Sustainability Week 2014: Campus to Community

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

  • S-Week 2014 Team (L-R: Joanna Dobson, Nate Stewart, Brandon Raco & Alyssa Winkler)

    S-Week 2014 Team (L-R: Joanna Dobson, Nate Stewart, Brandon Raco & Alyssa Winkler)

Written by Alice Lin

Event planning for Sustainability Week has now officially launched. Sustainability week is an annual event organized by the Sustainability Office to promote a culture of institutional sustainability and to empower students, faculty, and staff to help make the campus and the community.

The dates have been set for March 24 – March 28 and like previous S-Week events, will feature seminar sessions, workshops, keynote speakers and a collection of other activities relevant to the theme. “This year’s theme is going to be Campus to Community,” Said Nate Stewart, Volunteer Co-ordinator of the S-Week planning committee, “there are a lot of great initiatives by a variety of campus groups here at the university…but the problem is that they often just stay within the campus vicinity and so we want to find a way to help them connect to not only each other, but to the outside community as well”.

Stewart is currently a fourth year student pursuing a degree in International Development under the Human Development stream. He had been volunteering with the Sustainability office for over two and a half years and is now working as an Eco-rep Co-ordinator. “This year, we really want to aim to mobilize everybody and connect as many groups on campus as possible to the community--working together to build on the already existing foundation for sustainability in the future,” said Stewart, “we need to collaborate to overcome the challenge in getting all of these like-minded groups together so we can share resources and make a bigger impact”. “S-Week is all about thinking globally and acting locally,” added Joanna Dobson, who is part of the S-Week events and promotions team, “ we are extremely excited to involve as many different students and community members in both the planning process and the participation of the events themselves”. Dobson is currently in her final year studying Environmental Governance.

In 2012, the University of Guelph was ranked A on the Globe and Mail’s Canadian University Report (http://bit.ly/1fTI1l3). The University’s long tradition in a commitment to environmental initiatives was one of the core motives for S-Week Events & Promotions team member, Alyssa Winkler, to choose Guelph. “I am really excited to be on the core committee for this year’s S-Week. Our theme ‘Campus to Community: Building Connections’ will be bringing together various disciplines, students, and faculty and community members both on and off campus”. Winkler is currently in her second year and is pursuing a degree in Environmental Science. She lived in the eco-house on campus in her first year and has always been immersed in the environmental community at Guelph. She volunteers with a number of groups both on and off campus, and is also the present Compost Co-ordinator with the Sustainability Office. “The week is going to be broken down into different daily themes, such as ‘Waste Isn’t Sexy’ and ‘Eating Sustainably’,” shared Winkler, “each day will have numerous activities that will promote sustainable thinking and hopefully make people think a bit differently”. Dobson also adds that “students can expect an array of events such as an interactive Dinner on a Dime event and a Food for Thought Discussion Panel. We will also be hosting our finale event at the Bullring, which will feature local musical talent and a big surprise!”

Brandon Raco, who is in his third year at the University pursuing a degree in Environmental Governance, is the primary liaison for funding and partnerships for S-week 2014. “S-week is such a great opportunity,” said Raco, “there’s something in it for everyone regardless if you’re an aggie or nutrition student”. Raco’s responsibilities along with the rest of the planning committee are to connect with member of the community whether within the City of Guelph and the university. Coinciding with this year’s theme, Raco is excited about connecting with people from a multitude of backgrounds. “Whether they are a restaurant owner who has embraced sustainable business, or a social entrepreneurship, the connections are multi-faceted and always an adventure” shared Raco.

Students who are interested in volunteering and helping out with Sustainability Week 2014, or if you simply would like to find out more information, e-mail to get in touch with Nate or to get in touch with Alyssa.

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