Mon, 26 Aug 2013 09:23:00 CDT — by: Charlotte Henderson, C'13, Sustainability Post-Baccalaureate Fellow
The new school year is already underway with orientation events quickly approaching. The freshmen are already on campus, moving into their dorms, and learning the layout of Sewanee. Tonight, the freshmen will be introduced to the various Environmental clubs in which Sewanee students can get involved in. Nine clubs will be represented, but there is huge potential for students to form their own clubs and organizations without an already existing framework. The organizations represented tonight range from a residential themed house to an organization focused on environmental and spiritual exploration.
1) The Greenhouse is a themed house that has been in operation for many years, housing students interested in living a low-impact and sustainable life. They maintain their own garden, have chickens, and host many fantastic events to foster conversation oriented around environmental awareness and strengthening the community to take action. The Greenhouse has partnered with many different organizations on campus like Sewanee Green Action, the Community Engagement House, and the Sustainability House to work on fundraisers, campaigns, and awareness raising activities.
2) Biodiversity fellows are a relatively new initiative led by the Environmental Studies department. A biodiversity fellow works on biodiversity themed research and projects. Most recently, over the summer, two students worked in the Sewanee Herbarium on a plant inventory for the Domain. These distinguished students can be current students or post-baccalaureate fellows.
3) The Sewanee Organic Garden is bigger than ever, contributing its produce to the dining hall. Located next to the baseball field, community members, faculty and staff, and students are encouraged to come and help out during volunteer hours (Thursday and Friday, 2-4pm). The garden is focused on using natural and organic methods of planting, cultivation, and harvesting.
4) The Forestry and Geology Club is focused on helping initiatives such as reforestation and conservation. It is a group of students interested in exploring and learning more about forestry and geology, apart from lab and class.
5) New this year, sustainability fellows are distinguished students (and post-graduates) concerned with sustainability issues at Sewanee and looking to take an active stance in making a change. Undergraduate sustainability fellows have the opportunity to help implement goals outlined in the Sustainability Master Plan and help mentor other undergraduates in their own sustainability oriented projects.
6) Environmental Residents (ERs) is a program focused on increasing green practices within the dorms and residential facilities. Every dorm has ERs that work to increase awareness on how to minimize the impact one can have within a dorm like turning off the lights, not having a mini-fridge, recycling, and taking shorter showers.
7) Sportsmen House, founded by some of last years’ graduates (’13), is a themed house that attracts those interested in hunting, fishing, and also wildlife conservation and management. The house hosts and contributes to many different events on campus, helping with fundraisers and various campaigns.
8) Earthkeepers is a fantastic organization focused on partnering a love for the earth with spiritual exploration and growth, with an emphasis on enhancing the communal theme encompassed in gardening and sharing.
9) The Sewanee Natural History Society is an exciting club being revamped by some current students. It is a club of all people interested in gaining more knowledge of the Plateau’s natural history while exploring, respecting, and appreciating the natural world.
There are many opportunities to get involved in these organizations and movements and also, being active in environmental stewardship and sustainability is not limited to these clubs – there is much potential! We hope that everyone is able to find or form an outlet for positive change and engagement.