By Cindy (Binh) Nguyen
Layout & Design Editor
A new solar charging station will be inaugurated at FDU Metropolitan by The Green Team, FDU’s environmental club run by students.
Installing the solar powered charging station has been one of The Green Team’s most urgent environmental action plan. “It took us a year to make this dream come true,” said Yara Bittar, a junior student at FDU and vice president of The Green Team.
Prior to the unveiling of the station, The Green Team developed a detailed fundraising strategy and collaborated with The Green Club from FDU Florham to raise money as well as sending out surveys.
“The Green Team managed to get the Independent College Fund of NJ’s $10,000 grant for the two solar charging stations,” Bittar said, “which includes one on the Metropolitan and one on Florham campus.”
Having this equipment on campus helps students, staff and faculty at FDU be more aware of solar energy as a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. This system converts solar energy to electricity and stores it in a battery bank. The station also has a microcontroller that prevents the batteries from being overcharged.
According to junior Victoria Demmene, the charging station which was placed behind the Student Union Building provides a convenient and free of charge method to charge mobile devices such as cellphones, laptops and tablets.
An outdoor power source not only encourages students to spend more time outside but also minimizes the demand for power from other methods.
“The station definitely costs a lot,” Demmene told The Equinox, “but now The Green Team got that out of their way, it is cool that the university has their first two stations that provide electricity through permanent and natural energy.”
The Green Team will promote the newly installed station. On the challenges facing the team’s advertising efforts, David Lisboa – a junior and The Green Team’s PR officer – pointed out that many FDU students’ lack of knowledge and care for the environment is a major obstacle. “We need to look at the bigger picture and start taking responsibility,” Lisboa said.
“Our planet will run out of energy if people keep generating electricity from oil and gas,” Bittar said, “so everyone needs to be involved, and you don’t have to be a part of The Green Team to do that.” By spreading the word about the availability of renewable energy on campus or equipping them with basic knowledge of different forms of energy, students can be effective change-agents.
The newly installed solar charging station is a fresh beginning for FDU Metro to develop efficient energy sources that match modern technology. If successful, this project will create a more environmentally friendly campus and further motivate other colleges to adopt this new technology.
In the long run, FDU may consider investing in another solar battery charging station on campus, preferably near the Frank Giovatto library or Dickinson Hall. Given the array of options on the market, FDU can choose what best meets the budget and the needs of each campus.
The Green Team preparing for the unveiling of FDU Metro’s first solar charging station.