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Area students greeted with: 'Welcome back... and keep your showers short'

Nik Stanbridge

College students are returning to upstate campuses and facing a situation year-round residents have dealt with for most of the year -- a drought.

August rainfall has been above average for many areas in New York state, but the National Weather Service says totals for the year in some parts of the state are several inches below normal.

Ithaca College uses a separate water source that has not been as depleted as those used by other communities. Still, students will be attending meetings when they get on campus to learn about conservation techniques. Plus, there will be constant reminders around residences.

"We've created laminated signs that are going in the shower to remind the students to take shorter showers," said Bonnie Prunty, director of residential life and judicial affairs at Ithaca College. "[We'll put them] at the sinks in the bathroom to remind them to stop running water when they're shaving or brushing their teeth. [There's] signage in the laundry rooms to remind them to not do laundry unless they're doing full loads of laundry."

Prunty says she has not received anything from the city that instructs her on how to tell students to conserve and acknowledges that adding more than 10,000 people to a community can put a strain on resources. 

She said it's up to the individual student to be responsible.

"I feel optimistic that we can get the majority of our students on board to take the same measures as the rest of the community," Prunty added.