SGA Sustainability Committee holds semester’s first meeting

Olivia Mohr

The Student Goverment Association’s Sustainability Committee held its first meeting of the semester tonight, during which members shared their plans for the semester’s sustainability efforts.

In April, SGA voted to make the Sustainability Committee a permanent committee in an amendment to the SGA constitution, sophomore and sustainability committee chair Ian Hamilton said. Tonight’s meeting was the committee’s first since being voted a permanent committee.

“I think it’s really exciting because [being voted a permanent committee] was late-coming,” Hamilton said. “We definitely need it, but to be recognized along with the other committees is really good. It definitely shows SGA’s commitment to sustainability, along with WKU’s.”

During the meeting, Hamilton, sustainability coordinator Christian Ryan, coordinator of resource conservation Elizabeth Gafford and the committee’s members discussed plans for Discover Fest, where the committee wants to have a table. Discover Fest, an organization fair, will take place in Downing Student Union on Wednesday, Aug. 30 from from 3 to 6 p.m.

Elizabeth Gafford led a discussion about Diddle Arena’s recycling program, which began last year. Through the program, a volunteer student organization will receive $500 if 30 students from the organization volunteer to clean and recycle after men’s and women’s basketball games. Smaller organizations can pair up with other student organizations to meet the 30 student goal.

The program received support and a “great turnout” last year, but “we need a lot more,” Gafford said.

Ryan discussed the committee’s goals in starting a climate change conversation through deliberative dialogue, which Ryan said she feels will “empower us to have more productive conversations” about climate change instead of viewing it as “political.” She said she feels discussion will promote action.

Deliberative dialogue training will take place Oct. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m., and a climate change conversation will take place Oct. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Members also shared their ideas for the semester, none of which are currently in place. Several were mentioned including No Shave November to save water and razors, a reusable cup program, a Green Squirrel of Approval program for students and expanding PR initiative in getting the word out about sustainability efforts.

Reporter Olivia Mohr can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected]