SGA concentrates on sustainability
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 15:09
By Jonathan Cepelak
Sustainability for Loyola University’s campus is the main initiative for SGA president Khaled Badr this semester.
Badr has recently joined forces with Robert Thomas, Ph.D, director of Center of Enviromental Communications, to research and plan for more effective recycling receptacles on campus. Badr started this initiative last year with his presidential campaign in the spring. According to Badr, he now plans on replacing the blue recycling bins on our campus with receptacles like those on Tulane University’s campus.
“Right now we are still in the research process,” said Badr.
The current recycling bins are not up to Badr’s expectations for recycling on Loyola’s campus. Thomas explains that the blue bins are not the best models available.
“They’re ugly and we know that, but they’re inexpensive,” said Thomas.
Thomas is working on another sustainability project to put water bottle filling stations on the upper part of water fountains in the Mass Communications building, as well as the library and Danna Center, according to Badr. These water bottle filling stations cost about $350 each, according to Thomas. The ones in the Communications/Music Complex on the first and third floors, which were funded by the Center for Environmental Communication, and the fountain in the Danna center was funded by Sodexo, according to Thomas.
“There is someone working on getting one in the library, immediately,” said Thomas, “We’re trying to get them in all the major thorough-ways.”
There is talk of getting water bottles removed from the C-store on campus, according to Thomas. He says that installing the water bottle filling stations on the water fountains will reduce the amount of plastic bottle waste on campus. There is no need to fill up landfills with unnecessary plastic, according to Thomas.
“New Orleans water is perfectly safe and tastes good,” said Thomas.
In order to get this initiative to catch on, Loyola must make it “very easy for students to use their own containers,” said Thomas.
The water fountain measures the amount of times a bottle has been filled up. In a day and a half, the machine on the third floor of the Communications/Music Complex has already had 90 fills, according to Thomas.
Sarah Scalese, a junior psychology major, brings a reusable bottle to school everyday. She was surprised to find the water bottle station installed in the Danna Center.
“I really like it. It’s good for the environment,” said Scalese.
Sustainability efforts have been somewhat stifled by the construction on campus, according to Badr. When Badr started his campaign last year, he talked to Craig Beebe about changing the light bulbs on campus to eco-friendly ones. Beebe explained to Badr that most of the bulbs on campus are already eco-friendly, but to replace the ones in Monroe before construction was over would be a waste, according to Badr. Thomas said that the Sustainability Committee is in a similar place with the launching of a new recycling bin system.
Loyola’s administration would like the bins to have a uniform look around campus, so it would be wiser to just wait until Monroe is fully refurbished before they implement a new system, according to Thomas.
Jonathan Cepelak can be reached at email@example.com