The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 20, 2003, Image 7

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Thursday, November 20, 2003
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A plug in
every outlet
College students are
taking more appliances
and gadgets into their
dorm rooms, forcing
colleges to spend
hundreds of thousands
of dollars in upgrading
electrical systems.
Most outlets in the
United States are rated
for 15 amps.
SOURCE: Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Average amount
of electricity in
amps needed to
run appliances:
less than
1 amp
with scanner
and printer
Two plate
hot plate
Color 36-inch 1500 watt
television space heater
Refrigerator Toaster
s students use more power,
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By James Hannah
OXFORD, Ohio — Steve
eslie’s dorm room at Miami
Jniversity has 20 plugs sprout-
ng from the walls.
They power a color TV,
Itereo, compact disc and DVD
players, video game player, desk
top computer and laptop, printer,
canner, refrigerator, microwave
nd two fans. Then there are
chargers for a cell phone, hand-
eld computer, camera, electric
zor and toothbrush.
T just keep adding stuff,”
lid Leslie, 20, a junior who
[hares the room with another
[tudent. “I fill up my car and my
ad’s truck. Some of the bigger
[tuff, (ike the speakers, have to
tvait for the second trip.”
Today’s collegians are part of
! generation raised on electron
ics, and colleges are having no
Ihoice but to spend hundreds of
thousands of dollars to upgrade
Ilectrical systems. Often, the
[ipgrade costs are getting passed
In to parents and students in the
|m of higher fees.
“It looks like Circuit City in
tone of those rooms,” said Dan
Bertsos, director of residence
tervices at Wright State
[Jniversity near Dayton.
New and renovated dorms at
exas Christian University in
Worth are being wired to
fandle the increasing load.
“Kids used to come to college
ith an AM radio and an electric
hzor. Now they arrive with every
plectronic device there is,” said
Roger Fisher, director of residen
tial services. “They come to
campus in a U-Haul, and Dad
follows in a Suburban.”
The average freshman at
Miami University takes 18
appliances to campus, according
to a March survey by the school.
As part of a $7 million reno
vation of one dorm, Ogden Hall,
the university spent $212,548 in
2000 to add building substations,
electrical distribution panels and
electrical outlets. The 7,000 stu
dents who live on campus pay an
extra $ 100 a year in housing fees
to cover the renovation costs.
“These days the students’
lives are quite changed. They
need more appliances,” said
Takashi Kawai, a 64-year-old
Dayton-area man whose son
lives in a dorm at Miami.
In a renovation a few years
ago, Wright State doubled to
four the number of electrical out
lets in each of the 162 rooms at
Hamilton Hall, increased the
number of circuit breakers,
installed new electrical-switch
gear and rewired fuse boxes and
dorm rooms. The cost was about
$500,000, or $1,000 per student.
At Penn State University,
electrical consumption in
October was 33 million kilowatt
hours, up from 27 million in
October 1996. The school’s
electric bill is about $1 million a
month. Paul Ruskin, with the
university’s physical-plant
office, said power use by the
13,000 student residents con
tributed to the increase.
Some officials say higher
energy costs, campus expan
sions, lighting and the addition
of computer labs and other ener
gy-eating facilities are more to
blame for increased power
demand than student appliances.
And upgrading electrical sys
tems in new and renovated
dorms is often required by law
under newer, more demanding
building safety codes.
Andrew Matthews, of the
Association of College and
University Housing Officers-
Intemational, said many dorms
were built in the 1950s and
1960s and don’t have the elec
trical capacity for power-
dependent students.
The higher amp load has
some schools setting limits and
The University of Dayton
had to stop installing air condi
tioners in the dorm rooms of stu
dents who requested them for
such things as allergies and asth
ma. Craig Schmitt, executive
director of residential services,
said the school will be able to
accommodate those students
next fall in a new, air-condi
tioned dorm.
Miami University has been
replacing incandescent lights
around campus with more effi
cient fluorescent ones.
But conservation alone is
oftentimes not enough.
Maryville College in
Maryville, Tenn., decided to tear
down one residence hall last
year and build a new dorm at a
cost of $7 million.
“If too many women turned
on their hair dryers in the morn
ing, the circuit breakers would
blow. That was happening
daily,” said Bill Seymour, vice
president and dean of students.
ass. endorses gay marriages
and 111
ld '
;ment cos
By Justin Pope
BOSTON — The Massachusetts high court
iecision endorsing gay marriage raises a host of
oomplex legal questions, and one of the biggest is
jhis: If one state allows same-sex marriages, must
ither states recognize them?
Experts say it could take years for lawsuits
challenging gay marriage to wend their way
irough state and federal courts before ultimately
[ending up at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Much of the litigation probably will center on
: “full faith and credit” clause of the U.S.
^Constitution, which says states must accept other
|states’judicial proceedings.
“People in very short order will move back to
lAlabama and Tennessee and demand that marriages
will be recognized,” said Gary Bauer, president of
American Values, a conservative group. “At that
point, you have got a constitutional crisis.”
Experts, however, generally believe the “full
th and credit” argument favors opponents of
y marriage. What little interpretation the U.S.
Supreme Court has given indicates the clause
applies to legal judgments in “adversarial pro
ceedings” such as lawsuits, and not such things as
I a marriage license.
Strangely, since divorce is an adversarial pro
ceeding, the Massachusetts divorce of a gay cou
ple could be recognized in other states more easi
ly than their marriage.
In the hours after the Massachusetts decision
was released, Gov. Mitt Romney and several other
opponents of gay marriage focused on a state con
stitutional amendment as the best tool to reclaim
marriage as a heterosexual-only institution.
That option, however, raises even more legal
questions, because the earliest voters can amend
the state’s constitution is 2006, two years or more
after the time the high court has ordered a gay
marriage law to be on the books.
What will happen to gay married couples if
voters later decide to revoke the right to wed?
Some legal experts and gay-rights activists say
that Tuesday’s ruling appears to suggest that gay
couples should get nothing less than marriage.
Other experts and Romney say the ruling is
ambiguous enough that legislators could satisfy the
court by approving a rough equivalent to marriage,
such as the “civil unions” that Vermont offers.
“I believe their decision indicates that a provi
sion which provides that benefits, obligations,
rights and responsibilities which are consistent with
marriage but perhaps could be called by a different
name would be in conformity with their decision,”
Romney said. “Under that opinion, I believe a civil
union-type provision would be sufficient.”
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THE KIDS KLUB afterschool program is NOW HIRING for the Spring ‘03 semester!!!
Are you the kind of person we are looking for?
Check yes or no to the following questions and see bottom of
page for the final results...
Do you enjoy working with children?
Would you be willing to take holidays off?
Do you like to work with fun people?
Are you available Monday-Friday from 2:45-6:15pm?
Do you refuse to work weekends?
Can you begin work January 6^?
If you answered yes to all of the questions above then you
may want to apply to work with Kids Klub. Applications are
available at the College Station Conference Center on
George Bush across from the golf course.
Application deadline is December 2 nd .
College Station ISD is an Equal Opportunity Employer.