Thursday, December 6, 2007
Student coalition promotes environmental conservationBy Sarah Malczynski, student writer
In an effort to adopt a campus policy of conservation, respect and nurturance of Oakland University’s natural surroundings, the Environmental Coalition was formed by a group of OU students. The coalition seeks to launch environmentally friendly initiatives that promote sustainability of the environment and its resources. Concerned students met and coordinated with the Housing Department as well as the University Senate Committee for Campus Development and the Environment during the spring and summer of 2007 to get things started.
The coalition’s purposes are to establish campus-wide programs that promote recycling, waste reduction and energy efficiency, to address other issues of concern on campus related to the environment, and to establish community service and educational opportunities for students on campus. The group is led by four OU student board members, Jameelah Muhammed, Avery Neale, Sean Buono, and Jessica Henry.
This semester, the Environmental Coalition launched a new recycling program in the OU residence halls and student apartments on campus. Students were encouraged to recycle their plastic and paper instead of discarding them along with their regular trash. Coordinators of the program helped move smaller bins of recyclables on floors and buildings to larger bins outside student housing, which were then picked up by Great Lakes Recycling.
Commenting on the success of the program, Muhammed said, “It has generated more recyclables than could have been imagined. Every week, bins are completely full with plastic and paper products and the coalition is constantly trying to find ways to adjust to the demand. Hopefully what has been done this year will help establish a permanent recycling system on campus for students.”
The coalition will continue its endeavors of spreading awareness on campus and establishing additional ways of conserving energy and resources. Projects underway include brainstorming ways to upgrade to energy-efficient light bulbs on campus, exploring transportation options for commuters that will reduce carbon emissions, and taking the new recycling program to academic buildings on campus.
“Through community partnerships, student organization involvement, and participation from Oakland University's administration, the Environmental Coalition hopes to create a campus that is completely environmentally efficient, sustainable, and a leader in innovation and technology related to environmental issues,” Muhammed said.
The coalition currently has representation from SPIN (Students Promoting Interest in Nature), Student Congress, Residence Hall Life, University Student Apartments, and the University Senate Committee on Campus Development and the Environment.
For more information on the Environmental Coalition, contact Muhammed at firstname.lastname@example.org.