New "ConservaBull" Program Will Make Residence Halls Greener

TAMPA, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2008) – Energy and water savings in campus residence halls are the ambitious goals of the University of South Florida’s new “ConservaBull” program – using friendly competition as the means. The program is the brainchild of USF Architecture and Community Design student Christopher Cox and now USF student group Emerging Green Builders has taken it on as a project, modeled on successful programs on other campuses.

Beginning this fall, several residence halls will compete with each other to determine which building conserves the most. The winning hall will receive a special prize along with its residence advisors who will also win awards for helping spread the message.

"We are really excited to see the results," said Elizabeth Kaplon, USF’s assistant director for academic initiatives in USF housing. "We all know that our society has to change and this is a wonderful opportunity to educate students about environmental conservation and global warming and take the added step of doing something about it."

Christopher Cox brought the idea to USF’s sustainability committee and he has received support from the university’s physical plant department which will provide weekly energy consumption and monthly water consumption updates for each residence hall. Students will be able to check their buildings’ standings in the contest online.

"Chris and the folks at physical plant have done a wonderful job designing a program that can make a real reduction in carbon output by the university," said Robert Brinkmann, geography department chair and professor, and co-chair of USF’s sustainability steering committee.

The "ConservaBull" program is one of several efforts around USF’s campus to make progress toward USF’s strategic goals in the area of sustainability.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

– USF –