Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Middle

I get perhaps too excited when my two job areas integrate successfully; but there is a good reason that GMC created and hired for a "Service-Learning AND Sustainability Coordinator." So many of our students and faculty are doing good work that addresses sustainability, and they're addressing it through service to partners.
In this case, the partner is the college-based Campus Sustainability Council, and the partner's need is being addressed by this spring's Environmental Communications course (CMJ 3025). Professor Ron Steffens has asked his students in the class to essentially create a campaign that satisfies the Council's need. The greatest need the Council has, in my opinion, is to communicate its charge to the campus community, and collect suggestions to inform decision-making on College sustainability issues.

So I was thrilled when I received an email from a student in the course, outlining the campaign and program suggestions that she and her classmates had:

"Here are some sustainability proposals from the Environmental
Communications class:
*Cigarette butt collection, 50 butts= tshirt
*Fix Withey solar panels by earth day
*Green community bikes and/or more bike racks
*Where does our garbage go? How can we use less?
*Sustainable Agriculture/buying local
*Shorter showers/charge more minute?
*Ad campaign for CSC, logo, tshirts, website. BY spring concert!
*Heat efficiency in dorms/drafty windows
*Chartwells waste management/composting/clear and engagin presentation of the food cycle/poster?
*Better public transit from Poultney to beyond
*Using less energy in dorms
*Cars with better gas milegage get money back from school for parking
*Change plastic cups in dining hall and book store to something without bisphenol A chemical "

These are the sustainability initiatives that students are thinking about at GMC, the things that our campus community members want to see done here. Students in the Environmental Communications course will get to decide how their service as consultants to the Campus Sustainability Council have impacted their learning, but as a partner in the project I'm pleased to see their ideas, and the methods they've created to get the word out about sustainability at GMC.

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