First year University of Dayton student Andy Wood of Naperville took a stand to protect the environment and reduce carbon emissions, pledging to leave his car at home for the first two years on campus.
In exchange, the University of Dayton gave Wood a brand new Linus bicycle at an outdoor festival on campus Friday, August 30.
From coast to coast, bike sharing is the buzzword of the summer, and the University of Dayton is one of the first higher education institutions to give that term a whole new meaning by giving 100 bicycles to incoming first-year students who sign a pledge not to bring a car to campus the first two years.
A total of 293 students signed the pledge, and 100 were chosen at random to receive the bikes. Male students will receive a Linus Roadster Sport and female students will be given the Linus Dutchi 3, all equipped with three-speed shifters and rear carrying racks.
The program is intended to promote a healthier, greener campus while empowering students to change the world around them through sustainability and responsible stewardship. The University also hopes to connect students with the natural beauty of the Dayton area and encourage them to live active, healthy lives.
It's all part of a larger initiative to create a bike-friendly campus and reduce carbon emissions. In 2011, the University launched a bike rental program that has recorded more than 4,500 checkouts, with 3,000 in the last year.
The city of Dayton was recently designated a Bicycle Friendly City by the American League of Bicyclists and is the central hub to one of the largest bicycling networks in the nation. The region boasts more than 330 miles of multi-use, beginner-friendly and easily accessible connected bikeways. A new bike path running through campus opened in July.
"Sustainability is an important value to our students, faculty and staff," said University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran. "The new bike program is part of our commitment to practice responsible stewardship and challenge students to consider what they can do as individuals to make a difference in the world around them."
The bike presentation ceremony will occur during the opening of a new Outdoor Engagement Center on campus. It will offer high-end outdoor gear rental, kayak rentals, backpacking trips, a do-it-yourself bike repair station and education clinics to help connect students to the greater Dayton community and the natural world.
The University of Dayton recently signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, pledging to move the University toward becoming carbon neutral and has also received national recognition for its commitment to sustainability.
In 2011, the University earned a Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS(R)) bronze rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.