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Student engagement in campus sustainability

March 23, 2010
By Rommel McClaney

Junior Alysse Brice, president of the Coalition for Campus Sustainability, is encouraging everyone at CSU to be engaged in campus sustainability during the Earth Day Celebration and Student Sustainability Fair April 22.

CCS President Alysse Brice brainstorms ideas for the Sustainability Fair with members of the Student Sustainability Center.

Becoming a Green Warrior

Last year, the Coalition for a Student Sustainability Fair ran a highly successful Earth Day event and a first ever Student Sustainability Fair. Now the Coalition for Campus Sustainability, or CCS, in order to expand their efforts this year to include more than just the Fair, President and environmental communications major Alysse Brice hopes to have events as great as last year.

Alysse is also the sustainability intern for CSU. She works in the Housing and Dining Services department, where she tries to increase student engagement in campus sustainability through the new Green Warrior Campaign. Alysse, and two other interns, received a $47,000 grant from the Rocky Mountain Institute last summer to help with the Green Warrior campaign, Earth Day Fair, and much more. 

"(The grant) has also been used to purchase real-time energy meters for each residence hall for a potential energy-saving competition like RecycleMania."

CCS is also working with the Live Green Team, a group of faculty, staff, and students committed to sustainability. Tonie Miyamoto, director of communications in Housing and Dining, Alysse's supervisor, is a member and is working on the Fair.

"We (CCS and the Live Green Team) are also working with the Student Sustainability Center and the Warner College of Natural Resources to expand Earth Week and make it a success."

Finalizing events

CCS is still finalizing the schedule of events for Earth Week, such as a documentary screening, a service-learning activity for elementary school children, and a bike parade, but the Earth Day Celebration and Student Sustainability Fair will take place on Thursday, April 22.

"(During the fair) student can expect to acquire information about various CSU and community organizations and businesses that operate sustainably to promote sustainability," says Brice. 

"Each organization will have a table/booth on the Plaza that students can visit. We also asked that each organization provide an interactive portion to further engage students."
For example, a booth may have materials for planting a seed. What is most important is these groups will have a chance to educate students, faculty, and staff about their sustainability efforts.

Getting interested in student sustainability

"I have always had a deep respect for nature, but I became more involved with sustainability when I arrived at CSU."
Alysse is from the Denver area and graduated from St. Mary's Academy high school. When she came to CSU, she was a member of the Live Green Community in Summit Hall her freshman year.

"Then, in Adam Beh's Principles of Environmental Communications class, students were required to perform a debate about a particular environmental issue. I ended up taking the lead on my group's topic, 'Is CSU really Green?' and learned a lot about CSU's green initiatives."

Through her research, she encountered faculty, staff, and other students who were a part of the Green University and she has been involved ever since.

The 2010 Earth Day and Sustainability Fair will be on Thursday, April 22 on the LSC Plaza! The fair will feature live music and more than 100 booths are expected. Look for more events and information in the following weeks.