Sustainability committee moves forward with new initiatives

Skylar Haines

The Quinnipiac University Sustainability Planning Committee, implemented by President Judy Olian, held an open forum seeking new ideas and insight from students and faculty on Jan. 27.

This event followed a past forum focused on graduate student and faculty initiatives. The committee presented some steps the university is already taking and ones they hope to complete in the future, as well as highlighting some of the successful sustainability actions other institutions are taking serving as inspiration.

Leah Lavin, founder of the Quinnipiac Students for Environmental Action organization, commented that she was hopeful that more people would come to the event, but she is enthusiastic about the continuing dialogue.

“People definitely have a lot of ideas,” Lavin said. “We are open to all of them, the committee really wants to make an impact on campus and that takes everyone’s support and suggestions.”

One of the ways they are attempting to receive this feedback is through an open Blackboard digital forum. Anyone from Quinnipiac is able to create a thread with a specific question or comment, or add to already existing conversations. The online page says the committee “look[s] forward to an intense conversation with wide participation.”

“It sometimes seems overwhelming and it seems like you can’t do anything because the data, the numbers, the years we have left… it’s all terrifying and it’s intimidating,” Lavin said. “But when it comes down to it, do what you can. Everything helps, you know, you might not be able to change the world in one day but you can change your world right here at Quinnipiac.”

There are over 10 different threads online ranging from incentivizing reusable bottle usage and less driving among students to composting possibilities on the York Hill campus and the new Environmental Science major in the College of Arts and Sciences. The committee is working to respond and further research all ideas emerging on Blackboard.

“Please, please share your voices and ideas,” Sean Duffy, executive director of the Albert Schweitzer’s Institute, said. “It’s really important that this is a process that includes everyone. We want to change Quinnipiac, and we can’t do that alone.”