Written by Kevin Coriolan | Opinion Co-Editor
Finally, we’re taking steps to care for Mother Nature. Buena Vista University (BVU) has formed the Sustainability Task Force, which much like the name attests, is a superhero group dedicating their energy and powers into making our campus utilities a little more sustainable. Students of BVU: why has this never been acted on before?
The Task Force was, in fact, started by faculty along with the custodial staff who are in charge of maintaining our buildings. At first, I was surprised that the Task Force was not started by students, but instead administration, who wanted a cleaner and more energy-efficient campus.
Students run this school. We pay to not only learn at BVU, but also to live here. In turn, I expected the student body to begin the sustainability makeover.
I talked to sophomore environmental science major Kayla Hartmann, who is a member of the Task Force, about the transformation that is happening on campus. “They want student input, but a lot of what we’re doing has to do with what kind of cleaning products are used, purchasing policies, and things that students don’t have a lot to do with,” Hartmann said. Hartmann is one of two BVU students on the Task Force, the other being Student Senate President Grant Wilson.
The Task Force works toward sustainability of materials through Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. Not only does it look good on paper for our University to possess buildings that are LEED certified, but it allows us to know we are saving energy as well. The U.S. Green Building Council website states, “LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building, home or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health.”
Currently, the Estelle Siebens Science Center is nearly LEED certified with the addition of recycling bins near the entrance. The Pierce/White Residence Hall renovations are also part of the Task Force’s plans to become more energy-efficient. Hand dryers replace paper towels. New washers are more efficient. Recycling bins are available in the trash rooms as well.
Now it’s up to the residents to act on this responsibility towards the environment. BVU has definitely been trying to promote a greener presence with progams such as Global Fellows and the Global Footprint Projects.
I commend the Task Force on what they are doing because they really are superheroes. Students only need to become involved with this initiative. “We need students to go along and help push the idea and help make it important [to them],” Hartmann said.