The lights went out at Mount Allison University on March 20, but it wasn’t a blackout. The university was just getting a jump on the growing “Lights Out” event, which officially occurs on Earth Day, April 22. On that day, schools are encouraged to turn off their lights as an environmental gesture.
The event has additional resonance to Mount Allison, as Lights Out founder Keleigh Annau is a first-year student at the university this year. She came up with the idea in 2005 at age 16 and the first event was held a year later, with over 50,000 Canadian students participating.
Then, while studying in Italy prior to coming to Mount Allison, Ms. Annau began to promote Lights Out internationally. In 2008, an estimated 100,000 students in 10 countries joined in the third-annual event.
Mount Allison decided to move its Lights Out event a month earlier so that it wouldn’t conflict with exam time.