Emissions Admission: Duke Buys a ‘Carbon Farm’

The Chronicle: “With the purchase of rights to a roughly 16-square mile ‘carbon farm’ in eastern North Carolina, Duke University has potentially taken a big step towards carbon neutrality. The Hyde County farm could store enough carbon to help neutralize most of the University’s emissions to help it hit its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2024 … To reach that goal, Duke would need to cut its emissions by 84 percent in the next six years.”

“The farm—on peatlands that were once drained for agriculture use—works by locking carbon in the soil and plants by using ‘enhanced land management and conservation practices.’ It’s a new practice aimed at combating global warming.”

“Sixteen percent of Duke’s emissions come from employees that commute to work, according to a recently released report. As part of its vision to become carbon neutral, Duke plans to create better access to transit, to boost carpool networks and to back electric vehicle usage, among other things. Duke has also shifted away from coal and natural gas, and its new buildings use less energy.”

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Which ‘College Towns’ Are Best?

Mlive: “The personal finance website Wallethub has once again named the home of the University of Michigan the best small college town in America in a survey released on Tuesday. This is at least the fifth-straight year Ann Arbor has claimed the top spot in the sub-category. Additionally, Ann Arbor was named the No. 3 college town overall, trailing only Austin, Texas, the home of the University of Texas and Orlando, the home of the University of Central Florida.”

“Wallethub analysts compared more than 400 U.S. cities of varying sizes based on 30 key indicators of academic, social and economic opportunities for students including cost of living, quality of higher education, nightlife and crime rate. Ann Arbor’s rank is thanks in large part to its ranking in the social environment category where it is No. 23. The category examines several factors including amount of young people, gender balance, nightlife, cafes, breweries, food trucks, shopping centers, sports, festivals and attractions.”

Read the entire report here.

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The Tower & Girl of UT Austin

UT Austin: “For more than 80 years, the UT Tower has been the academic symbol and architectural emblem of The University of Texas at Austin. The 307-foot-tall Tower … is a commanding symbol of pride on the Austin skyline, especially at night. From its beginning, the Tower has been bathed in a combination of orange and white light to celebrate academic honors and sport victories … Most commonly used, the top glows orange to commemorate regular-season victories or a conference title in any intercollegiate sport, and it stands dark on somber occasions.”

“The Main Building and its tower were originally designed to serve as the campus central library … librarians were stationed on every other floor. They would roller skate to retrieve requested books and send them down to the desk via dumbwaiter to the students below … In recent years, the Main Building has been renewed as space for students. Within the atrium of the Life Sciences Library, freshmen now attend classes in small seminar rooms.”

“Above the Observation Deck are the bells of the Knicker Carillon, which ring on the quarter hour. With 56 bells, the carillon is the largest and heaviest in Texas, with the low B flat 2 bell weighing in at 7,350 pounds and the high G7 a mere 20 pounds … And above the carillon is one final sight to behold, but you’ll need binoculars. The building’s very top is home to a peregrine falcon, nicknamed ‘Tower Girl.’ She is the — ahem — apex predator of the Forty Acres. Tower Girl lives in Austin year round, and this fastest of all animals on Earth can be seen dive-bombing unfortunate grackles, pigeons and other prey.”

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Monserrat: Climbing Mountains at Holy Cross

Holy Cross: “From their very first days on campus, Montserrat challenges students to expand their idea of where and how learning happens by intentionally blurring the boundary between classroom, residence hall and co-curricular activities. The program’s design pushes students to make connections between parts of their lives that are sometimes seen as separate: learning, living, and doing.”

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Well Spoken: Bike-Friendly Schools

Kentucky.com: “The University of Kentucky was named the most bike-friendly college in America by the non-profit group League of American Bicyclists, which uses results from an annual survey. Schools are evaluated based on the Five E’s: engineering a safe bike network, education by incorporating bikes into the class room, encouragement in motivating students to bike, enforcement in protecting riders and evaluation in forming committees to improve campus cycling.”

The other top schools “are University of Maryland, College Park; Harvard University, Dickinson College, University of Utah, University of Vermont and University of Washington.”

“Amelia Neptune, program director of the bicycle league, said UK stood out due to its incentives for students and faculty members. Those include a free bike-share membership or $200 to spend at a local bike shop, as well as offering students who don’t bring cars to school free access to bike rentals. UK also hired a full-time coordinator to oversee its support for cycling, the league said.”

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What Is Campus Life *Really* Like?

Her Campus: “It might seem silly, but a meme page can tell you more about a college than you’d think … Inside jokes between students can be about anything—fights with rival schools, the gross dining hall food and super strict professors. If you can learn about the things students usually make fun of or complain about on campus, you’ll have a much better idea of what student life is like. Just don’t take everything at face value—it’s a meme page, after all.”

“Instagram is a great way to find out about student lifestyle at a university. You can look through public pictures and comments posted by students there, and even reach out to someone if you’re interested. Most likely, they’d be willing to speak with you. Just make sure it’s not the school’s official Instagram—it probably won’t be any more insightful than a brochure … college newspapers can hold a treasure trove of information for you. From opinion pieces to campus news, you’ll find all the details on student ideologies and the latest changes on campus.”

“Believe it or not, reading student responses on a site like Rate My Professors can tell you a lot about student life. Whether they’re angry or happy with their professors, you’ll be able to see if students are petty about their grades or have actual, intelligible responses.” And, finally: “Make sure you check your school’s College Confidential forum for anything you want to find out about student life—from academics to intramural sports. It’s a great resource that you should check out at least once.”

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Town & Gown: Colleges Develop Communities

The New York Times: “Many colleges and universities are taking a leading role in revitalizing local communities, recognizing that development not only can enhance the often fraught town-and-gown relationship but also make their institutions more attractive to students and faculty … Officials at the University of Maryland are working closely with local governments to create a zone called the Discovery District in College Park … The zone will include research firms, start-ups and shops and restaurants. A new hotel on university-owned land opened recently.”

“Other large universities are also working to strengthen partnerships with local governments and developers. During the past decade, officials at Yale have bought and redeveloped several commercial properties, leading to the creation of more than 110 new stores and restaurants in New Haven.”

“Drexel University in Philadelphia has completed about $500 million in real estate development since 2010 … In 2017, Drexel and the developer Brandywine Realty Trust broke ground on the Schuylkill Yards project, a $3.5 billion, 14-acre development that will include commercial laboratories as well as residential, retail, office and academic space … The development boom near campuses is not happening just in big cities. Smaller development has been spurred by the University of Toledo in Ohio, the Brownsville campus of the University of Texas and Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

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Delaware to Demolish Christiana Towers

Delaware Online: “The University of Delaware has announced it will be closing both 17-story Christiana Towers residence halls at the end of the 2018-19 school year, several years earlier than expected. The plan had been to shutter the nearly 50-year-old Towers in 2023-24, after building a new residence hall. While the Towers were considered fairly innovative when they first opened in 1972, they are now a drain on resources and require heavy maintenance, university officials have said.”

“Closing them now may save money, but also creates a housing shortage. The Towers were still an option when students filled out their applications for 2019-20 housing, and many indicated a preference for apartment-style living. Students that can no longer be accommodated in remaining on-campus apartments have been notified they will have to live elsewhere, according to an announcement on UDaily, the university’s online news service.”

“The university plans on eventually demolishing the Towers, putting an end to an era and destroying one of UD’s most recognizable landmarks. On Facebook, hundreds of students and alumni shared stories about living there, as well of pictures of their apartments.”

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Lehigh vs. Lafayette: A Rivalry for the Ages

WFMZ: “The annual Lafayette-Lehigh college football game took place Saturday afternoon in Easton. Better known as The Rivalry, it is the most-played football rivalry in the nation … The Leopards and Mountain Hawks own the most-played football rivalry in the nation. Prior to Saturday’s game, the two had played 153 times since 1884 with Lehigh taking the last three but Lafayette owning the all-time series record.”

“This is the only game that matters. None of the other games really matter,” Lafayette senior Magee said. “As I say to my buddies every year, it’s always a one-game season,” 1989 Lehigh grad Jeff Gendel said. “If you beat Lafayette it’s a good year. If you don’t beat Lafayette it wasn’t the best year.” But just having “The Rivalry” continue on is enough for some. “No matter how good or bad the teams are every year, there’s always something to play for and that’s to beat your arch rival on Lehigh-Lafayette football day.”

Lehigh won, 34-3.

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