CU to hold discussion on April 27
Who holds the power in campus sustainability? The Chancellor wants YOU.
As organizations, college campuses face problems in waste, energy and transportation. The 2007 Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit was held in February at CU to examine these environmental issues.
Some 300 representatives from campuses across the country joined hosts such as Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, environmental experts Hunter Lovins and David Orr, CU history and environmental studies professor Patty Limerick and Arizona State University President Michael Crow. Former U.S. Senator Gary Hart gave a speech titled “The New Security in the 21st Century,” in which he emphasized the importance for the U.S. to decrease its dependency on foreign oil in unstable regions such as the Middle East.
There were also a number of workshops for faculty and students that helped to brainstorm ideas and solutions for sustainability.
Kicking off the Summit, CU Chancellor G.P. “Bud” Peterson announced his signing of the American College and Presidents Climate Commitment, which requires campuses to begin reducing their energy use. Since the Summit, many other colleges have signed the Commitment.
“I think that (the Commitment) is good. I think that it’s the least that they can do. CU does a lot more than other schools, like the way they have recycle bins in every building, I think that it’s another good step,” said Jessica Adams, a sophomore film studies major.
What students can do was the question that was the basis of many discussions at the time of and following the Summit. Dan Worth’s blog on the Huffington Post, “One Mile High and Rising: A Report from the Rocky Mountain Sustainability Summit” , discusses the emphasis on student potential to create sustainable campuses.
“According to Peterson, today’s institutions must force today’s youth to stop being passive consumers in the classroom and to start participating in their own education. In doing so he believes that these future leaders will transform themselves from objects of history to subjects in history and find the spiritual food that’s missing from their lives,” Worth wrote in his blog.
Many of the Summit’s results helped other regional campuses begin to formulate sustainability plans much like CU’s.
“Since the Summit, University of Utah has convened a major sustainability initiative. There is still so much happening,” Marianne Martin assistant director of the Environmental Center, said.
On April 27, there will be a Campus Sustainability roundtable in UMC room 245. While this meeting is not strictly about Summit results, it does include many of the different issues brought up at the Summit and what the future will hold for CU and sustainability.
“All of the departments convene and give updates on all of the different issues,” Martin said.
Can contact Campus Press staff writer Amanda Pehrson @ firstname.lastname@example.org