Quinnipiac continues to develop a sustainability plan for the future

Hephzibah Rajan

Earlier this year, Quinnipiac President Judy Olian appointed a committee to develop a sustainability plan for the university.

The committee was tasked with developing a vision and goals for what sustainability should look like at Quinnipiac. The committee identified strategies and opportunities to promote sustainability at the university and developed a method to measure the university’s progress.

The deadline was initially set for March 31, but it was delayed due to COVID-19. The plan will now be introduced to the community in September of 2020. During the virtual Earth Day on April 22, Sean Duffy and Courteney McGinnis, co-chairs of the planning committee, shared what the committee has discussed so far.

The plan was framed around three areas that were suggested during the town hall sessions held in January. These include living, learning, and leading. The vision is to educate students, faculty, and staff to be proactive in their efforts to advance sustainability in their professional and personal lives.

The plan is modeled to help members of the Quinnipiac community learn about sustainability within their curriculum and through engagement in co-curricular activities.

The plan includes a campus layout that integrates more natural areas and alternative forms of transportation and healthy living environments. As for the leading aspect, it is not only facilitating students to become leaders in their lives, but it also means leading the university to become more aware of sustainability. The planning committee has set up a system to evaluate and monitor the university’s progress.

The planning committee recommends that ecological thinking, knowledge about climate change, and environmental sustainability should be integrated into the university’s essential learning outcomes. Duffy claimed that this will ensure that sustainability is embedded in the learning structure.

The planning committee has recommendations for the sustainability plan.

The committee proposed a gradual decrease in the sale and use of non-biodegradable single-use plastics on campus. The design of the new Health and Wellness Center should be according to the Living Building Challenge. The committee is also recommending that an office of sustainability be established with a dedicated director to help oversee the university’s progress.

Students who are interested in assisting with the plan or have ideas that can potentially help the committee can email [email protected] or utilize the forum on Blackboard available under the Community tab.