Campus Sustainability Day, Oct. 24, highlights many green initiatives at Syracuse University
Campus Sustainability Day, Oct. 24, highlights many green initiatives at Syracuse UniversityOctober 17, 2007Sara Millersemortim@syr.edu
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, Syracuse University will offer a program of major speakers via webcast, host interactive exhibits, and highlight the many green initiatives taking place on campus as part of Campus Sustainability Day, a national day of recognition for the connections between global warming, environmental protection and campus life. Campus Sustainability Day at SU, sponsored by the University Sustainability Action Coalition (USAC) and the Office of Academic Affairs, is the midpoint of a week of activities and events focused on SU’s leadership in promoting environmentally sustainable activity.
Beginning at 10 a.m. in the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center atrium, several exhibits and interactive displays will highlight the green innovations in student life and campus operations, including information from USAC, the Syracuse Center of Excellence (CoE) in Environmental and Energy Systems, Centro/Parking and Transit Services, Emerging Green Builders, the U.S. Green Building Council, Greening USA, the Business & Sustainability Certificate Program, the Office of Residence Life, Dining Services, the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, “Saving Juice in the Cuse” and the Go Green Initiative.
Campus Sustainability Day will additionally feature nationally known environmental speakers by webcast throughout the day in Room 228 of the Schine Center; all presentations will be made by webcast or telecast, available for viewing only in that room. By eliminating the need for speakers to travel to campus, organizers hope to keep the event’s carbon footprint as small as possible. There will be opportunities to interact with the invited speakers.
Beginning at 11 a.m., Tony Cortese, founder of the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education and president of Second Nature, will offer a webcast lecture, with SU staff members Tina Julian, senior purchasing specialist; Steve Lloyd, SU’s chief sustainability officer; and Eric Beattie, director of the Office of Campus Planning, Design and Construction, participating in the discussion.
At noon, a national Campus Sustainability Day webcast, “Building a Durable Future: Community, the Campus and Deep Economy,” will be presented. Speakers at the national event include Norm Christopher, director of sustainability at Grand Valley State University; Tom Kimmerer, executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE); Bill McKibben, author of “Fight Global Warming NOW” (Holt, 2007), “The End of Nature” (Random House, 2006) and “Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future” (Times Books, 2007); and Terry Calhoun, co-founder of Campus Sustainability Day, Society for College and University Planning (SCUP), who will serve as moderator.
Prizes for the Campus Commuter Challenge will be awarded at 1:30 p.m. The Campus Commuter Challenge began Sept. 24 and for a month has encouraged faculty and staff from among 24 schools, colleges and administrative divisions of SU and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry to try more sustainable transportation options than driving alone to work.
Susan Zielinski, an expert on sustainable and accessible transportation, will speak at 2 p.m. via webcast. Zielinski is managing director of SMART (Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Research and Transformation) at the University of Michigan Center for Advancing Research and Solutions for Society. Also participating in the discussion will be Scot Vanderpool, manager of SU Parking and Transit Services. Hybrid vehicles will be showcased all day on the Quad.
In the evening, the SU dining centers will feature a selection of foods from Central New York. Among its other sustainable initiatives, Food Services now also offers to students, faculty and staff an organic food section in the Schine Center Dining Center and has implemented a beverage bottle program to reduce the amount of paper and plastics used in the dining centers. Students enrolled in a meal plan automatically receive a beverage bottle, which they can also use at campus cafes and food courts for a discount on fountain beverages.
Campus Sustainability Day is a national event organized by SCUP and AASHE. The event chair for SU is Purchasing’s Tina Julian. She is chair of the Syracuse University Recycling Committee — a subcommittee of USAC — that has recently implemented several ongoing educational programs to create stronger awareness of the recycling programs in place on campus. SU students, faculty and staff may notice the “Orange Goes Green” recycling campaign, which is marked by a newly designed recycling logo just for the University. The logo, the SU block “S” with the traditional three green arrows indicating recycled usage, is used in the Recycling Committee’s brochures and buttons and on the recycling bins seen around campus.
Also during the week of Oct. 22-26, the Syracuse Center of Excellence will host its 7th Annual Syracuse Symposium on Environmental and Energy Systems. The symposium, Oct. 22-23, will focus on “Building Innovations for Climate Change” and survey the latest ideas and advancements in the growing field of sustainable design. For more information, visit http://www.syracusecoe.org.
And culminating a week of highlighted sustainable activity on campus, SU and SUNY-ESF will premier the University Community Harvest on Friday, Oct. 26. The farmers’ market is open to the public and will feature a variety of homegrown produce and educational information about sustainable agriculture, healthy eating and related topics. The market will run from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in SU’s Waverly lot, at the corner of Waverly and South Crouse avenues.
USAC is a committee of faculty, staff and students from SU and SUNY-ESF who are committed to effecting a significant change in the campus culture concerning energy use, recycling and other aspects of sustainability. For more information, visit http://usac.syr.edu.