A new club for Humber students passionate about green and eco-friendly initiatives has finally been established.
The North campus branch of Humber’s new Sustainability Club held its first official meeting Dec. 7.
“The club will essentially be a student extension of the Office of Sustainability, as the two organization’s initiatives go hand and hand,” said Roma Malik, acting Sustainability Manager. She says the Office of Sustainability will provide support for the new club in its early stages, but we’re leaving it up to students to decide what issues surrounding sustainability they want to tackle.
Despite the low turnout at the inaugural meeting, the club says it has big plans when it comes to promoting sustainability on campus.
“Sustainability is such a broad topic and most people don’t know all the aspects it encompasses,” said club executive Ankit Joshi. When the word sustainability is mentioned most think it relates to environmental awareness, but it also embodies issues surrounding the social and economic well-being of others.
The club decided to come up with three guiding principles that would help steer the direction of the group to keep things simple.
The first principle is generating awareness about sustainability and ecological issues through education.
“Education is the best way to get students aware about sustainability,” Joshi said. He says the club will give students tips on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
The other principle is offering students opportunities to network with leaders in the field of sustainability.
“A lot of students will be going into this field and networking helps create opportunities for them to get jobs in this sector,” Joshi said. Sustainability is an issue in every industry and Joshi says having knowledge of the subject is transferable to almost any field of employment.
The third principle is driving change through action.
“Hosting events like tree plantings, trash cleanup days and info sessions will get students engaged directly,” Joshi said. Campaigns to get more fair-trade products sold at Humber and to ban the sale of bottled water on campus are just some of the long-term goals of the club.
So far, the biggest issue facing the club is the low turnout. The faculty strike also delayed the club from being officially recognized by IGNITE.
The club is planning to host a meet-and-greet info session during the last week of school in December in an effort to entice people to join.
During the info session, members of the club will outline their goals for next semester.
“Humber Earth Week is coming up in March and we will be working closely with the Office of Sustainability on a number of initiatives,” Joshi said.
The club hopes they can help change cultural attitudes towards sustainability on campus.
“We want to give students an opportunity to adopt practices that align with Humber College’s sustainability initiative,” said Bradley Staite, a club member and Sustainability Office work-study student.
He says students need to make an effort to preserve the collective future by embracing the social, ecological and economic impact of everyone’s daily actions.
“Sustainability is a daily practice and this club will assist each student in that journey,” Staite said.