SUU Club Advocates for Campus Sustainability

Published: May 03, 2024 | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU sustainability club holding signsSouthern Utah University's Sustainability Club has been actively promoting sustainability initiatives on campus, with a focus on enacting positive change through student-led efforts and community engagement.

“Over the past year, the SUU Sustainability Club in collaboration with the SUU Student Association (SUUSA) has passed student legislation and stimulated many good conversations with campus administration to encourage the creation of an official Office of Sustainability,” said Shannon Eberhard, assistant director of Outdoor Pathways at SUU. “Currently, SUU is the only campus of its size in Utah without an official campus sustainability office and coordinator. But SUU’s students are working hard to encourage change.”

Om Meta, who served as both a student senator and chair of the SUUSA Sustainability Committee, has been instrumental in driving these initiatives forward. Working alongside Sustainability Club Presidents Natasha Anderson and Annie Weight, Meta has spearheaded efforts to turn ideas into actionable strategies that benefit the entire campus community.

“The Sustainability Club has been extremely active this past year,” said Meta. “We have done immense work in advocating for a sustainability office and more stewardship on campus.”

Meta highlighted the success of a sustainability survey that garnered over 500 responses and a well-attended sustainability rally in March, which received coverage from local press outlets. Additionally, the Sustainability Club has actively supported community initiatives such as maintaining the campus community garden.

The SUU Community Garden Club (mentored by Ben Cozzens and Eleanor Smith) has also contributed much to expanding SUU’s sustainability efforts. In addition to growing free food for campus and community members, the SUU Community Garden Club collaborates with SUU’s Dining Services by collecting and composting food scraps from the kitchen. Through their work, in 2023 over 2.8 tons or 5,600 lbs of food were diverted from the landfill and are instead enriching community garden beds.

Looking ahead, Eberhard emphasized the club's commitment to furthering SUU’s sustainability goal of establishing an official campus sustainability committee and exploring the possibility of hiring a dedicated campus sustainability coordinator. These efforts will focus on implementing and organizing sustainability-related practices, including campus recycling, energy efficiency, and waste reduction.

Outdoor Pathways provides experiential learning opportunities for students to connect with the outdoors and become capable professionals who value stewardship and sustainability. Learn more about the Outdoor Pathways at SUU.

Tags: Campus CurStu Community

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Nikki Koontz