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Skidmore College Students Key to Success in Campus Sustainability Program
Sustainable Skidmore’s student Sustainability-Rep (S-REP) program, established in 2008, increases awareness about sustainability and inspires behavior change through programming and educational initiatives in the residence halls. S-Reps offer information on sustainability topics, serve as sounding boards for sustainability concerns in the dorms and host activities related to sustainability. Currently, Skidmore supports 10 S-Rep positions each academic year and all S-Reps live in the residence halls where they will be working.
Topics covered in the S-Rep program include: waste reduction and recycling, climate change and energy conservation, food and composting, and more. S-Reps participate in training before the start of the academic year and meet biweekly throughout the semester to learn about selected topics and to discuss and plan activities for their dorms.
According to Skidmore, the most successful element of their S-Rep program is the creation of the Student S-Rep Manager position. By creating a position for a person that had previously been an S-Rep, there is an understanding of the challenges faced by current Eco-Reps that the Sustainability Coordinator (staff) may not have. The most successful S-Rep-initiated program on campus is “Skidmore Unplugged,” where residence halls compete to reduce their individual energy consumption over a period of three weeks every November. (An excerpt from Student Sustainability Educators).
Authored by Dr. Christina Erickson, Sustainability Director at Champlain College in Vermont, and co-published by National Wildlife Federation and AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education), Student Sustainability Educators can be downloaded for free, at www.nwf.org/EcoReps.
Student Sustainability Educators features examples from 18 campuses highlighting their efforts to design, implement and evaluate Eco-Rep Programs. Readers of the guide will find:
• Step-by-step action items and tips for creating, maintaining and evaluating a campus Eco-Rep program
• Brief descriptions of actual programs and their best practices
• Case studies of successes and roadblocks
• Activity, event, marketing and outreach examples
• Eco-Rep recruiting tools, sample job descriptions, and other resources
In addition to Student Sustainability Educators, blog content includes highlights from the Sustainable Skidmore website.