HSF election raises sustainability issues across North campus

by | Mar 11, 2015 | News

Allie Langohr
Life Reporter

Humber can boast for being the first Ontario College to receive silver rating in sustainability, but it’s time to go for gold.

Humber’s 2014 to 2019 Sustainability Plan gained steam this week with posters popping up around the school encouraging awareness and participation in maximizing Humber’s sustainability. In 2013, the college won silver in the sustainability tracking assessment and rating system (STARS).

“The energy and paper use reduction campaign is aimed at creating awareness of how much energy and paper we consume as well as providing tips for reducing consumption,” said Amelia Velasco, acting manager of Sustainability at Humber.

The Sustainability Plan lists the six highest priorities for reducing the campus’ footprint as recycling and waste management; sustainable transportation; energy and climate change; green buildings and landscapes; water use; and purchasing and ethical sourcing.

Walking into The food emporium at election time, however, tells a different story.

Besides passing Humber Students’ Federation election campaign posters along the wall and on every pole on the way to the emporium, the eating area has dozens of identical posters hanging side by side.

Presidential candidate Patrick Millerd said sustainability at Humber is very important to him.

“Humber is a microcosm of the grander scale,” said Millerd. If elected, Millerd plans to make use of an online forum, a procedure that he feels is sustainable.

“You don’t need to host giant forums where coffee is served, you just go online and do it. And the form itself is set up to be sustainable because I don’t need to be the one who monitors it,” said Millerd.

Presidential candidate Ahmed Tahir, currently vice president of Student Life and member of Humber’s Sustainability Coordinating Committee, also views sustainability as a top priority.

“It’s a very important thing not only currently, but for our future as well,” said Tahir.

“Posters, while they do serve a purpose, I don’t think they’re the best way to get people’s votes,” he said. “I know other student unions that put a cap on the number of posters you can print, which is something I think we should look into in the future for HSF.

“The most important thing I do as a candidate is, while I do post a few posters, I don’t go crazy with it,” Tahir said. “I think quality is more important than quantity, and I think talking to people is the most important thing you can do.” The reduction of campaign posters coincides with the initiatives of the Sustainability Plan.

“We support any initiatives that reduce paper use consumption,” said Velasco.

For now, Velasco says the biggest challenge is increasing knowledge of sustainability at academic levels. Students wanting to get involved can start by joining the conversation on Humber’s social media websites.