 2020. And what better way to move close to our objectives than to replace our deteriorating systems with renewable energy.
I concede that replacing our steam chillers with alternative and renewable models likely will be more expensive initially, but throughout the next few decades we will in turn save money due to reduced energy costs.
The expenses noted above don’t even include the external costs of health care for the students plagued by our coal plant’s pollution. As we lessen those, our costs as a university will fall further still.
The switch to alternative energy is supported by countless groups on campus, and therefore, a large percentage of students. MSU Beyond Coal, in conjunction with the MSU Eco and several other groups are gathering more and more support each day as the student body continues to express their desire for alternative power.
Four other schools in the Big Ten have already committed to move to 100 percent renewable energy, and as an innovative institution that prides itself on being “Spartan green” it would make sense in more ways than one for us to do the same.
Kevin Adams, MSU Beyond Coal spokesperson and chemical physics freshman