Student organizations and the students they target often see the much ballyhooed annual Main Campus extravaganza that is Spring Fling in very different terms.
Student organizations enthusiastically embrace Spring Fling as an opportunity to engage students and possibly bolster support and raise money. Students see it as an all-day celebration of skipped classes and debauchery. Given this dynamic, I thought I’d take some time to highlight the work being done by campus environmental clubs.
Temple’s environmentally conscious clubs have organized under an umbrella organization as the Green Council. Green Council may sound like the kind of organization that a Glenn Beck or an Alex Jones may accuse of trying to destroy our campus, but they really do great work.
The student organizations connected to Green Council are campus staples like Students for Environmental Action, Temple Community Gardens, Students for Responsible Business, Temple Outdoor Club, Philly Eco Kids, Geological Society and the Temple chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, as well as Temple Student Government.
According to the Green Council, the goal of the organization is to “foster collaboration among the sustainability-related organizations” and to organize campus-wide green and sustainability oriented events. Green Council and its member organizations have been working to promote environmental sustainability all year long. However, Green Council has honed in on the week immediately preceding Earth Day as its key engagement opportunity.
The umbrella group will host a “green scavenger hunt.” Dubbed “Earth Day Extravaganza,” the event will take place tomorrow, April 11, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Students will go to different green locations on campus to receive stamps. At each location, activities and giveaways will occur. Students who visit three of four locations will be eligible to enter for a raffle for a free iPad.
The goal of the event is to help raise awareness of the green locations around Main Campus and to help create a new green location as part of the event. All of this effort will go toward eliminating Temple’s image as a concrete jungle.
Green Council and its member organizations have put in considerable work to help forward a fresh, new, clean and green image of the university. Green Council’s work is incredibly vital because it affects Temple in a very important way.
SRB promotes environmental and ethical business around Main Campus and has been promoting green business through conventions, gatherings and actions throughout the last few years. This week, SRB is actually hosting conferences relating to better and greener business practices.
SEA has been heavily involved with pushing the university’s involvement in Recyclemania during the last few years. Additionally, the group has been on the frontline in advocating for more sustainable food services in the university’s Sodexo dining halls. SEA also helps inform students regarding environmental politics. Perhaps most notably, Students for Environmental Action has served as a hub for environmental volunteer opportunities and “green” connections.
Temple Outdoor Club promotes outdoor activities on and off Main Campus. Philly Eco Kids seek to help promote environmental education. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Geological Society are both campus chapters of national organizations related to fields with “green” interests.
Other peripheral non-club groups including Temple Community Against Mountaintop Removal and Occupy Temple engage in environmental activism, along with the university’s more broadly political and community service oriented groups. However, the Green Council organizations have served as pinnacles in the campus environmentalist movement for years.
The promotion of green space on campus not only helps promote the morale of current students, but it helps combat the image of Main Campus as a bleak and lifeless campus. Temple’s campus certainly lacks the same “green” appeal that many rural and private colleges have. Students interested in environmentalism should consider getting a taste with Green Council’s upcoming “Earth Day Extravaganza,” and parley that into continued dedication to a Green Council organization relevant to their interests.
Joe Hoey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full disclosure: Joe Hoey is a member of Students for Environmental Action.