Student Switch Off Team encourages King’s students to engage in a cross residence competition. What’s in for yourself? Tackling environmental issues and encouraging behavioural change. And a sweet prize.
Student Switch Off (SSO), run by the National Union of Students (NUS), was initiated in 2005 by Dr Neil Jennings. At that time, Dr Jennings was completing a PhD at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at University of East Anglia (UEA) .
It all started with frightening statistics and academic articles on climate change which urged Dr Jennings to “‘get out there’ and do something about it”. Thinking about what motivated him as a student, he came up with the idea of “a friendly competition between halls of residence with prizes to encourage students to adopt simple energy-saving actions”.
Officially, the campaign started in the 2006/7 academic year and ran only at UEA. It quickly spread throughout the country and abroad.
Joining in 2007/8, King’s College London continues to be greatly involved. Each year all KCL residences compete against each other: SSO measures energy and water usage of each residence and keeps track of students’ engagement with climate change quizzes sent off by the members.
Students can also support the campaign by becoming ambassadors after undergoing a free training, and encouraging their peers to recycle and keep their energy usage as low as possible. Members advocate organising bigger events as well – the more commitment, the more “points” the residence wins.
In most recent years King’s Residences Great Dover Street Apartments and Champion Hill have been the ultimate winners, though this year Moonraker and Angel Lane are breathing down their neck.
The competition runs across the entire academic year with the results being announced in early May, so there is still time for you to make a change while competing for a sweet prize (literally). The winner receives a big delivery of the very favourite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, dairy-free/vegan flavours included!