Sustainnovate summit looks to start open-minded dialogue about transportation

April 11, 2016

Joe Hollmann
[email protected]

Flying cars might be the pipe dreams of sci-fi movies, but a sustainability summit on campus is still hopeful transportation can change.

The Office of Sustainability is hosting the fourth annual Sustainnovate Summit, which will include a student summit on April 12 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. and a sustainable mobility summit on April 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Berger Hall.

The sustainable mobility section will include a showing of the film “Pump,” a documentary that highlights the addiction and dependency of Americans on oil, as well as proposed solutions to these issues.

The summit will focus on the topic of innovation in transportation, bringing community leaders in transportation, sustainability and technology together to collaborate on solutions to current transportation problems.

The event will include lectures from university professors on sustainability, workshops that include making biodiesel fuel and current updates on transportation policies and networking times.

The event has hopes of bringing student awareness and involvement.

“Our main focus is getting students involved. We want to start a conversation about what sort of innovations are out there yet still sustainable,” said sustainability program manager Kimberly Reeves.

“One of the things we will be looking at is what transportation on campus will look like in five to 10 years” said Reeves.

Previous year’s themes covered topics such as food, climate change and general sustainability. The film showed this year will educate students on sustainable transportation.

Junior geography major Mae Rohrbach is one of the organizers for the student summit. She hopes the event helps students feel more engaged on campus.

“We want to start a dialogue,” said Rohrbach. “I hope this makes (students) feel like their voices are being heard.”

Rohrbach said she believes transportation is a much needed conversation, specifically to UCCS.

“We’re a commuter school and fuel dependent,” said Rohrbach, who added that it isn’t feasible for most students to get to school without using fossil fuels.

The event will include four break-out group discussions after the film, so students can discuss what they’ve learned, according to Rohrbach.

The discussions will include social justice in terms of transportation, UCCS campus activism, UCCS sustainable campus projects regarding transportation and what is being done in the transportation field.