Everyone knows Kansas is in financial trouble. Revenues are down, fees are up, and legislators find the idea of pragmatism to be simply abhorrent. So like any other bankrupt state, it would seem, Kansas is forced into harebrained scenarios that seem designed by someone’s ten-year-old son. The problem: KU can’t pay its campus utility bills. The solution: hey, why not just force students to power the place themselves with endless exercise?
Fifteen elliptical machines at the Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center will be connected next month to devices that reroute the kinetic energy created by workouts into the building’s electric grid.
The Florida-based makers of the ReRev devices that convert the kinetic energy estimate the 15 machines will generate 10 kilowatts of energy per day, or enough to power a student apartment for a day. The electricity will be used at the student center, which officials said should reduce carbon emissions and help lower cooling costs.
Yes, yes, make all the excuses you want about the alleged “green” benefits of this technology, but I think we all know what’s going on here: the new chancellor is instituting a system of Rube Goldberg-ish alternative energy plans, all designed to maximize the most obvious resource at the University’s disposal. The students, of course. It’s so simple — and yet so devious!