Goshen College will soon discover the answer to an age-old question: How many Mennonites does it take to change a light bulb? The Physical Plant is exploring more energy efficient lighting in an ongoing effort to make the college a “greener” facility.

Four or five energy efficient light bulbs are being tested along the sidewalks of the campus. The Physical Plant has yet to make a decision on the matter. In the next few weeks “we will have a sense how the new bulbs will operate in the cold,” said Galen Bontrager, the system supervisor of the Physical Plant. The bulbs will also give a new aesthetic feeling to campus with a “whiter” light. “We want to make sure the performance is where it needs to be before we go ahead with that kind of project,” Bontrager said.

For years, representatives from the Physical Plant have attended conferences about being good stewards of energy. In the conferences they “learn about new technology,” share ideas with other colleges and learn from each other. Clay Shetler, the director of the Physical Plant said, “In most if not all the cases, changes have been supported and made when we can calculate both energy savings and a fairly quick payback,” which is exactly what he’s hoping for.

For those patiently awaiting the answer to the Mennonite joke- it takes 160 Mennonites. First you need 40 people in the light bulb selection committee, then 40 people in the light bulb purchasing committee, then 40 people in the light socket location committee, and finally you need 40 people in the electricity modulator committee.