Campus Sustainability Day to take place Wednesday

By David McLellan

Campus Sustainability Day is to include stands such as student farmers' markets. (Kristen Richard/Daily Collegian)
Campus Sustainability Day is to include stands such as student farmers’ markets. (Kristen Richard/Daily Collegian)

The University of Massachusetts will be one of many college campuses across the country to participate in Campus Sustainability Day Wednesday.

According to a Sustainable UMass press release, this annual, nationwide event is “a time to recognize the successes, challenges and innovations of sustainability in higher education on each campus.” This year’s theme is “empowering change on campus and in the community.”

The day will begin with a Student Sustainability Fair from 12 to 3 p.m. in the Campus Center concourse. Eleven student organizations, including Sustainable UMass, Real Food Challenge, Protect Our Breasts and the Eco-Rep Program will table during the event.

These informational tables will allow students “to get involved with something very specific in relation to sustainability,” said senior Kevin Hollerbach, manager of the Eco-Rep program. “Sustainability is a broad topic, and there are many different ways to get involved.”

From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., the “Empowering Change” open forum will take place in the Amherst Room on the 10th floor of the Campus Center. Students will be able to ask questions and discuss how to make campus a greener, more sustainable place. The UMass Green Office Program will announce the winner of the Eco-Leader Lead-It Challenge, and the first ever winners of the Random Acts of Sustainability prize drawing will also be chosen.

At 5 p.m., David Poritz’s film, “Oil & Water,” will be shown on the 10th floor of the Campus Center. Poritz, an Amherst native, is the president and co-founder of Equitable Origin, a company that gives certifications to oil companies that adhere to top environmental standards.

Poritz’s film offers a look into the life of Hugo, a young Ecuadorian whose tribe has been threatened by invading oil companies. The film also looks into Poritz’s own life and his decision to begin humanitarian work to the Amazon. Following the film, there will be a panel discussion with Poritz himself from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the same location.

Hollerbach, who organized the screening of “Oil & Water,” commented on UMass campus sustainability, pointing to Campus Sustainability Day and Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy’s signing of the Real Food Challenge last year as a “really big win for us.”

“I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction, but we have a lot of work to do,” Hollerbach said. “The goal is for UMass campus sustainability to not have to exist, to have everyone recycle and to think of campus sustainability.”

David McLellan can be reached at [email protected]