As I was thinking of a new project idea for this class, I wanted to try and start up something new for George Mason University. It would more so be focusing on the cultural/social aspect of being more sustainable as a university. And this would affect not only on-campus students, which is where most projects fall under since it is easier of a scope and to advertise towards.
My idea was to create the position of a ‘Green Ambassador’ for all Registered Student Organizations (RSO) at Mason. This person would be kind of like another executive position of the RSO. This person would then be responsible for ‘greening’ any events that an RSO does. They would go through some kind of informational meeting to learn about different sustainability initiatives on campus and access to different resources that can help their RSO have more sustainable habits. This would be either for meetings, events, etc. that the RSO holds. For example, the officer with the Green Ambassador position could provide reusable cups at meetings, could coordinate having recycling bins at events held, or give insight for different service opportunities for the RSO to do in the gardens on campus. A staff member of the Office of Sustainability could be in charge of holding those meetings and passing on information to them.
On and off campus students are part of RSO’s, so this would be reaching more students. This positon could even be made mandatory so someone from an RSO has to at least hear the information about sustainability resources at one point. This will help students as well by giving them an opportunity to have a leadership position that can go on their resume. And as I personally have seen, there are more environmental-focused major students out there than I thought as I move up higher into my core classes. Obviously not all are part of the LLC on campus, but they are still interested and passionate about sustainability. And they definitely have other interests/activities around campus that they are involved with. This way they can combine those interests while educating others around them. And peer education is much more trusted than authority education.
The problem I have with this is that I think the Office of Student Involvement would be very set in their ways with how RSOs are set up, so they would not be open to the idea of adding a new position, especially towards sustainability. I think I would need to scope the position in a way that would benefit them more. Thoughts?
But again, I think the scope of this project is extending eco-conscious ideas to more students, giving other students an opportunity to test their leadership abilities in their field, and as the implementation of more sustainable practices in different entities grow, the culture of sustainability can start to thrive as well.