Lights off, hats off

The Record would like to express its overall support and enthusiasm for the anticipated return of Do it in the Dark. More than being just a catchy name, Do it in the Dark propounds both worthy and achievable goals. It proposes an accessible method of reducing energy consumption while addressing the behemoth of environmental concerns facing us, an often inaccessible subject. In light of the current debate on the broad-based and controversial approach of divestment, Do it in the Dark’s return to the College campus creates a welcome juxtaposition between approaches. It reminds us that, alongside pushing for important policy change, smaller daily action is also valuable to environmental change.

Specifically, we would like to commend the structure of the campaign. Limiting it to a week should generate a more engaged and active competition and prove once again that private and modest actions make meaningful differences in the environment. Providing incentives such as the planned “puppy party,” tempting to any pet-deprived college student, will also encourage an active competitive spirit. Perhaps this could even be enhanced if the competition were to be expanded into an inter-collegiate event. The incentive of beating Amherst and proving ourselves to be more environmentally-minded would certainly be a productive one.

In fact, we at the Record would like to suggest that Do it in the Dark better seize its potential to become a more wide-reaching event. That the competition has not happened in the past three years is something to be rectified. We would like to propose that it happen more than once a year and that when it does occur, the actual competition be treated as a reminder for students to carry their energy-saving behavior further throughout the year.

The potential the campaign has for generating long-term results could certainly be harnessed more fully through an intensified publicity campaign. Placing stickers and posters in conspicuous areas such as restroom stalls and dining areas, sending regular emails with updates on energy use via housing coordinators and generally generating more discussion on the campaign could all contribute to greater awareness and engagement. The committee has already promised daily updates on Facebook and in Paresky Center concerning the week-long event. As such, we are simply recommending that the already existing publicity efforts be accelerated and enhanced. Overall, the idea is a great one with enormous potential, yet we at the Record think there is still room for improvement.

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