Why talk about the future?
Because the future is all we’ve got! We can learn from the past but without serious consideration of the future and where we are going to take ourselves the lessons of the past will have gone for not. So lets take a quick look at the past of ECO then begin to decide where we go into the future and how this blog can, if done well, be a crucial part of future.
The ECO we know today.
Back in the fall of 2009 I transferred to IUP with hopes of joining a club that dealt with environmental issues. What I found was that there was a club, IUP ECO, unfortunately it was void of leadership after many members had graduated. I did a little snoopin around and before long I was put in touch with former ECO members and began to meet some really cool and passionate kids around campus. I began to hold ECO meetings and toss ideas against the wall to see what would stick. As with most clubs it took us awhile to really get our act together, we’re still perfecting that part, but right now we’ve gotten to the point where ECO is ready to take on some larger issues and develop a real community of passionate students.
Where ECO is headed.
IUP is full of potential. During the time I’ve been on campus I’ve found curiosity and energy in even the most unexpected of places. Most of the time there just isn’t a clear direction for how to apply this potential. I see ECO facilitating that growth for IUP students of the future. From a visionary stand point I see ECO as leading the way in questioning the status quo, as re-defining the social norms and paradigms that students at IUP have. I’d like to see student empowerment grow and for the administration to look to the students for direction on policy choices whether or not they accept this shift or if WE accept it for them. We are the Environmentally Conscious Organization and our environment is not just trees, recycling, and clean energy. Our environment is you and me and our interactions with each other and the world. We must strive for justice and equality with the same vigor that we strive for clean air and less waste.
So what is there to look forward to at ECO? We’ve got some really exciting projects and goals on the drawing board. We’re ready to launch from the “organization building” stage to the “take action” stage in many exciting ways. Just take a look and see for yourself…
IUP ECO Food Campaign:
Right now IUP ECO members are preparing to develop a campaign around food issues that will reach the campus and community. We hope to educate on health and safety issues, impacts on climate change, and positive choices we can make in our everyday lives. We then plan on bringing action to this education in several ways, including the push for a student produce garden on campus. Sound like an issue you’d like to get involved with?
For over a year IUP ECO members have been working towards the creation of a Sustainability Fund on campus. The basic premise of this fund is that a $5.00 fee would be added to our tuition bills each semester. The funds collected would be used specifically for sustainability issues on campus. The oversight for the funds would be handled by a committee composed of students, faculty, and administration members. Projects to be funded would be submitted by students. We’ve hit our roadblocks with the administration but are forging ahead and developing a brand new strategy. It’s a more than perfect time to get involved!!
IUP ECO members are working with administration members to develop a committee that would address IUP policy decisions and review current practices in the efforts to improve sustainability on campus. There is currently an existing Recycling Committee that recently passed a small recycling budget to improve recycling on campus *confetti and celebration dance* but we’d like to see this committee expand to promote and embed sustainability as an aspect of IUP for the future.
As activists it is important to know your stuff. We’ve gotta be well versed on issues we advocate for, so well versed that we can put our opponents to shame with ease using the facts. Using this blog we can effectively communicate information and current events to ourselves and students around campus. It is important that we are also well connected to youth organizing all over the world as a way to learn, share ideas, and get involved in issues much larger than ourselves. As sustainability and youth empowerment grows on campus this blog offers students a platform to express themselves and the issues we must stand for!
So, are you ready to get involved?
Come to an IUP ECO meeting. We meet at 7:00pm on Thursday nights in Keith Hall room 232.
E-mail us at SustainingIUP@gmail.com
Keep it real y’all