If Going Paperless, Go All The Way

by Cody Alton
Contributing Writer

Ever since the “green” movement started a few years back, individuals and institutions have been jumping on the bandwagon like crazy. Whole countries have instituted laws requiring recycling and sustainable actions. While I do not hate the theory of sustainability as a whole, I do have several qualms with this game of “follow the leader” that is currently happening.

When Dr. R. Owen Williams took the position of president of Transylvania University on Aug. 1, 2010, he laid out several goals that he had for this institution. One of those goals was the paperless movement that everyone has been affected by already. With the goal of going completely paperless by the start of the next academic year, people are questioning what exactly is going to happen with all of our books, fliers and campus publications like The Rambler, the Crimson and The Transylvanian. If our goal is to be more sustainable then I have a proposal for future action on this issue.

First, we need to eliminate all sources of paper on this campus. This even includes toilet paper and Post-it notes. If we are going to be paperless, then this very paper that you are reading will need to disappear. We cannot sacrifice a tree for you to read your lovely paper, now can we? Also, the proposed idea of using electronic flier systems needs to be nixed as well. In case anyone has forgotten, electricity is not very sustainable either because it requires energy.

Second, we need to eliminate our dependence upon heating and cooling systems along with our frequent usage of lights and other energy-hogging addictions. Not only does this make our university look bad because we are the evil energy hogs, but it is not very sustainable to use so much energy. Has anyone been in the Beck Center lately? All of those lights in the performance gym must use up a lot of energy to power so much floor space for so little of the campus population.

Third, our dependence upon buildings in general needs to be stopped. Why don’t we just tear down all of the buildings and conduct business, classes and various other Transy activities outside? Not only would this be better for our health, it would be better for the environment as a whole.

Speaking of classes, we need to eliminate textbooks, PowerPoints, notebook paper and pencils. Why use energy to create these items when we have perfectly good sticks and dirt to do our lessons with? Not only would you be able to BS a paper much more easily, but it would also make the professors accountable for grading your assignments in a timely matter because of pesky things like rain, wind and darkness.

Also, if our university wants to be more sustainable, its existence on this planet is eating away at valuable resources, and it as an institution needs to disappear entirely. Not only would this make us the most sustainable university in the world, but it would also put our name on the front page of various newspapers and increase our donations tenfold. Of course, there would really be no reason to receive those donations because our institution would not exist.


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