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Q&A with Paul Glick

Paul Glick, a second-year mechanical engineering student from Washington, DC, has lived in some of the oldest student housing at Revelle College and now lives in some of the newest—the Charles Keeling apartments. The residence features a rooftop garden, solar panels, a storm-water management system, efficient plumbing fixtures, rain and sun screens, high ceilings, modern furniture, eco-friendly landscaping and some of the best views on campus. In this interview, Paul talks about what he likes best about living on campus, the research he worked on over the summer, and why it’s important to him to be “green.”

What was your first impression of the new apartments?

Glick: Since I was in San Diego this summer, I actually visited the buildings before anyone moved in. I went to the 10th floor with my Resident Advisor from freshman year, and we talked while enjoying the view. The feeling of being in a brand-new building, looking out on San Diego and the ocean, left me with a sense of inspiration, that I could mold and shape my environment. The first thing I did when I moved in was re-arrange and decorate my entire room until it felt the way I wanted.

Why do you like living on campus?

Glick: Having lived off campus during the summer, I can definitively say the best thing about living here is the convenience—not having to deal with parking or waiting for shuttles. I am also the type of person who, when I get bored, will go knock on all my friends' doors until I find something to do. This doesn't quite work in an off-campus apartment. Finally, while I lived off campus, I packed a lot of lunches and got tired of eating way too many Cliff bars. I prefer cooking for myself. So being able to come back to my on-campus apartment, and make a quick lunch between classes, is really nice.

What do you think about the sustainable features of the apartments, and how does it feel to live in some of the "greenest" housing in the country?

Glick: I am pretty impressed with the campus's dedication to sustainability and the green features in these buildings. Between the solar panels, passive cooling, gray water system and the green roof, there is a visible commitment to the environment. I hope this building serves as an example for all future housing, here at UC San Diego and at other colleges across the country.Â

Why is being "green" important to you?

Glick: I consider myself very environmentally conscious. From a young age, my parents taught me about sustainability issues, and they took me to places that instilled in me a respect for the Earth. After doing things like hiking up Mt. Fuji and watching the sunrise, and scuba diving with some cool marine animals, I feel I cannot ignore environmental issues. I try to do my part by being a vegetarian, turning off lights, taking shorter showers and using my bicycle to get around whenever possible. Finally, even though I am a mechanical engineer, I have been working on an environmental engineering research project.

Tell me about the undergraduate research and student engineering project you participated in this summer.

Glick: My research was all about solar power. I was studying the effect of uneven shading and cloud cover on solar panel efficiency. I loved that the work I was doing was all hands-on and outside of the classroom. I don't think anybody can really learn until they apply their classroom knowledge to the real world.

My engineering project is with the Human Powered Submarine team. We build submarines and race them every two years on a naval installation in an international competition. Every day this summer, I was in the water with scuba gear helping my sub launch, which was a ton of fun. We actually won first place in our category.

What advice do you have for students who are debating whether or not to live on campus?

Glick: There are legitimate pros and cons to consider. For example, I think that I will want to get a dog next year, so I'll have to live off campus. In comparison, I have friends who live off campus now, who used to stumble out of bed to class and make it on time, but can't pull it off now. Knowing your priorities is the most important piece in making your decision.

 Fun Faves  

Favorite feature of new student housing: The building stays cool on its own so it's never too hot at night

Favorite place at UC San Diego: The Cliffs

Favorite place on Earth: Everest

Favorite way to be sustainable: A vegetarian diet

Favorite technology/gadget: My headphones—I might go deaf by age 30, but it's worth it

Favorite hobby: Scuba diving

Favorite way to spend $10: A cigar

Favorite words to live by: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein