EAC continues campaign for campus-wide sustainability: Members increase involvement in SGA and on-campus initiatives

Posted by Ani Lordkipanidze

Five members of the EAC, including President Margot Reisner '14 and Vice President Eliza Sherpa '14, will meet with President Philip Glotzbach next week as part of their efforts to increase awareness of sustainability and other environmental issues on campus.

"The whole point is that these issues won't depend only upon students - it's going to be an institutional thing," Reisner said. "We should show that we will have a consistent group of students working around these issues."

The EAC has remained active in a number of environmental issues, providing ways for students to become involved. Sherpa suggested three ways in which students can contribute their voices to ongoing concerns: students may submit a comment on The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), sign a coalition letter or attend a DEC hearing to show physical support.

In addition to participating in national events, the EAC plans to focus on change relating to the club and its actions, including adding an additional committee to the SGA.

In the SGA Senate meeting on Nov. 29, Talia Arnow '13, leader of the Waste Group subcommittee and a Senate member, presented the achievements of the Sustainability Committee, which underwent a trial period this semester. The committee was approved by a majority vote, and includes a Sustainability senator and seven Willingness-to-serve positions.

The EAC is also considering changing its name to focus on social and economical issues, which it covers in addition to environmental ones, an idea that has been discussed over the past few weeks.

Members said they think the new name should include words such as action, advocates, change, justice, activism, youth, environment and future. One of the most popular options was "Students Advocating for Sustainable Action".

"It's important to think about why are you changing the name", said Riley Neugebauer, sustainability coordinator, offering her advice at the Nov. 21 meeting, adding that the club's name should reflect its actions and should be considered very seriously.

In addition to these changes, the EAC is working on several projects to promote awareness on campus this semester, including creating a community recipe book to sell to students and water drop-shaped stickers in support of the "Take Back the Tap Campaign," an initiative to eliminate bottled water on campus.

Also part of the tap-campaign, the Waste Group subcommittee constructed a seven-foot water bottle filled with recycled water bottles. After the break the EAC will use this giant project to attract students to its table in the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall.

Students also will have the opportunity to participate in several events this weekend, including a Department of Environmental Conservation commentary session, during which students may compose feedback to send to the DEC on its stance on hydrofracking, from 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Spa. Students may also help put the Student Garden to bed in preparation for winter at 1 p.m. Dec. 4. 

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