For the second year in a row, Austin College’s Baker Hall has triumphed in a energy conservation competition between the school’s four oldest standing residence halls. Baker’s victory means that the charity of its choice, Habitat for Humanity, will receive a $300 donation from AC on behalf of the halls’ energy-conscious Kangaroos.

For the second year in a row, Austin College’s Baker Hall has triumphed in a energy conservation competition between the school’s four oldest standing residence halls. Baker’s victory means that the charity of its choice, Habitat for Humanity, will receive a $300 donation from AC on behalf of the halls’ energy-conscious Kangaroos.


This year, AC students living in the four dorms recorded a combined total of more than 11,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity saved during the event. Consumption during the contest was measured against a baseline of each building’s consumption.


Sarah Dillabough is a co-chair of AC’s Think, the student organization that holds the annual event to raise awareness of energy consumption and promote energy-saving habits. Dillabough said every year she is excited to see how every dorm manages to reduce electricity use.


The residents of Baker had an advantage since the building is the only all-male residence on the AC campus, Dillabough said. "It’s harder for girls to save electricity," she argued. "They tend to use a lot of hair electronics and whatnot."


Sophie Higgs, another co-chair of Think, was more reluctant to ascribe Baker’s victory to any gender: "That may be true," Higgs said, "but there are a lot of video games being played in guy’s halls, so you have to factor for that."


The light-hearted competition highlights Think’s mission of raising awareness about consumption habits on campus. "We focus on changing the behavior and the thought process here in the college community," Dillabough said. "But we also go out, especially during green serve. We do trash pick up and trail restoration."


The competition mainly focused on encouraging students to shut off electronic devices when not in use, turn off lights and unplug appliances, and take other energy-saving measure like opting not to use the dorm’s elevator.


Higgs said this year she saw continued enthusiasm from the residents of every dorm in their efforts to promote the competition and in the actual energy saved. "We made a lot of encouraging signs that say like, ‘Don’t have time to work out? Take the stairs instead!’" Higgs said. "More people are aware this year, and people were persistent. They lowered energy use every week. No hall went over their base line."