Champlain Students Reflect on recent Student Sustainability Leaders Symposium

On November 10, 2019, a vanload of Champlain College students traveled to Boston College’s retreat center to participate in the 2019 Student Sustainability Leaders Symposium. Members of our team presented on their recent experience with Project Green Challenge as an effective engagement tool. Here are a few of their reflections:

MATT VILLA ’22 Game Production Management
What prompted me to attend the conference was the opportunity to meet other students who were passionate about sustainability. I don’t get to hear much outside of what Champlain College does, so I was excited to learn what my peers from other schools were working on.
What I learned from the experience was why understanding the impact of Climate Change is important. Hearing about what the world is doing to prevent it and why opened my mind to the realization of what Climate change means to us. It’s not about the earth, it’s about us. If we don’t start treating the earth differently, we won’t be able to live on it for much longer.
The biggest take away for me was how motivated my generation is to make a change. To see people of my age being an active participant in environmental policy and climate activism was surprising powerful to me. I’m glad I can be a part of this movement.
HOLLY FRANCIS ’20 Environmental Studies & Policy
As a Student Outreach Liaison at Champlain College’s Center for Service & Sustainability, I am always on the lookout for sustainability events that I can go to and involve other students in. Champlain College has many environmental initiatives already, but gaining insight from other schools and individuals is invaluable. I was also excited to be able to talk about Project Green Challenge to students and college staff and make some connections with outside sources.
I learned just how diverse the environmental realm can be, from business to psychology to dentistry to environmental science, this work is incredibly interdisciplinary. This was already something I had a grasp on, but hearing stories from so many people with so many passions and backgrounds was very inspiring to me. There comes a lot of hope in such a diverse and passionate group of people coming together.
My biggest takeaway was that other schools also struggle with getting student involvement, and that we are all in that boat together. I learned about events the Tufts Eco-Reps put on and how they made them successful. These include activities such as making loose leaf tea, decorating tote bags, and doing door-to-door giveaways, the Tufts Eco-Reps taught me some ways to put on events that draw in students while educating them in important matters. Hopefully I can bring some of these ideas back to Champlain College.
NATHAN WILLIAMS ’23 Environmental Studies and Policy
I really wanted to hear from fellow students and leaders in the sustainability world. An opportunity like this was something I really wanted to take advantage of!!
I learned what other Eco-Reps at other colleges do for their campuses. I was also exposed to new issues other colleges face and how they’re going about those issues. It was very nice to consider problems that we are facing, that aren’t necessarily issues on our small campus.
My biggest take away from the symposium was all the perspectives I was exposed to. Here at Champlain we have a variety of perspectives, but we all use close to the same strategies to tackle sustainability issues on campus. It was great to learn how other Eco-Reps are going about issues such as food, waste management, water quality, transportation, and energy.