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Lafayette Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP) will screen the documentary Being Caribou over a vegan potluck dinner 6 p.m. Thursday in Acopian Engineering Center room 200.

A husband and wife team filmed the documentary while following the caribou migration on a 150-day trek from Canada to the tip of Alaska. The film advocates the protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil interests. Students and faculty are encouraged, but not required, to bring a meat- and dairy-free dish to share. The film is part of LEAP’s Wind at Lafayette campaign. A discussion of how the film relates to current environmental issues and the campaign will follow the screening.

LEAP unveiled Wind at Lafayette during Family Weekend with a presentation by Byron Woodman, account manager for Community Energy, Inc., and David Brandes, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering. The campaign’s goal is to convince the Board of Trustees and College administrators to make a wind energy purchase part of the budget for the next fiscal year.

LEAP proposes that students pay a $20 premium per semester, allowing the College to purchase 23 percent of its energy from wind. If approved, it would be one of the largest purchases in Pennsylvania. Student contributions would be earmarked for better wind technologies, expanding the market, and lowering production costs so that wind could be made available for other consumers.

After learning about Temple University’s wind energy purchase last October, LEAP investigated the potential for wind at Lafayette. The group decided to make the wind campaign an extension of its ongoing efforts to minimize Lafayette’s “environmental footprint,” according to LEAP president Mike Werner ’07(Neenah, Wis.).

“The wind campaign is a new and exciting way to bring out the environmentalist in all of us,” says Werner, a dual degree candidate in biology and geology. “We want to couple the idea of clean energy with the conservation of energy. What would really please us is to see the College as a whole reduce its energy usage and to see the money saved go toward a larger wind purchase.”

Ideally, LEAP would like to find the funds to purchase wind energy without increasing tuition. If a tuition increase is required, however, it suggests allowing students to opt out if they do not wish to contribute to the purchase. In addition to benefiting the environment, Werner believes wind energy would provide a marketing advantage.

“By advertising the wind purchase, the College can further demonstrate that it is both an academic leader and a steward of social and environmental responsibility,” he says. “A wind purchase will attract prospective students and faculty who value progressive leadership. As major consumers of electricity, almost three dozen other schools are purchasing wind energy in Pennsylvania alone. Saving the environment saves money.”

LEAP hopes to gather support from two thirds of the student body through an online petition. In the coming weeks, it will have a table at Farinon Center and Marquis Hall during lunch for interested students to sign the petition and learn more about the program. Staff, faculty, parents, and Easton residents are also encouraged to support the campaign. LEAP will sell T-shirts and distribute stickers and pins to show support for the wind purchase. In November, the campus will vote on whether it believes wind energy will benefit Lafayette, and LEAP will present the campaign to College officials during December budget proceedings.

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