Happy Earth Day, Temple students! We thought you should know that Temple got a little overwhelmed with the anticipation and celebrated a bit early. Yesterday, President Ann Weaver Hart signed an important document that further sent the university down its lush, green path.
The American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment is a written agreement that dedicates Temple to making efforts to reduce the problem of global warming. We just joined more than 500 other colleges that have made the same promise.
This year, Hart established the Office of Sustainability, which is dedicated to keeping our institution on track with making environmentally friendly decisions. Signing this agreement just further establishes Hart’s determination to make Temple an example of “urban sustainability.” So far, she has been consistent in achieving this goal.
We believe Temple to be a forward-thinking university. We have greatly vocal student body, which can be seen with frequent on-campus demonstrations. We’re ranked by the Princeton Review as the No. 1 most-diverse campus in the country. And we’re artistically forward-thinking, as with the Temple Theater’s fall production of In Conflict, which has garnered national attention for its poignant representation of soldiers in the Iraq war.
Temple has potential to become an example of an urban institution that knows how to abide by environmentally sound rules, just like Hart wants.
Improvement is needed, and Temple knows where these areas are. In Temple Living this week, Carlene Majorino highlights the recycling department and its efforts to get the university community involved [“Recycling rocks Earth Day,” Carlene Majorino, April 22, 2008]. If you haven’t noticed lately, recycling bins on campus are sparse but growing slowly. And it’s no wonder – they function with merely four student employees.
Rita Burns, one of the four employees of the department, puts it plainly. It’s all about money. Temple hasn’t yet acknowledged recycling as a priority for the university.
True, all these green initiatives are relatively new. But the importance of recycling has been widely understood since the early ’90s. We don’t think Temple is that slow on the uptake.
In continuing to get the Office of Sustainability off the ground, Hart should also beef up the recycling department. After all, the two should go hand in hand.
With these green initiatives well underway, Temple is on the right track, and we commend that. Like John Winthrop said, Temple can be that city upon a hill. A nice, lush, green hill.