CUNY Sustainability Initiative

January 26, 2008

By now you’re probably aware of CUNY’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by the year 2017. With the formation of the CUNY Task Force on Sustainability, many of our campuses have formed committees made up of faculty, administrators and students to help achieve this formidable but necessary environmental goal.

As Chair of the Sustainability Student Engagement CORE Liaison Council, I will endeavor to create the environment for dialogue and the engagement of student representatives from across our colleges for this initiative. And we’ll work to seed and grow the best practices suggested. I’m confident it is this gathering of the ideas and talents of our own student population that will propel the greening of the University forward. Some of the areas of focus for student involvement include developing a University-wide Sustainability Facebook page, and individual campus Facebook pages where “student editors” will take responsibility for the conveyance of information about campus “go green” projects and the editing of green news and commentary from a variety of press and other sources. Other Council collaborations will involve: the promotion of informational Sustainability Outreach Stations on campuses; the engagement of student activity clubs and our campus student government associations; and our taking steps to encourage interest in plans for sustainable food and dining.

These are just a few projects we can harness our students energies toward on the individual campuses. Ultimately, we must build feedback from the students themselves into the workings of the Student Engagement Council and back onto the campuses. We’re off to a good start. And we can all participate in some fashion. For example, Campus Councils may distribute $1000 awards through the sustainable suggestion program.*
Please encourage everyone to support the University’s 2017 goal by contacting their campus Sustainability Committee and representatives for more information or the Office of Student Life.

*Detailed information about this program can be found in the CUNY spring newsletter issue of “Sustainable Times” on the CUNY website: select “About CUNY,” then “sustainability,” and “newsletter.” And also at