Almost one year ago, hundreds of students and many student organizations convened at the UC patio and watched as University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala signed the Green U initiative.
Throughout the past year, there have been complaints that the university has not worked hard enough to improve our campus, but are students also rising to the occasion and changing their ways of life?
Student organizations have been working hard. Sustainable U handed out Nalgene bottles to students in hopes of reducing the use of plastic water bottles. Gang Green recycles old cell phones and gives them to women who are subject to abuse.
Even our newly-elected Student Government President Brandon Gross and his team are working to improve the environmental consciousness of our campus. Gross has initiated talks with Green U about expanding the on-campus recycling program and wants to collaborate with UNICCO on working to provide better recycling removal programs.
Despite the student organizations working to make this campus greener, it seems that there is a lack of effort by individual students. The university has implemented the new U-Print system to help avoid printing frivolous documents, yet students still leave their papers on the trays.
Starbucks allows student to bring in their own coffee mugs for coffee instead of using the paper cups, but not many take advantage of this opportunity. Last year when the university competed in Recycle Mania, the student body placed 146 out of 149 in recycling bottles and cans and 120 out of 140 for recycling paper.
Before students complain about the university and its “lack of environmental consciousness” they should to take a look at they effort they are personally making to improve the campus. Making our campus greener is not just the responsibility of the administration.
Students need to take the extra effort to make small changes in their lifestyles. Recycle paper, even if it means walking an extra five minutes to the library.
This university is not just the school administration, and it’s up to the students as well to work together to make the change.