In Tuesdayâ€™s paper Hayes Seubert analyzed the universityâ€™s â€œgreenâ€ image and initiatives claiming them to be misleading, asking, what is all this for?
I was asking the same question as I went to recycle my meal at Spoons that same day. I found the recycle bins had been taken away. A custodial worker explained to me how students would mix their recycling and trash together and throw it in the bin.
The university canâ€™t do the â€œgreenâ€ image alone. I fear this is the point everyone misses.
Like Seubert, I find myself critiquing the universityâ€™s landscape practices after a class on landscaping practices.Â But many students want to go to â€œniceâ€ schools, so the university caters to this. And the best students want to go to the â€œnicestâ€ schools, so these policies are enforced.
This thinking is replicated by the CSU System Board of Governors and administration because they are rewarded for it.
While the university creates green committees with stakeholders and experts who tweak and critique university policy and fly to expensive conferences to sign â€œgreenâ€ commitments, we all lose out.
The university must make a more substantial effort to engage students as partners in this endeavor. Most students realize these simple problems, yet the university chooses to develop and implement big solar and wind projects and brand us with off-colored smurf people to signify our â€œgreenâ€ status.
The real enemy is the culture of minimal collaboration between students, faculty, administration and community, and without working together, the cycle will continue.
Jack Becker is a senior communication studies major. Letters and feedback can be firstname.lastname@example.org.