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Apr
18
2021
From The Print Last Week

Activists shed light on plight— ‘Save the Lamps’ heats up

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By Smiley Dixon

The divisive campaign to “Save the Antioch Lamps’’ has recently gained momentum. The controversy over the college’s appliances has torn the social fabric of the village asunder.

Since last week, impassioned activists near and far have called for the immediate removal of all unused and under-utilized lamps on Antioch College’s campus. They claim the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability has led to the unethical neglect of certain power-draining lamps that the college has put away in favor of LED fixtures.

According to a college spokesperson, Antioch’s older lamps — particularly the electric candelabras, vintage Tiffanies, ornate Aladdins, and decorative lanterns — were a significant drain on the college’s electricity bill. As such, they’ve been “set aside in a safe location for the indeterminate future,” said the spokesperson.

“I think it’s just plain cruel what the college is doing to these lamps,” villager Watson Sockett told the Snooze in a recent interview.

Antioch College Archivist and Acting Library Director Scott Sanders with Olive Kettering Library’s cherished “book lamp” created by longtime Antioch staff members Sandy and Don Coulter. (Photo by S. Quinn Ritzhaupt, ’23)

Sockett, an electrical engineering professor from another nearby academic institution, is among the activists calling on Antioch to free its lamps.

“Lamps shouldn’t be cast aside to collect dust,” he said. “They should be set free into the wild or perhaps a lamp sanctuary to live out their happy little lamp lives.”

“Also, free-range lamps just shine brighter,” Sockett added.

Sockett and others concerned with the college’s abandoned light fixtures recently coalesced into the Committee to Save the Antioch Lamps. The committee mostly consists of local electricians, several antique collectors, your aunt Wilma and various party-goers who enjoy celebrating with lampshades on their heads. A couple hundred local moths have reported significant interest in the campaign as well.

In a recent interview with the Snooze, Scott Sanders, the college’s archivist, spoke in defense of the college’s lamps.

“You can never have too many lamps at a place like Antioch,” Sanders said.

As he sees it, lamps add a significant luminosity to the college experience for Antioch’s students. And for Sanders’ work at Antiochiana, the archives and special collections at the college, lamps are an invaluable resource.

“Especially since we installed UV filter blinds in there, it’s pretty dark inside Antiochiana,” Sanders said of the importance of a well-lit archive. “They don’t call them ‘illuminated manuscripts’ for nothing.”

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2 Responses to “Activists shed light on plight— ‘Save the Lamps’ heats up”

  1. Kevin Everhart says:

    Didn’t Professor Sockett recently publish a book on this very subject?

  2. Tim Klass says:

    Socket to me.