By, Chris Connolly, Office of Sustainability Intern
From March 14 until March 31, Notre Dame’s 29 dorms will be partaking in Megawatt Madness, a campus-wide competition to see which dorm can save the most electricity. The grand prize this year includes a Chipotle party for the winning dorm, as well as possession of the traveling trophy for the coming year.
This year’s competition structure differs from previous years. Instead of just one prize for the dorm that reduces their energy consumption the most, it allows for a second winner, based on total points earned, to earn a dorm Fro-yo party.
Dorms can earn points by hosting dorm events, posting about the competition on social media, and winning challenges. Dorm events can be large or small, with large events worth 25 points each and small events worth 10 points each. Examples of past events include candlelit masses, group show/movie watches, and fair trade chocolate tastings.
During week two, one point will be awarded for each “Save Like a Champion Today” selfie posted on SustainableND’s Facebook page with the hashtag #savelikeachampion. Selfies should show how you’re saving energy. Likewise, during week three, one point will be awarded for each meme about energy saving submitted. The best meme and the best selfie will also win a $50 Amazon gift card each.
The last way to earn points is through challenges. The Rival Dorm Challenge takes place during the first week of competition (3/14-3/20), and pits each dorm against its campus rival to see who can reduce the most energy. The winning dorm will receive 50 points.
Additionally, The Vampire Energy Challenge during Easter Weekend encourages students to unplug appliances such as TVs and fridges that won’t be in use while they’re not on campus. The dorm that reduces the most energy will receive 100 points towards their total, the second place dorm will receive 75 points, and the third place dorm will receive 50 points.
Brand new to Megawatt Madness this year are the weekly “Lights Out” events that encourage students to spend time outside their dorm rooms, thereby reducing electricity use. Those events include
- March 19, The Echoes will perform an A-Capella show on the Main Building steps at 8:30 PM, which also coincides with the international Earth Hour movement.
- March 23, A Glow-in-the-Dark Frisbee game led by the Ultimate Frisbee team on North and South Quad at 8 PM.
- March 31, To celebrate the success of Megawatt Madness, there will be a bonfire and s’mores from 8:00-10:00 PM on Carroll Hall's lawn (was moved from Holy Cross Hill due to a family of ducks in the woodpile).
To see how your dorm is doing, visit Notre Dame’s energy dashboard for real time updates.