Students employed by the college as Environmental Quality Assistants, or EQAs, have been an integral part of sustainability programs at Marlboro for several years. But this year there is a bumper crop of EQAs on the job, six in all, rising to address several environmental challenges at once. They report directly to the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) on a range of projects from improving energy use on campus to researching the Climate Action Plans at other colleges.
“The EQAs are essentially the day-to-day action arm of the EAC, which advises the president on issues of policy and planning,” said Matt Ollis, math professor and chair of the EAC. “I was thrilled with the number of people interested in the position, all of them with talents to bring, and I continue to get inquiries.”
Among the valuable projects the EQAs are working on, they are assessing and applying weatherstripping around doors and collecting data on windows left open (and shutting them) and lights left on (and turning them off). They are installing LED light bulbs all around campus, with the goal of removing nearly all incandescent light bulbs by the end of the academic year. Members of the team are developing helpful signage for recycling bins, and to remind people to close windows and doors tight. Along with the dining hall staff they are launching the self-assessment required for participation in the Real Food Challenge, and collecting mugs and plates that find their way into dorms. They are even designing and building a tricycle cart for collecting compostables at events.