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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ASUA group to confront green issues

    The UA has demonstrated that it is a leader in the green movement with the campus featuring numerous eco-friendly buildings and designs. As part of President Robert Shelton’s commitment to making UA greener, the Associated Students of the University of Arizona formed a new initiative to enable students to directly address sustainability.

    On Thursday the ASUA sustainability steering and action committees held their first public meeting in which they addressed the possibilities of becoming more eco-friendly.

    More than 50 students and interested members of the community attended the meeting, including Shelton, who spoke about the university’s ongoing commitment to becoming a leader in green innovation.

    “”We should be about improving the human condition,”” Shelton said regarding the mission of the university and its commitment to sustainability. “”What could be more core and essential to improving our condition than dealing with energy, dealing with the environment?””

    Shelton said there has been a “”groundswell of committed activity”” to reverse the trend of global warming. He praised the innovation of UA programs and the commitment of organizations such as the sustainability committee to promote awareness and problem solving.

    Lon Huber, the committee’s assistant director and the person responsible for initiating the outreach portion of the organization, was also impressed by the support they have received.

    “”This turnout (Thursday night) is a testament to the fact that students want to get involved that they want to change the world around them,”” Huber said.

    Huber said that the committee’s mission is to promote a “”bottom-up”” response to environmental awareness.

    “”The U of A is a microcosm of our cities and our towns,”” Huber said, addressing the crowd. “”If we can make this run efficiently and if we can make ourselves more sustainable, then we can talk to policy makers and we can talk to city planners and tell them how to make their areas more sustainable.””

    Lesley Ash, sustainability steering committee director, reported that most of the university’s green-minded clubs such as the Arizona Student Recycling Association, Soil Water and Environmental Science Club, ECOalition and Parasol are also playing a helping role. Many of the club’s presidents serve as the leaders of subcommittees. They include water, energy, materials and support.

    Richard Rushforth, who is head of the water conservation subcommittee and the president of Parasol, a club partially responsible for many of the campus’s large-scale rainwater collection projects, commented on the development of the ASUA-backed green initiative.

    “”It’s important to have ASUA’s involvement in sustainability,”” Rushforth said. “”It engenders confidence that something major will happen on campus.””

    Rushforth said he hopes the newly formed council will provide the UA with tools to educate the greater community with the knowledge of how to use sustainable practices.

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