By Macy Santicola, Advertising Manager
The West Liberty University Sustainability Council has begun to make plans to continue to spread sustainability and recycling across campus for the current school year.
The council’s current chair is Aaron Massey, Assistant Professor of Geography and Planning. He is responsible for implementing recycling on campus and hopes to further promote adopting methods of sustainability campus-wide.
“Now that we have recycling on campus, we are able to broaden our scope a bit,” said Massey.
Massey and the council have many ideas, which include sustainability training for resident advisors, working with the food service provider to reduce waste, and evaluating how the campus uses resources and energy. The council has been researching and using other schools as models for how to best make sustainability part of the core of the college and to make their mission more effective.
“Last year was a lot of energy and effort,” said Massey. “We want to keep that momentum going. We’re just getting started this year.”
Last year, the council had PSAs play during the broadcasts of sporting events and promoted the slogan, “Sustainability: It’s everyone’s responsibility.” The council looks to have another productive school year, especially during the spring semester and having Environmental Education Day, which turned into a whole week of events last year.
The council looks to continue that with presentations, speakers and recycling events. There is also a push to get students more involved.
“It’s always been a major goal,” said Massey. “We have a lot of ideas, even if it’s something as simple as giving a residence hall a pizza party at the end of the semester.”
Recycling is still a big topic for the council despite being successful in getting the program on campus. The council hopes to improve on the current program, and to educate students on where their recycling is going and how big of an impact is being made.
The council also wants to address and reduce contamination in the recycling bins which hinders the success of the program. The council’s West Liberty University online page provides information on what is and isn’t recyclable, and the council seeks to get information out near or on the cans which list those as well.
Within the council are several subcommittees that deal with specific aspects of sustainability and campus involvement.
“One of our subcommittees is going to be all about programming and student-oriented sustainability measures. We have an outdoor education subcommittee which is looking at having outdoor learning spaces like classrooms where courses like geography or biology could be,” said Massey.
Massey also has hopes for utilizing the university-owned wooded areas in a smart way, “We want to have trails where students could maybe get out in nature for a bit.”
The Sustainability Council is open to anyone interested in making a positive impact on campus. The council’s subcommittees provide those with specialized interests to help provide and carry out ideas.
Photo Credit: Macy Santicola