Ongoing events highlight campus sustainability

Sept. 24, 2012

Jonathan Toman
jtoman@uccs.edu

While Bike Month is rolling by, many other sustainability projects are just beginning.

One of a series of events called Alternative Transport Lunch-n-Learns will take place on Sept. 27 at noon in University Center 302.

Several short films will demonstrate how cities around the world are attempting to handle sustainable transportation problems. Students are asked to bring their own lunches.

Bike Month will end on Oct. 2 with the Bike Riders’ Breakfast, starting at 7 a.m. in the lower plaza of University Center.

Prizes for the Bike Month challenge are awarded, and students who bike to campus that morning receive a free breakfast courtesy of Rudy’s Organic Bakery.

Afterward, on Oct. 6, in coordination with the Pikes Peak Library District, a film called “Surviving Disaster” will be shown at University Center 302 at 11 a.m.

Student involvement is a large part of the sustainability movement on campus. Besides volunteering and going to sustainability events, students can get involved in various organizations.

“The issues we face with sustainability will impact everyone at one point or another,” Sustainability Director Linda Kogan said. “The whole idea is to have friends get involved and have them say, ‘This is really cool.'”

Along with the energy service corps and engineers for sustainability from the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG), there are two other sustainability-oriented organizations on campus – Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability (SEAS) and the Green Action Fund.

“It’s a good way to make friends, and it feels good to do something for something other than yourself,” said Josh Hendrickson, a senior geography and environmental studies student who serves as the volunteering events coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. “Plus, volunteering helped me get scholarships.”

The Environmental Awareness and Sustainability was created in 2003 and meets every other Thursday at 5 p.m. at Poor Richard’s downtown.

With approximately 50 students signed up for the fall, the club is seeking to make a greater impact within the student body.

“We are working … both on a personal and bigger scale to be able to reduce our footprint,” said Hillary Fuller, a co-leader of SEAS and a senior geography and environmental studies student. “A lot of it is about awareness.”

The Green Action Fund is a committee that collects money to fund sustainable projects on campus. Consisting of a 12-member conglomerate of students, faculty and alumni, the group accepts project proposals from anyone, including students, evaluates their feasibility and impact and then decides whether or not to allocate the money.

“We’re looking for more proposals,” said Green Action Fund projects coordinator Andrea Hassler, a graduate student in the applied master’s geography program. “We’re always looking for ways that students can imagine campus more sustainable.”

Approved Green Action Fund plans for 2012, in addition to the recently placed water bottle filling hydration stations, include an LED alternative light project, a smart clock irrigation system, supplies for a student garden, bluffs restoration materials and trees to be planted for Earth Day.

Students can visit the Office of Sustainability’s website (uccs.edu/sustain) for more information. Questions regarding upcoming events or information on how to become involved can be sent to the Office of Sustainability at sustain@uccs.edu.

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