Story by Veronica Burns, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Malory Maletic
Aquinas College’s Center for Sustainability is constantly developing to make our campus as green as can be. Jessica Eimer Bowen, Director of Sustainability and fearless leader, is currently on maternity leave and the office’s dedicated student workers are keeping up with the department’s momentum.
Student worker Malory Maletic told me about a few of the department’s many accomplishments.
“In February, Aquinas competed against 600 colleges and universities from the US and Canada, and ranked 10th nationally (and first in Michigan) in the Grand Champion category. Aquinas also ranked 124th out of 201 schools in Sierra Club’s Cool Schools list,” They measure the progress the college is making by working on Carbon Footprint and ACUPCC (College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment) reports.
They’ve been keeping busy with these reports and planning a variety of upcoming events.
Maletic said, “Approximately every month, the center hosts Economicology Forums focused on different aspects of sustainability,” while adding, “Our next Economicology Forum will take place on Oct. 4 at 7:00 p.m. in the Donnelly Center, in which Dr. Todd Yarbrough will moderate a panel discussion the minimum wage. The Nov. 10 Forum will be a panel discussing Michigan Beer (more details to come later). Aside from the forums, the two biggest upcoming events are the bike trip, and the Morning at the Market event on Dec. 3.”
They are also currently holding their annual competition, Tip the Scales, in St. Joe’s and Regina. This was designed as fun way to encourage those living in the halls to sort their waste.
The best ways of finding these events are by going to aquinas.edu/events or following the Center for Sustainability’s various social media accounts. On these accounts they often share articles that relate to sustainable practices and products.
Maletic said, “Sometimes the hardest part of “going green” is figuring out what actions make a difference.” She also noted that, “If students are interested in being more involved in on-campus sustainability, they are encouraged to come to S3 meetings, or participate in other clubs that work with sustainability themes (SAC, CAVA, ENACTUS, Outdoor club, others).”
The center constantly collaborates with various people and departments on and off campus to continually reach new goals they set.
Maletic spoke about the center’s increasing presence saying, “The Center for Sustainability’s purpose is to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of campus life, therefore, we partner or in some way work with most departments on campus. Housekeeping plays an important role in our Zero Waste program, Dr. Todd Yarbrough in the Economics department leads our Green Revolving Fund, and many other departments are represented in our Sustainability Committees, which are made up of staff, faculty, and students.”
Bowen and the student workers are always looking to provide resources to students about sustainability. If anyone wants to get involved, has questions or ideas, they’d love to hear from you. Contact information is available on the Aquinas website and their offices are held on second floor AB. Help do your part to make our campus zero waste by sorting your waste and making more sustainable choices.
About the Writer…
Veronica Burns is a senior studying a dual business communication major and journalism. Her loves include cats and actor Tom Hiddleston.