University extends sustainability initiatives
Student organization Green Grounds plans Thursday forum featuring University administrators, faculty
University students and employees this week are set to escalate efforts to raise environmental awareness on Grounds. Initiatives include the launch of a new website, a speaker series and an updated sustainability pledge, according to a University statement released Friday. More than 1,300 people have pledged to “explore ways to live more sustainably” at the University and beyond, according to the website.
University Dining Services is hosting events throughout the week, offering local fruit and desserts at each of its dining halls. Green Grounds, a student sustainability organization, will host a forum Thursday at noon in the Newcomb South Meeting Room showcasing sustainability initiatives at the University.
After the forum, the first session of the sustainability speakers series will take place. Speakers will include University Architect David Neuman, Chief Facilities Officer Don Sundren and Assoc. Architecture Prof. Phoebe Crisman, who directs the global sustainability minor. Third-year College student Alyssa Tsantes will moderate the panel.
“The discussion will focus on faculty/student/administrator collaborations and the role of these innovative partnerships in reaching University sustainability goals,” Andrew Greene, sustainability planner in U.Va.’s Office of the Architect, said in the statement.
Nina Morris, sustainability outreach coordinator in Facilities Management, said Thursday’s events provided networking opportunities for students, faculty and staff to talk about sustainability at the University and “investigate new ideas about how we can improve it.”
The forum will be held the day after Campus Sustainability Day, a day for campuses around the country to discuss sustainability options. Third-year Architecture student Meredyth Sanders, co-executive director of Green Grounds, said the organization had been holding events on Campus Sustainability Day since Green Grounds formed in 2004.
“This year it is more of a collaborative event,” Sanders said. “Not only does it include faculty and staff, but it also brings in students who are involved or would like to be involved in the sustainability effort. It’s both a venue for celebrating what has been accomplished, as well as making connections for the future.”