Meet Will Russo

Categories: General News Tags: Sustainability

Will Russo is a junior computer science major with a sociology minor. He serves as chair of the Charlotte Green Initiative and treasurer of Peaks and Professors, a hiking club that focuses on connecting students, faculty and the great outdoors.

Why did you choose UNC Charlotte?

I chose UNC Charlotte because I saw so much potential for growth and improvement in my own professional life as well as for the campus and community.

Can you tell us a little about the Charlotte Green Initiative? Why did you get involved with the group?

The Charlotte Green Initiative is a student green fund that focuses on bringing sustainable change to the campus. The initiative consists of up to 11 students who deliberate and discuss submitted proposals to find the best way forward with the given proposal. One of the Charlotte Green Initiative’s strongest skill sets is providing resources to help students, staff and faculty navigate the process for creating a successful proposal.

How can students get involved with the Charlotte Green Initiative?

One of the main things students can do to get involved with the Charlotte Green Initiative is to submit proposals and help make campus better bit by bit. If a peer recognizes room for improvement on campus, we encourage you to remind them that they have an avenue for change at UNC Charlotte through the initiative. If your passion for sustainability is something that truly drives you, we encourage you to reach out to learn more and possibly apply to become a committee member.

One of my favorite projects that the initiative helped fund was a period poverty proposal. It aimed to increase accessibility to menstrual products for those with challenging circumstances by installing free menstrual products dispensers in single use restrooms around campus.

Why is it important for the campus community to take part in sustainability initiatives?

Sustainability is not just about how to save the most trees or remove the most contaminants from water. Sustainability is the actions and policy changes we need to make as a society to ensure that people have the means, the opportunity and the knowledge to make decisions with the environment in mind.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus is in the upper levels of SoVi near the Market. When I was taking Calculus II, I would always use that study space to prepare for exams or finish homework. It’s the perfect study spot with a fireplace and endless access to snacks and caffeine, just across the hall.

What are three words to describe UNC Charlotte?

Three words to describe UNC Charlotte are peaceful, progress and curiosity.

What do you like to do when you aren’t studying?

I am a lead teaching assistant for Intro to Computer Science I and II, and I am conducting an independent study under the guidance of Assistant Teaching Professor Nadia Najjar, where I am currently rebuilding an animal shelter survey website from the ground up.

What’s a fun fact about you many people may not know?

I was born in the UK while my parents were living overseas.