Monday, August 6, 2007

Sustainability: What Can We Do Now at Columbus State?


It’s hard to pick up a newspaper or watch TV without reading or hearing a story about “sustainability.”

Sustainability is the commitment to maintaining the environment for future generations. It means being energy efficient, reducing solid waste production, and creating markets for environmentally responsible goods.

At a recent Leadership Coffee meeting, Terri Gehr, senior vice president for Business and Administrative Services, outlined some ways that Columbus State is currently addressing sustainability, and how the college can increase its efforts in the future.

Gehr noted that state law requires the college to create a 15-year master plan for energy efficiency by December 2008, and that construction of the Delaware Campus will adhere to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Some of the many initiatives the college currently has undertaken include our cardboard, plastic and paper recycling plan, which currently recycles two tons of paper a month; the recycling of hazardous waste-containing products such as fluorescent lamps and ballasts, solvents, batteries and computer components; planting of native, drought-resistant species to minimize irrigation on campus; and upgrading temperature control systems and mechanical systems in older buildings.

The IT department has many initiatives as well, including using “Energy Star” compliant devices where possible; using a shut-down program every night at 11:30 p.m. to turn off PCs left running; recycling print cartridges; consolidating UNIX environments and servers to reduce energy consump-tion and maintenance costs; and reusing everything from office furniture and furnishings to used scratch paper in the student labs and the ERC.

Many more initiatives are under consideration for the future or under development at this time, according to Gehr. Some of these include using the heat generated by large servers and network devices to heat buildings; enhancing work-from-home options to reduce the energy consumption of commuting; eliminating ink-jet printers on campus which use more ink and cost more for ink cartridges; recycling cell phones; and the purchase of electric or battery-powered lawn mowers and weed trimmers.

Gehr asked the attendees of the meeting to think about what more the campus can do “right now.” There are several things that the college and its employees can do to painlessly reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, she said.

Turning lights off when leaving offices or classrooms is an easy, but critically important step to save electricity. By reducing our building temperatures in winter one degree and increasing it in summer by the same measure can save 3 percent to 6 percent on energy consumption. Scheduling classes to consolidate them into limited numbers of buildings can also help reduce heating and cooling requirements. Purchasing hybrid (gas/ electric) vehicles for use by Public Safety and Physical Plant would greatly reduce gas consumption by the college. And finally, using double-sided copying and printing saves paper and trees.


You Are Going to Laugh. . . Tuesday, August 14, at noon!

Join the college community and Ohio First Lady Frances Strickland outside near the statue as “Cheerman of the Bored” Steve Wilson accepts his Golden Laughter Award from L’Ecole Francaise du Rise—the French School of Laughter—for his untiring work demonstrating that laughter heals the human spirit.

President of L’Ecole du Rise, Corrine Coserron, will visit the United States and Columbus State Community College to make the presentation.

Immediately following the award ceremony, hilarity will ensue when Wilson and Coserron will lead students and employees in a Laughter Club demonstration.

It has been medically documented that the simple act of laughing out loud can lower blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, increase white blood cells and antibodies, and increase circulation. It has also been shown that humor need not even be involved!

The physical act of laughing together in a group setting provides all the benefits—no jokes are needed.

Wilson, who was the first chairman of Columbus State’s Mental Health/Chemical Dependency/Mental Retardation Technology in 1973, is a licensed clinical psychologist and a professional speaker. He established the Steven H. Wilson scholarship fund for students in the MH/CD/MR program in 1983, and he annually hosts the Humor Workshop to raise funds for the program.

Wilson is the founder of the World Laughter Tour, which has a mission of leading the world to health and happiness through laughter and the formation of “Laughter Clubs.”

The media have been invited to cover the Golden Laughter Award ceremony and Laugh Club demonstration, so come on outside and join the fun—you may be on TV!


Laugh Out Loud!

Columbus State publishes Student Success Plan

The Planning Committee for Higher Learning Accountability and Productivity of the Ohio Board of Regents recommends strongly that all of Ohio's public two- and four-year institutions publish their Student Success Plans online and link them through a gateway Web site

Provost Dr. Kay Adkins is on the steering committee for this endeavor. There are other faculty, library professionals, and administrators at Columbus State who have participated in working sessions with the committee this past year, including Jonathan Baker, Mokie Steiskal, Les King, and Libby Daugherty, who attended the Student Success Summit in June.

Columbus State's presence is now on the state map. Please check out the site and find out how we are leading the way in student-learning assessment in Ohio.


Bortz completes OSHA training

Dean Bortz, instructor and co-coordinator for the Construction Management program, just completed the OSHA #500 Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards
for the Construction Industry.

He is now authorized to instruct and issue course completion cards for the OSHA 10- and 30-hour Construction Safety and Health courses. The OSHA #500 course involves a thorough study and understanding of OSHA regulations, as well as documentation, hazards communications, planning and training in construction health and safety.