Kent Campus Center becomes fueled entirely by the sun


Amelia Schafer

After years of attempts from SGA, Kent Campus Center is fully powered by the sun. The panels were added to Kent over the summer.

by Amelia Schafer, Editor-in-Chief

After years of planning from the Student Government Association, Kent Campus center is now fully powered by solar panels. 

The solar panels have been a work in progress from SGA for several years – after 2020 graduate Molly Fisher first began to spearhead the campaign in 2018 alongside Professor Daryl Sasser. Both pushed for more sustainable initiatives from the college as part of SGA’s currently inactive Sustainability Committee. 

The sustainability committee researched what the best green initiative for the college would be and ultimately decided on the solar panels due to the simplicity of the installation and the ability for the college to save money in the long run. 

“Seven to nine years from now, we will have cut our cost significantly as that’s when the solar panels will pay themselves off,” Student Body Vice President Chase Henry said. 

At the end of the Fall 2019 semester, the SGA approved spending $40,000 on the project; however, in Jan. 2020, the solar panel project was delayed while the resolution waited to be confirmed by the Board of Trustees. 

Ultimately, the college and board decided to pitch in. Henry stated that the college spent between 40 and 60 thousand dollars on the project. 

Originally, SGA wanted to fully fund and do it on their own,” Student Body Vice President Chase Henry said. “But then it was brought to the board of trustees who were already working on an energy audit – they went ahead and made an investment plan to continue to upgrade and install.”

Every year, a percentage of SGA’s budget is allocated towards capital improvements, which is how the organization was able to provide the $40,000. The organization aims to have one capital improvement project per year or one large investment. 

“I’m very happy about it,” Sasser said. “I think it’s a step in the right direction for making a sustainable campus.”

The solar panel initiative has also allowed Simpson to catch up to other conference schools in sustainability. 

“If they continue to install different ways of sustainable energy with Carver and Kent combined, we’re nearing the top 75% in terms of sustainability,” Henry said. “Hopefully, within the next year, they will also be on top of Carver.”