By ALEC HUDSON – STAFF WRITER
Centre College is once again gearing up for Green Week, and all signs point to what looks to be a collection of great events.
From April 19-27, students will be able to participate in events around campus that highlight environmental protection, sustainability, and the wonders of the natural world.
The event is going to be different than in years past, according to organizers. Preston Miles, John C. Walkup Professor of Chemistry, Chair of Natural Science Program, and faculty advisor to the Centre Environmental Association (CEA), explained the themes this year will be more varied.
“The events for this Green Week speak to a sustainability perspective and a respect for nature more so than simply focusing on climate change,” Miles said. “This is a wider look at what is ‘green,’ things like social justice campaigns and nature walks.”
But not only will this Green Week focus on a wider range of environmental issues, it will also be mostly student prepared and student-run.
Two student organizers of the week, junior Michael Yu and senior Greg Nicaise, are both excited about the high level of student involvement.
“Just the planning process in bringing together different organizations, from clubs to Greek life, as well as bringing together students and faculty, shows a campus-wide commitment,” Nicaise said. “While the Centre Environmental Association has been very involved in the planning, the events are all being led and sponsored by different groups, and that helps showcase a diverse set of issues.” Yu has been impressed by not only the multitude of environmental issues that will be addressed but also the variety of events.
“There’s going to be a convo about the biology of caves, student poetry readings, a lecture slam, and a lot more,” Yu said. “It’s going to be great!”
While some of the events will be more involved, there will also be some smaller ones that busy students can be a part of.
As Nicaise pointed out, “Green Week wouldn’t be much if it were only some CEA members and a few others were able to participate. We are also having light events that everyone can do.”
One of these smaller events highlighted is the photo competition that will be going on all week. “There will be half a sentence that students have to complete: ‘I care about the environment because…’ And then students will send in photos showing their commitment to sustainability. After the week, the photos will be shown in Cowan,” Yu said.
Organizers primarily hope to raise student and community awareness of environmental issues, but such awareness in turn may spur other actions.
Nicaise said there is talk about getting the administration’s attention for a potential revolving green fund that could invest in green projects that have a return on investment to support the fund, but this is only in planning stages.
“The point of this Week will be to show the administration at least that there is high student interest in making the college greener,” Nicaise said. “We want everyone who cares about sustainability to take part in these celebrations.”
For Yu, Green Week is more of a show. “Of course we can’t make everything sustainable overnight from this one week; it is just a step in the process, “Yu said. “But it will show how committed Centre students are and it will be a great show all together.”
For Miles, the importance of the event is not only for student involvement. “It is important for both Centre as an institution and us as individuals, how we can advance a sustainable society that includes fairness to all as well as minimize our impact on the environment,” Miles said.
Thus, for Centre’s fourth annual Green Week, the college can expect to see a campus busy with community members working to improve our world.