This past fall, Housing and Residence Life and the Sustainability Office instituted a campus EcoReps pilot program with three students. Recently, the initiative added nine more participants.
A nationwide program, EcoReps provides an opportunity for students to assume a leadership role within their residence halls. Students provide peer-to-peer education to increase awareness of campus sustainability efforts.
For spring 2019, campus EcoReps are focusing on encouraging residents to earn Green Room Certification. Residents must complete a checklist to prove they are consciously making an effort to make sustainable living choices such as utilizing a reusable water bottle, turning off lights when leaving the room and recycling regularly.
This semester’s EcoReps also are urging residents to make sustainable transportation choices (light rail and bike share), informing them of recycling opportunities on campus (Weird Recycling Center and move-out best practices) and promoting participation in RecycleMania and Earth Month activities.
The Sustainability Office and Housing and Residence Life (HRL) are partnering on the campus EcoReps program. While the Sustainability Office primarily oversees the program, HRL benefits from additional student programming, lower water and energy consumption and a potential increase in students’ well-being.
“This program provides a great opportunity for students to have a leadership role among their peers and also gives us insight into what on-campus residents are interested in,” said Tyler Sytsma, University sustainability coordinator. “As the program continues to grow each semester so will the overall awareness of campus sustainability.”
To become an EcoRep, students must have an interest in campus sustainability, currently reside in a residence hall and have a good relationship with their peers. Once selected, EcoReps assume the responsibility for the semester and receive a stipend for their efforts.