Following a month-long competition, Pritchard Hall has been named the winner of the 2012 Virginia Tech Eco-Olympics. Pritchard held off close competition from Hillcrest Hall and East Ambler Johnston to secure its first Eco-Olympics victory. 

The hall will showcase “Recycle Man,” a human-sized trophy made from recycled scrap metal, in its lobby until next year’s competition. The event was sponsored by the Student Government Association, the Office of Energy and Sustainability, Housing and Residence Life, and the Virginia Tech Electric Service.

“Getting residents to attend Eco-Olympics events really helped put Pritchard on top,” said Kyle Gardiner, director of sustainability for the Student Government Association. “Pritchard consistently earned points for the number of residents who attended programs and information sessions, and at the end of the day, that made all the difference.”

Established by former student Alex Funk in 2010, the Eco-Olympics are an annual inter-residence hall competition to see which hall is most successful in reducing electricity usage and water consumption.

Each week during the competition, the electric service measured electricity and water use of every residence hall. To ensure a level playing field, residence halls were grouped by size and function. Points were awarded weekly based on how much electricity and water consumption was reduced. In addition, individuals earned prizes and extra points for their residence hall by attending sustainability-themed events held throughout the competition.

“The Eco-Olympics are a fantastic way to raise awareness about sustainability through a fun, engaging, and friendly-competition” said Alyssa Halle, graduate assistant with the Office of Energy and Sustainability.  Halle also noted that new to this year’s Eco-Olympics was the incorporation of water usage into the competition.

In addition to being the grand champion, Pritchard Hall also won the title of Large Residence Hall Winner. Other winners were: East Ambler Johnston Hall for Air-Conditioned Residence Halls; Newman Hall for Medium Residence Halls; Hillcrest Hall for Small Residence Halls; and Kappa Kappa Gamma for Oak Lane.

Also new to the 2012 competition were two additional categories. Slusher Hall won the Water Reduction category, and Payne Hall won the Electricity Reduction category.

Visit the Eco-Olympics on Facebook.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Kyle Gardner of Charlottesville, Va., a senior majoring in political science and philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and Alyssa Halle of Wilmington, N.C., a graduate student majoring in public administration and urban and regional planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

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