When I can in as a freshmen, there was a different president of the college than now. Jack Brennan, the namesake of Brennan Circle, on which the college holds it’s address, was proceeded by Paul Fonteyn, our current president. Fonteyn was chosen the spring of my freshmen year and began the next fall semester. There are many marked changes which were catalyzed by this new president.
While I am sure that there are many more changes, I would like to discuss those most obvious from the student perspective. The first is the construction of the biomass facility. This was an idea brought up by students years ago and Fonteyn implemented the plans. The new facility, which now provides the campus with heat, hot water, and some electricity, was being constructed most of my sophomore year. The biomass was up and running when we came back in the fall for junior year (or at least when it started getting cold). That winter was a little difficult because there were a lot of kinks to be worked out and many of us experienced some problems with the heat in our rooms and classrooms. This year, now that they have been able to run the facility at full capacity to work out the problems, it is much more successful. The school is continuing to make a concrete policy on how we can obtain all of our biomass from within a certain local radius.
This biomass facility, along with a few other changes in policy have helped us to achieve carbon neutrality and become the first college campus to achieve this goal through on-campus efficiency and the purchase of local carbon offsets. This also contributed to GMC being awarded Sierra Magazine’s Coolest School in 2010.
A slightly unrelated but major policy change that has occurred is the new smoking policy. During my sophomore year a new policy restricted where one could smoke cigarettes on campus. Before this, there was an un-enforced rule that you must be at least fifty feet away from any building while smoking, however, this was rarely adhered to. With this new policy came the term butt-hut. These are designated smoking areas, some are simple picnic tables, some are gazebo-style huts and you can only smoke cigarettes while in or very close to there areas. There was a lot of fuss from students about this particular new rule, however since that time, it seems that people have adjusted (not to mention that not many people where here when you could smoke any where). Personally, I don’t smoke so it doesn’t really affect me, however, there are significantly less cigarette butts laying around and you no longer have to follow someone who is smoking all the way to class.
Again, this was a blog continued from a previous blog and I believe there is another similar one to follow on the topic of changes that I have experienced in my three and a half years at Green Mountain.