Often, the little things that go unnoticed are what make the biggest difference. For example, it is unlikely that you, along with a majority of Fairfield’s student body, have noticed that this semester nearly all of the light bulbs in the Dolan School of Business have been replaced with LED lights, a more environmentally efficient alternative.

This task was accomplished by members of Fairfield’s Proactive Investment Club who, like the very light bulbs they have just installed, are quietly facilitating huge changes in order to benefit Fairfield’s campus.

“PIC is all about making investments that not only produce a social good, but also make profit,” said Caroline Kiezulas ’17, an economics major and the club’s co-president. In addition to discussing the methods of proactive investment, Kiezulas explained that the club takes the initiative to apply their ideas to the campus community.

PIC, a relatively new club on campus, has been working on several large-scale projects over the past semester. Founder of PIC, Arturo Jaras Watts ’14, helped the club earn $15,000 last year through student-written grants. This year, the club put that money towards replacing the compact fluorescent lamp bulbs with LEDs in both the DSB as well as the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola.

“The bulbs are going to significantly increase efficiency,” said Kiezulas. “They won’t need to be changed for another 10 years.” She explained that the installment of the LED lights will not only be saving Fairfield money, but the lights are significantly benefiting the environment.

In addition, the club has also been working on spreading environmental awareness on campus. On Nov. 19, PIC held a Sustainability Panel where professors were able to discuss issues as well as answer student questions regarding sustainability. The event drew in nearly 50 students.

“It was a bigger turnout than we expected, and I think that everyone really learned a lot,” Kiezulas said.

PIC also has aspirations of installing solar powered charging stations on campus. They recently applied for a grant from the Campus Sustainability Committee in order to make this happen.

“It would provide a hands-on experience,” Kiezulas said. “It would be more of an educational thing – students could actually watch the sun charge their phone.”

If awarded the money, the stations would be accompanied by benches and tables so that students would be able to hang out with friends while charging their devices.

“Our main focus has been on the environment, but we’re looking to do other things,” she said.

Currently, PIC is working with Students for Social Justice and the Diversity Club in order to get involved next semester with the Korea International Volunteer Association. KIVA is a nonprofit organization that uses the Internet in order to allow people to invest money in entrepreneurs in developing countries.

“What we’re doing is valid and important and we want to get our name out there,” said Kiezulas. She also mentioned that the eight person club is always looking to attract new and dedicated members. They would also like to gain more recognition and support from students for their projects.

“Making changes sometimes isn’t as hard as you think it will be,” Kiezulas said. “You can use your time at Fairfield and do what you need to; you can take classes and spend time with friends. Or you can do more, you can make changes. And once you leave you can see the mark you’ve left.”

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