Santa Clara University

Center for Sustainability Banner
Back to Blog

 Associated Student Government Leadership

Posted on Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

With Courtney Seymour and Lindsay Gray, both seniors, at the helm of Associated Student Government, the 2011-2012 school year promises to be an active one in which much will take place. Seymour and Gray, who ran on a platform of "safety, school spirit, and sustainability", are passionate about seeing their ideas put into action. They will be building on the foundations of many programs begun by their predecessors Chris Mosier, '11 and Nhunguyen Le, '12.

"It's easier to get things actually done when you build on something where the foundation has already been laid," explains Seymour. One of the most important precedents they will continue and strengthen is the senator-at-large for sustainability position. Originally established in 2009, this position was established by Mosier, then Senate Chair, to strengthen the communication and collaboration between ASG and the Office of Sustainability. The senator also helps ASG implement its own sustainability initiatives.

Last school year, Julie Peterson, '12, focused on the Water Bottle Free Initiative, which will be continued this school year. The goal of the initiative is to eliminate the sale of plastic water bottles from on-campus dining halls and encourage students to carry reusable bottles instead.

According to Le, this campaign, as well as the appointment of the at-large senator, were Mosier's and his greatest accomplishments as far as sustainability was concerned. For Seymour and Gray, the transition was easy. They liked what they saw with the at-large senator and other sustainability initiatives of their predecessors, and figured that continuing with these actions would help them make some real progress as far as sustainability.

These outgoing and incoming student leaders come from different parts of the country and are involved in different aspects of life at SCU, but one thing they all have in common is a passion to create purposeful change at the school. Le was urged by Mosier, his friend and cross country teammate since high school, to join ASG (then Associated Students) even before he started his freshman year, and later to be his running mate. Seymour was active in student government in high school, and says that joining ASG was a natural extension for her. Gray came to ASG after working on the Activities Programming Board (APB) and seeing the larger role she could play as a member of ASG.

Of all the opportunities these student leaders have to effect change at SCU, why did they choose sustainability as one of them? According to Mosier, Fr. Engh's inaugural speech, which highlighted sustainability, helped him personally realize how important of an issue it is. Mosier says, "sustainability is a major goal of society right now, and we need to reflect this here at SCU." Le adds that while sustainability is very important and visible at Santa Clara, this is not necessarily the case in other places. By encouraging sustainability now, students will be more likely to carry these values with them after they leave school.

One way in which ASG has helped make sustainability a greater presence on campus has been through its relationship with the Office of Sustainability. In addition to the senator-at-large, Mimi Sanicola, who is also the Waste Diversion intern at the Office of Sustainability, the organizations have partnered to establish Living Green in the Neighborhood and promote each others' individual initiatives.

As he and Le pass down the reins, they look forward to seeing the relationship between the Office of Sustainability and ASG grow. They are excited that Seymour and Gray are both Marketing majors, which Mosier hopes will help brand sustainability as a major priority of Associated Student Government. Part of this brand, he says, should be a visibly strong relationship between ASG and the Office of Sustainability. With strong established precedents, marketing backgrounds, and a passion to promote sustainable behavior, Seymour and Gray, along with Sanicola and the Office of Sustainability, will undoubtedly be in an excellent position to foster a culture of sustainability at SCU.

Tags: Co-Curricular Education, Get Involved, Profiles