Successful Summit on Green Issues

by Erica Mundell
Callie Clark
Staff Writers

Transylvania students, faculty, staff and administration gathered this week at the Crimson Goes Green Summit to discuss the university’s situation concerning sustainability. As Dean of Students Michael Vetter explained, the purpose of a summit is “bringing together leaders from different vantage points for a particular topic.” The summit accomplished just that. Dean Vetter, along with President Charles Shearer, were joined by student representatives from the Transylvania Environmental Rights and Responsibilities Alliance (TERRA), Power Shift, the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC) and the Student Government Association.

Student representatives spoke about the many accomplishments that have been made this year, including TERRA’s initiatives this fall with Power Vote. This was a campaign to inform student voters about the presidential candidate’s past voting records on issues like clean and renewable energy. Senior Marci Smith recapped the success of Transy students at Power Shift 2009, and newly-elected SGA president Jacob Brumfield discussed the steps that SGA has taken this year, including placing recycling bins in the dorm rooms and installing duplexers, which allows students to print double-sided documents in Forrer Hall and the library. As a coordinator of KSEC, senior Callie Clark spoke about the conference that Transy hosted for KSEC this January and the goals the members set for the year.

A new venture for Transy was also brought up at the summit. Beginning in May Term this year, a new class led by Chemistry Program Director Eva Csuhai called The Garden of Transylvania will help to start the development of Transy’s new community garden. Dr. Anthony Vital is also spearheading the project. “The purpose of this space should be to cultivate a thoughtful, meditative state as much as a space to cultivate tomatoes,” said Vital at the summit. The first meeting was held this week for all interested members of the Transy community.

The Waste Management, Research and Campus Education subcommittees of the President’s Sustainability Advisory Board also reported on their efforts to move Transy towards becoming a more sustainable campus. Director of Public Relations Sarah Emmons presented the Web site she and her committee created to keep the campus updated on their endeavors. This site can be found on Inside Transy in the Help and Resources section under “Green Transy.”

To close the summit, Dean Vetter announced that Transy has recently adopted an Energy Star purchasing policy and has invested in an energy audit. These programs will help to ensure that the university is making informed and wise decisions concerning energy on campus. The summit adjourned to a reception which featured local foods, cups made from plant materials and Green Mountain Coffee, a fair trade coffee also served in the 1780 Café.

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