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Associated Students Makes Sustainability a Priority

Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

The Associated Students of Santa Clara University are looking to make their school a little greener. The Student Senate announced in October the appointment of Sophomore Ryan O’Connor as the at-large Senator for Sustainability. O’Connor will work in concert with the Office of Sustainability to raise the profile of sustainability and environmental stewardship in Santa Clara’s student government. Leaders like Senate Chair Chris Mosier and AS Vice President Katherine Quinn-Shea hope the organization can set an example for students and the greater community by promoting environmental consciousness in its day-to-day business.

Every full senate meeting during the fall discussed, at some length, the topic of sustainability. From a “question of the week” at the beginning of the quarter to ideas of how organizations can purchase organic t-shirts, senators were always willing to fold sustainability into their agenda. AS is especially interested in getting Santa Clara’s new composting initiative off the ground. People looking to throw away their trash are greeted by new bins and signs in Benson with instructions on how to properly recycle and compost. The Senate Facilities Committee will work to monitor the program’s impact on campus waste generation and offer suggestions in the future to make it more effective.

Mosier asked senators to bring suggestions on how AS can be more sustainable to a recent senate meeting. Ideas included reducing paper consumption by using electronic forms of communication, like e-mail, reducing use of plastic bottles on campus, and turning off lights when workspaces aren’t in use. O’Connor will be leading the AS Sustainability Task Force to implement sustainable practices within the organization and across campus. He will also begin writing an environmental standard for student government so that members can reference ways to make their actions more environmentally sound.

For more information on AS, visit their web site here.

Tags: Program Highlights, Student Life



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