’12 EcoRep Symposium



By: Kasey Elliot

After climbing a mountain to get to Brown University’s student center, Sarah Healy and I were greeted by green T-shirts and the smiling faces of Brown’s Eco-Reps. As we checked in, I noticed every table was filled with reusable water bottles and drawings on the paper table cloth. Once we reached the front of the line a Rep asked if we brought a reusable water bottle or reusable silverware, setting a standard for a zero waste day from the very beginning (we came prepared). The day’s activities featured concurrent discussions involving the initiative, engagement, and logistics of the Eco-Rep program. With that, my colleague and I split up to soak up as much information as possible, and tailor our experience to what we thought would benefit BU’s Eco-Rep program most. After a creative vegetarian lunch, an introduction, and ice-breakers, we headed off to our first session that covered presentations ranging from green rooms and dorm activities to publicity. Since BU is re-piloting our Eco-Rep program this spring, being able to see student presentations provided an example of what Eco-Reps look like on other campuses. It also helped guide our vision of what future BU Reps might look like.

Following the session, we regrouped in the main facility to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of other programs, allowing us a chance to understand what challenges we may face. Before we headed to session two, we engaged roundtable discussions, where we could rotate around to the tables with our topic of interest. Because there was a diverse group of people and an informal setting, I was able to converse with participants involved with different aspects of the Eco-Rep process and hear their experience from an alternative perspective. From here, we transitioned to the last set of presentations geared towards structure and logistics. Students from Cornell and Babson discussed their program structure and provided methods to start, run, and sustain the program. The discussion provided innovative ideas to get people involved and engaged in the sustainability of their campus, and their lives. The conversations continued over dinner and closing remarks, where students were rewarded for sustainable behavior. After exchanging information to keep the conversation going, I bike-blended my own smoothie before venturing back down the hill.

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