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First GreeND meeting attracts 85

Nikki Taylor | Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The first meeting of GreeND, a new environmental group on campus, drew more than 85 students last Wednesday night.

Though GreeND has been in development only throughout this semester, students have been actively pursuing energy and environmental issues since the University administration created the Energy and Environmental Issues Committee in January 2007, GreeND president Lourdes Long said.

The club will work to educate, effect change and develop leadership with issues of energy, energy and environmental policy, strategic planning for campus action and recycling, she said.

The social justice aspects of energy issues have led the group to an affiliation with the Center for Social Concerns, Long said.

So far, members have worked to create environmental commissioners in each hall and improve dorm recycling, Long said.

The relationship between the administration and GreeND has produced a number of environmental programs and events, Long and Kelly said.

The coordinated recycling efforts during several home football games are one example, Kelly said.

Students from all fields and specialties are encouraged to join GreeND, Long said.

“No solution will be successful with just economists or just engineers, which is why our club is so important,” she said.

The group’s club status is still pending, but Long said she and other group leaders are hopeful it will be approved. This will help the group increase involvement and have a stronger infrastructure, she said. It will also allow the group to tap into Student Activities money.

The various energy and environmental topics of the group are the focuses of the smaller sub-groups within the larger GreeND group. The subgroups allow students to focus on areas about which they are most passionate, Long said.

“The issue [of energy] is so huge to tackle, it’s important to break it up into groups,” GreeND vice president Colleen Kelly said.

The smaller subgroups meet weekly, and collaborative GreeND meetings are held every other week.

Interest in energy and environmental issues is continuing to grow on campus, and the global interest shows no signs of stopping, said Energy Policy Club chair Jackie Mullen.

The leaders of GreeND hope that their club can be a forum for these important issues.

“This is an issue for our generation,” Long said. “As I study more, I learn that this does not not affect anyone.”