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"Green Suite" Earth-friendly Dorm Opens for Bobcat Day

April 13, 2007

MERCED - The University of California, Merced’s Green Suite will open its doors to the public on Saturday, April 14, in conjunction with Bobcat Day. The first space of its kind in the Central Valley, the Green Suite is a showcase of environmentally friendly practices and products located in UC Merced student housing. The unoccupied three-room suite will be part of the standard UC Merced campus tours and will educate thousands of people every year on how to lead a “greener” lifestyle.

“We wanted to do something that would show people some concrete steps they could take to live a more sustainable lifestyle, particularly people who are going to be living here on campus,” said Samantha Bryant, a second-year student at UC Merced and one of the organizers behind the Green Suite project.

To this end, the Green Suite features environmentally friendly versions of products found in an average student’s room, such as a computer monitor and a television that are energy-efficient. A sign for each product explains the benefits of purchasing the environmentally friendly product and discusses sustainability in general.

The Green Suite also features information on UC Merced’s green building policies and on the activities of campus student groups. “So much planning went into making UC Merced a green campus, and we want everyone who comes to UC Merced to be aware of that,” said Heather Poiry, another second-year student who also helped to organize the Green Suite Project.

The Green Suite was developed through close student-staff collaboration. UC Merced Housing Director Leslie Santos and LEED Coordinator Mark Maxwell were both instrumental in realizing this project. Student project organizers were Heather Poiry, Samantha Bryant and Patricia Solomon, all second-year students at UC Merced and interns in the Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program.

Products for the Green Suite were donated by Best Buy or purchased by the Green Campus Program through grants from Pacific Gas & Electric. UC Merced donated the space for the Green Room and covered printing costs associated with signage.

For more information contact on the Green Suite, contact

* Mark Maxwell: (209) 228-4465, (209) 675-8356, mmaxwell@ucmerced.edu

* Heather Poiry: (760) 912-6370, hpoiry@ucmerced.edu

* Samantha Bryant: (760) 219-3132, sbryant@ucmerced.edu

For more information on the Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program, contact

* Andy Coghlan: (510) 451-4081, acoghlan@ase.org

The Green Campus Program ( www.ase.org/section/program/greencampus) seeks energy savings on university campuses through a student-led education and outreach campaign to identify and reduce energy waste through improvements in energy use behaviors, student purchasing decisions, and operations changes. Green Campus was developed by the Washington, D.C.-based Alliance to Save Energy and is funded by California ratepayers under the auspices of Pacific Gas & Electric Company and the University of California /California State University/ Investor-Owned Utility Energy Efficiency (UC/CSU/IOU EE) Partnership. Green Campus currently serves 12 California university campuses.

The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.

Bobcat Day is UC Merced’s annual open house for prospective students and their families. Along with the Green Suite, visitors to campus can view other dorms, classrooms, the dining center and other campus facilities. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 14. More activities on campus associated with the Fairy Shrimp Festival and the Family Art Show will continue into the evening hours.