Students on Linfield’s Sustainability Team recommend that the Observatory become a sustainability center in a proposal dated Jan. 10. But the project will need to find a different home because Observatory Rocks, a rehearsal venue and musical outlet for students, was promised the space by President Thomas Hellie’s Administrative Cabinet.
Senior David Kellner-Rode, junior Kit Crane, sophomore Collin Morris and freshman Katy Shewmaker worked on the proposal for a Linfield Center of Sustainability as a side project to their main objective: a green house gas inventory for Advisory Committee on Environment and Sustainability (ACES).
The group wanted to house the center in the Observatory because of its heavy foot traffic and proximity to students.
Dean of Students Susan Hopp said that the creators of Observatory Rocks are willing to share the Observatory space until the center finds a more suitable venue. She said in an e-mail that the sustainability project is temporarily being referred to as a sustainability hub, as Linfield Center for Sustainability could be confused with Linfield Center for the Northwest.
According to the proposal, sustainability efforts on campus are so numerous and affiliated with so many different organizations that the overall sustainability effort is suffering.
“[T]hese actions [for sustainability] have sometimes been disjointed and often the people carrying them out have had trouble communicating effectively between each other, or do not know where to turn on campus for support,” the proposal states.
The proposal laid out examples of sustainability initiatives on campus including ACES, Power Shift Linfield, Sodexo’s waste reduction program and the community garden.
The hub would become a centralized place for sustainability across campus and, the proposal states, is “a collaborative working space and community resource center” that would coordinate and support goals and initiatives of sustainability groups and help disseminate information about them.
“It incorporates faculty, students, staff and community efforts so that there is synergy, and [it] supports sustainability as a campus objective,” Hopp said in an e-mail.
According to the proposal, “the Student Sustainability Intern and the ASLC Community Outreach and Environmental Education Coordinator (CORE) would manage the office’s everyday activities,” communicate with ACES, ASLC and the Office of Community Engagement and Service. Rob Gardner, associate professor of sociology, would be the center’s adviser and faculty liaison.
The Sustainability Team also proposed that the hub have a minimal budget, which could be achieved through a grant from the ASLC Sustainability Council. The proposal does not specifically indicate what a budget would be used for.
The sustainability hub is not associated with any sustainability initiatives of the Associated Student of Linfield College, ASLC President senior Colin Jones said. He said he thinks the hub simply moves the college toward a sustainable sustainability movement.
“I don’t think we’ve quite hit a point where we’re duplicating the work, but the sustainability movement on campus has moved so fast in the last four years that we’re just trying to get our feet under ourselves,” Jones said.
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at email@example.com.