It seems that these days you can’t go anywhere without hearing about the damaging effects humans have on the environment. Whether you think global warming is an immediate concern or a complete crock, one thing is for certain. We have the power to change our behaviors and attitudes that empower our region locally while cutting down on the wastefulness that has come to define the American lifestyle.
Medaille College recognizes their role as a democratic and educational institution and has taken steps towards greening their campus. By participating in a nation-wide recycling movement called Recyclemania, the college has managed to significantly decrease the amount of waste per person on campus, freeing up money that can be used in the classroom instead of in the landfill.
Kerry Spicer, Director of Student Involvement and the college’s Recyclemaina representative, leads Medaille’s recycling program with the students in her leadership program. “We haven’t had a recycling program at Medaille since I’ve been here, and I have been here for five years,” says Spicer. “Some people on campus who wanted to recycle ended up taking their garbage home. Clearly there was a need for change.”
Her students devised a plan to recycle paper, bottles, throughout the entire campus. It was an instant success. Not only did the program get students involved with their community and save the college money, but it also earned the support of the college’s president, Dr. Richard T. Jurasek who, in his inaugural speech on Saturday, April 5, spoke of making sustainability a high priority on campus.
Since Recyclemania took off at the beginning of the Spring semester, the program has been very successful. Medaille currently ranks 8th in the nation for its participation Recyclemania, garnering the support faculty, staff, and students. “It’s odd that environmentalism is trendy right now, but I think it would be even more weird for this generation not to recycle,” adds Spicer.
Acting as a catalyst for other community outreach programs, Recyclemania allows students to experience Buffalo in a new light by working with local organizations like Buffalo ReUse to eliminate other kinds of waste on campus. There’s even a Green Team in the works which would allow students to go green on campus. When asked what the most rewarding part of the whole experience was, Kerry Spicer replied, “getting students involved with their community really makes them experience Buffalo in a way that shows what a great city it really is.”
Photograph taken by Nick Calandra, student photographer.