Changing Place class inspired Green Action Fund idea and implementation

Nov. 2, 2015

Kyle Guthrie
kguthri2@uccs.edu

Water bottle refilling stations, a bike repair station and solar panel-fueled tables are a few of the projects the Green Action Fund has brought to UCCS.

According to geography and environmental studies instructor Carole Huber, sustainability means living in a way that doesn’t negatively impact future generations’ abilities to live comfortably.

That background, along with Huber’s Changing Place class, was central to the creation of GAF. The class, fashioned after a similar class taught at California State University, aims to teach students about the responsibilities and benefits of sustainability.

Started in 2010, Huber said students looked at a large range of what they want to pursue in the Changing Place class.

“The goal of the class is for students, either as a class or as a group, to identify something that they thought needed to be changed on campus to make it more sustainable, then try to get the students to support it.”

Huber explained the class aims to promote awareness on the topic of sustainability, and pointed out the components that make up this concept and goal.

“There are three pillars of sustainability; environmental, social justice and economics,” she said. “The idea behind the social justice pillar is that our world should be a more just one. We should watch our resources so that not just the rich are benefitting from them. They should be shared equally.”

Huber explained GAF was born from UCCS alumnus Nathanael Mooberry’s idea.

“He just came in and had this idea, because in 2008 the students had passed the Solar Fund Fee, which every student pays $5 a semester into in order to provide solar panels and energy on campus.”

“He wanted that to be changed to be broader, more of a green fee, so that we could have all sorts of different projects that it would support.”

While there are faculty and staff on the GAF committee, student representatives still constitute the majority of the committee.

Huber, who served as the faculty representative for the first three years of GAF, said she is very happy with GAF and her class’ influence on it.