Members of the Westminster community (pictured above) celebrated EcoHouse’s expansion of community involvement and participation in on-campus activities with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, Oct. 3 for the new Student Office of Sustainability.
This is the first department of its kind on campus completely run by students.
“We are celebrating 10 years of EcoHouse on this campus,” said Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science Dr. Irene Unger, who is the group’s advisor. “What began as an idea in April 2007 became a reality in August 2007. We have accomplished a lot in 10 years. The bar is high for where we are going, but we are going to keep going.”
Located in the EcoHouse at 321 West 6th Street as an extension of EcoHouse, the new office will have its own purpose and set of objectives that will focus on student involvement, the hosting of green events, and education on sustainable living. It will also serve as a resource center and meeting facility.
Acting President Dr. Carolyn Perry and Vice President of Campus Operations Dan Haslag also spoke at the dedication ceremony.
“I am very thankful for Dr. Irene Unger’s leadership because she has taught our students so much about how to organize effectively, to make change happen, to step up and lead their fellow students, and to build sustainability in their organization by developing leadership in the next generation,” Dr. Perry told the group. “And I’m very proud of our students for how much they have been able to accomplish over the past few years, especially through the sustainability fee and the Office.”
EcoHouse is one of several themed residences on campus and serves as a learning facility and residence dedicated to sustainable living and green improvement projects on campus. The House is designed to set an example for students, faculty, and the community on how to live an energy efficient and green lifestyle. Residents set that example through the following activities:
- co-coordinate recycling and composting on campus with Plant Operations,
- oversee the BikeShare program,
- serve as campus community garden helpers and promoters,
- participate in America Recycle’s Day and other environmentally conscious activities.
“I want to commend the leaders of EcoHouse for having this vision,” said Haslag. “It was the students’ idea to have a physical location on campus to lead the charge for living sustainably…to be good stewards of our environment.”