Initiative Releases Study on Sustainability at Georgetown
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 03:03
The Visions for a Sustainable Georgetown Initiative has recognized that it is not easy being green on the Hilltop, but hopes to change that with a campus-wide sustainability action plan.
A report presented by the group at last week’s Hoya Roundtable consists of a series of recommendations intended to increase sustainability efforts on campus.
The core suggestions include developing a Climate Action Plan and creating an official Office of Sustainability, both of which Georgetown currently lacks.
“Moving forward, we want to focus on our two core recommendations, and we want students to actively participate in bringing both to fruition,” Gabriel Pincus (SFS ’14), a member of the team that wrote the study, wrote in an email.
The authors hope that the Climate Action Plan will gain traction with the administration, which is formulating an outline for the implementation of the recommendations.
“Our hope is that [the plan] will be written by a team of administrators and sustainability experts, and incorporate the student perspective expressed at the Visions for a Sustainable Georgetown Workshop,” the report said.
The study has been in the works since November, when Georgetown University Student Association Secretary of Sustainability Jesse Robbins (SFS ’12) and former Eco-Action president Claire Austin (SFS ’12) spearheaded a workshop to gather student input on campus sustainability issues.
Prior to the development of the Visions initiative, the absence of a unified effort to improve campus sustainability hindered student efforts to effectively collaborate with administrators according to Robbins. While Visions for a Sustainable Georgetown is guided primarily by student input, the initiative has also enlisted the help of both faculty and staff.
“It’s very fragmented, the green community on campus,” Robbins said. “We thought it’d be a great idea to bring everyone together in more of a long-term manner. That became Visions for a Sustainable Georgetown.”
Overall, the report is not a strict set of directives for administrators. Rather, it is intended to be a collection of student recommendations for creating a sustainable campus. Other goals include installing water bottle refill stations in residence and streamlineing recycling in dorms and academic buildings.
Although the implementation of the recommendations will require significant cooperation from university administration, University President John J. DeGioia’s recent signature of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s College and University Sustainability Pledge has left students optimistic about their recommendations.
“This report is, and I hope it will continue to be, a sort of a static way for [administrators] to look at what students think. Now it’s` all here in one report for administrators to consult any time they’re wondering what students feel should be priorities on campus,” Robbins said.