--Initiative is the Latest Step in the College’s Continuing Commitment to Provide
a Healthier Learning and Working Environment and Reduce Its Carbon Footprint--
FLUSHING, NY, January 12, 2012—Now visitors and students can take a deep breath anywhere on Queens College’s 77-acre campus, thanks to a tobacco-free policy that went into effect on January 1. The new policy bars the use of tobacco in any form, including chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes, on college grounds--including doorways, stairwells, athletic fields, and parking lots. The new mandate is part of the Healthy CUNY and New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Tobacco Free Campus Initiative.
The college has created a website, http://www.qc.cuny.edu/about/sustainability/Pages/Tobacco-free.aspx, which directs students, faculty and staff to services to help them break the habit.
The tobacco-free initiative is just the latest in the college’s already healthy “green” approach to campus life. The Buildings and Grounds office has spearheaded the effort to help the college comply with the goals of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s CUNY Sustainability Project, which aims to reduce CUNY’s carbon footprint by 30 percent in 10 years. In 2011, the college collected about 15,000 tons in scrap metal and close to 11,000 tons of paper.
“The college continues to make significant progress in achieving the goals in our 10-year sustainability plan,” says Katharine Cobb, vice president for Finance and Administration and head of the college’s Sustainability Committee. “Among them are a number of building retrofits, which have added new features to older systems and are saving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.
“And we’re delighted that the Summit was awarded LEED gold status,” she adds. The college’s first residence hall, which opened in 2009, earned gold certification in November 2011 for its sustainable approach to the use of energy, lighting, water and material use, among a variety of other “green” strategies. The LEEDS rating system was established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
Future plans include providing solar-powered chargers for cell phones and laptops; renovating bathrooms with technologies that minimize hot water usage and paper towel consumption (so far, 40% of the college’s 380 bathrooms have been renovated); installing white roofs to diminish the effects of intense summer sunlight; and e-recycling of discarded cell phones and laptops, which would be given to organizations that refurbish and send them to countries that need them. There are also plans to enlist students to both beautify the campus and improve its carbon footprint by planting more trees.
Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY), founded in 1937, is dedicated to the idea that a first-rate education should be accessible to talented individuals of all backgrounds and financial means. Its more than 20,000 students come from over 150 nations and speak scores of languages, creating an extraordinarily diverse and welcoming environment. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. Each year since TK, Queens College has been cited by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. More information on Queens College is available at www.qc.cuny.edu.