GU Holds Green Gathering for DC Students
Published: Friday, April 29, 2011
Updated: Friday, April 29, 2011 06:04
Students from environmental groups at Georgetown and five other D.C. universities met on campus to collaborate on promoting eco-friendly programs on college campuses.
The first meeting of the D.C. Green Student Organization Forum, organized by members of The Corp and EcoAction, was held in the Leonard Seminar Room of Reynolds Hall on Tuesday night.
"This was a chance for us to get together and talk about what works and what doesn't on campuses, specifically with college students. The idea is to include student groups at D.C. universities and see what other schools talk about and are doing," said Bettina Bergöö (COL '11), Corp Green Initiative member and one of the organizers of the event.
Bergöö held the forum along with fellow Corp Green Initiative member Scott Breen (COL '11) and EcoAction Co-president Claire Austin (SFS '12) to allow attendees to learn from each others' successes and failures.
The forum opened with a brief talk by guest speaker Sarah Murphy, an employee of the DC Project and alum of the Sierra Student Coalition. Murphy stressed the importance of campaign planning, strategizing and organizing to create effective events and groups on campuses.
Members of green student groups from American University, Catholic University, The George Washington University, the University of the District of Columbia, Georgetown's Law Center and the main campus then discussed their own challenges and accomplishments.
While American University's and The George Washington University's student groups described a number of eco-friendly initiatives they have undertaken on their campuses in the past several years, the University of the District of Columbia discussed how their Sustainability Program just launched this year. Representatives from Catholic University's Green Club joked that the three members present at the forum represented a "healthy proportion" of their club membership.
Madeline Howard (COL '12), a member of Georgetown's fledgling Community Garden organization, said the exchange of information between student groups with similar goals was a valuable experience.
"I feel like it really is important for us to talk to each other, because even on campus it can be hard to communicate," she said. "There's strength in numbers."
Groups said the coalition plans to continue the dialogue next year, possibly meeting once a semester. Breen said that he hopes Georgetown will be able to improve its own green programs by looking to the examples set by other local schools.
"I'm jealous of what other universities are doing," he said. "I feel like some are doing a lot more, doing a lot of outside-the-box thinking. It was good to hear about these things and think: We could be doing this at Georgetown."