Council of LionHearts sponsors ‘lights out’ on energy waste

Callie Curley
April 13, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Friday night: The long-awaited start to a weekend free of exams and academic obligations. For student leaders involved in the Council of LionHearts, however, it is another opportunity to serve their community and contribute to the sustainability goals of the University.

Established in 2004, the Penn State Council of LionHearts is an affiliate student organization comprised of representatives from Penn State’s most active volunteer and community service organizations. The group meets weekly during the academic year and strives to create interesting and engaging opportunities for all students at Penn State to become service volunteers.

One such volunteer opportunity is known by participants as Friday Night Lights Out.

Following the Council meeting held each Friday, students gather in the HUB-Robeson Center, break up into groups, and, according to the list distributed that evening, visit multiple academic buildings across campus, turning off classroom lights that would otherwise be left on for the entire weekend.

“This initiative began with a single student who saw an opportunity to create change,” said Philip Burlingame, founder and advisor to the Council and associate vice president of Student Affairs. “Since then, Penn State’s program has grown and more than five other universities have modeled the Friday Night Lights Out effort.”

Embarking on its 11th year in 2017, Friday Night Lights Out is estimated to have saved enough electricity to power 100 central Pennsylvania homes for an entire year. In the 2015-16 year alone, 527 student volunteers turned off 50,314 light bulbs across campus — saving energy that otherwise would have been needlessly wasted.

“I believe that the Friday Night Lights Out initiative is a great stepping stone for students to get involved in all of the service opportunities that Council of LionHearts and other Penn State student organizations offer,” said John Dick, a senior studying electrical engineering and this year’s council facilitator.

Friday Night Lights Out is one of many service opportunities open to all Penn State students. Anyone interested in learning more about the program or other service opportunities in the community can visit to sign up. 

  • Students counting light bulbs

    Students count the lights in a classroom during Friday Night Lights Out. 

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated April 19, 2017