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Sustainability at Boston College

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Nestled in the historic open space of the Connors Retreat Center was the Fall 2019 Sustainability Student Leaders Symposium which was held on the second week in November. The Symposium which occurs once a year, in the Fall brings EcoPledge club students from across New England to network and access professionals as they discuss creative sustainable initiatives and presentations by students on their sustainable experience at their college or university. Tina Woolston the Program Director of Tufts University Office of Sustainability was the creator, former chair, and now is a Curator of the Symposium. She researched many options to have an annual event for students to collaborate with one another about sustainable initiatives. 

She mentioned, “in 2009 we were interested in starting a program so I decided to have a symposium so we could learn from other schools which came about during a class I taught with a graduate student.” BC Ecopledge club members assisted the Office of Sustainability with support prior to and during the event. Presenters consisted of students, professors, and professionals which covered various topics from LEED Certified buildings to the Cleanup of Boston Harbor, also Climate Activism, being a part of a Green Challenge Program.

BC professors Nicola Minott and Jeffery Fowley spoke about a “Global Perspective to Sustainability” and “The Cleanup of Boston Harbor” respectively. Professionals Diana Tsang from Payette Architects and Michelle Fennell from BR+A Engineers presented the LEED certification of the Institute for Integrated Science and Society which is currently under construction on our middle campus. And Galen Karlan-Mason spoke about his new software application for making healthy food choices.

Kyle Rosenthal from BC spoke on how “Morality can be a tool for Climate Justice,” Elyssa Anneser and Taite Pierson from Tufts together presented “Sustainable Event Planning,” Orly Strobel from Brandeis discussed “How to Gain Sustainability Skills to Create a Greener Cleaner Campus,” and the team from Champlain College, Hansel A. Carter IV, Holly Francis, Ariel Simpson provided detailed information about “Project Green Challenge.” The symposium started at noon-time and ended at 5:30 which provided future leaders with inspiration and knowledge to take with them long after the event to be successful in sustainability.