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YHC gets lesson in sustainability

October 30, 2010

By Ember Zimmerman, Staff Writer

On campus is an organization dedicated to making Young Harris College life more sustainable. This organization is simply called the Sustainability Committee. The Sustainability Committee’s mission is to actively assist in making the college, students and faculty more environmentally conscious. Currently, there are three subcommittees dedicated to making YHC more sustainable. Each of these three subcommittees is led by a member of the YHC faculty or staff.

Leading the college in educating faculty and students on lessons of sustainability is Dr. Jim Bishop. In addition to teaching students about sustainability in his classes, Bishop also encourages other faculty to include such lessons in their own curriculum. His English 1102 classes are all based on a theme of bioregionalism this semester, putting him in a good position for such lessons to be taught.

Krista Massell, director of safety and compliance at YHC, works to promote ‘greener’ practices among offices and departments on campus, such as Sodexo, which is in charge of supplying food on campus.

Finally, Rob Campbell, coordinator for academic service learning and Bonner Leaders, leads the sub-committee in charge of communicating with the Young Harris community. He works with the Bonner leaders, Roots and Shoots, SGA and other student organizations to coordinate ‘green’ events. He also works with the mayor of Young Harris on occasion to coordinate sustainability projects not only with the college, but also with the city of Young Harris.

These three subcommittee leaders are also working with other members of the sustainability committee. These additional 13 are a mix of faculty and students trying to improve quality of ‘green’ life on campus, and they’re not the first group to do this.

For years there have been committees on campus dedicated to improving the campus life’s environmental contributions, beginning with Common Ground in 1989. Common Ground was a student group who began recycling paper, plastic and aluminum on campus. Eventually, groups like this evolved into the Sustainability Committee.

The Sustainability Committee has planned a Sustainability Awareness Day, to be held in November. Some of the events for the day are still being planned, but the committee is going to hand out bags filled with sustainability-related goodies. The Sustainability Committee will not be the only ones handing out the bags, as other affiliated student organizations will be aiding them with this and other events on Sustainability Awareness Day.

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