The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU-in-Taos seeing a little more green

For the first time, SMU-in-Taos switched to “green” energy, meaning the electricity used to light and heat the campus in 2007 will come from environmentally friendly windmills.

“It may be a small step, but it’s an important step,” said Adler, who made the initial decision to purchase 95 blocks of “green” energy.

SMU-in-Taos, a satellite campus of Southern Methodist University, will purchase the new energy from the Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. Kit Carson operates under parent company Tri-State Generation and Transmission, which offers consumers wind-generated energy in place of coal-fired power plants.

The blocks of energy from Kit Carson cost $2.50 per kilowatt-hour, meaning an approximate 5 percent increase in cost for the SMU-in-Taos campus. According to Kit Carson, buying a single kilowatt-hour block of “green” energy saves the equivalent fossil-fuel energy from driving a car for 2,400 miles.

The SMU campus at Fort Burgwin, located 8 miles outside of Taos, N.M., regards energy conservation as a top priority. According to Adler, it is the main reason the campus does not operate during the winter season. The cost of energy to heat the campus would far exceed the program’s budget.

Fort Burgwin, built in 1852 and restored by SMU in the 1960s, houses not only the archeological field school and holds summer classes for SMU students but also provides continuing education courses for adults. The campus is open from May through August.

Upon the students’ arrival at Fort Burgwin in May, Adler plans to devote time educating the students on his decision to switch to green energy.

“My hope is that students will think twice about leaving the lights on when they find out what we’re trying to do; that alone should make up the cost difference,” said Adler.

The switch to windmill powered energy serves as one of many steps the SMU-in-Taos has taken to make Fort Burgwin a more environmentally friendly campus.

The SMU-in-Taos Executive Board, with the guidance of Adler, recently helped develop a new master plan for the campus that includes collaborations with LEED, Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design, to make updates throughout the campus, which includes plans to integrate solar power into several buildings at Fort Burgwin.

SMU-in-Taos will hold three summer school sessions in 2007. One hundred and ten May term students will arrive at Fort Burgwin on May 11 and depart May 29. Summer I classes will be held from June 1 through June 27 and August term from July 27 to Aug. 14. Courses held during the three summer sessions range from Corporate Communication and Public Affairs classes, such as “Strategic Writing for the Non-Profit” to Anthropology courses like “Paradise Lost? The Archaeology and Ethics of Human Environmental Impacts.”

All of the courses taught at SMU-in-Taos have a focused curriculum involving the surrounding culture of the American Southwest.

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