Wide range of events set for Campus Sustainability Day

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WMU has events planned Oct. 22-23 to mark Campus Sustainability Day.

KALAMAZOO—A community roundtable featuring Western Michigan University President John M. Dunn and other local officials, an open house and project showcase in the Office for Sustainability, and a sustainability slam are among the events slated for Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 22-23, as part of Campus Sustainability Day at Western Michigan University.

All Campus Sustainability Day events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Campus Sustainability Day is being celebrated nationally on Wednesday, Oct. 23, at colleges and universities across the country. WMU is staging events over two days, beginning with the Community Sustainability Roundtable at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, in Schneider Hall's Brown Auditorium. In addition to Dunn, the roundtable will feature Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell and other campus and community leaders. The topic of the roundtable is "What Does Sustainability Mean to Me?" and will be followed by an open discussion and reception.

Showcasing, promoting sustainability

In addition to encouraging campus and community discussion, other events will showcase community sustainability projects as well as efforts to promote sustainability, such as a student-produced video and discussion on the Living Building Challenge, which calls for the creation of buildings that operate cleanly and efficiently and meet a series of ambitious performance requirements, including net zero energy. The video was created by two recent WMU graduates, Nicole Pascaretta, communication, and Giovanni Roberto, business, as part of their Lee Honors College thesis.

Also on Wednesday, faculty, students and community members will take part in a sustainability slam, inspired by such programs as the Moth Radio Hour, TED Talks and poetry slams. Slammers have been challenged to share what they believe makes for a sustainable community by laying out their vision and making a call to action. People have until Monday, Oct. 21, to submit their sustainability slam proposals to be chosen for presentation, with the winner announced at the event.

"We have assembled events that celebrate local efforts, encourage conversation about what makes a sustainable campus and community, and spotlight local sustainability champions while helping to identify emerging new leaders," says Jeff Spoelstra, sustainability coordinator.

Sustainability events

Tuesday, Oct. 22

  • 7 p.m.: Community Sustainability Roundtable, Schneider Hall. In addition to Dunn and Hopewell, panelists include Felix Brooks of the Kalamazoo Community Foundation; Jennifer Hsu, coordinator in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Jennifer Palthe, associate professor of management; and WMU student leaders and WeSustain interns.

Wednesday, Oct. 23

  • 11:30 to 11:50 a.m. Honeywell collaboration celebration, Chemistry Building Lobby.
  • Noon to 12:50 p.m. Guided or self-guided sustainability walking tours leaving from the Office for Sustainability. Sustainability features maps available at the Office for Sustainability.
  • Noon to 12:50 p.m. Student Living Building Challenge video and discussion, Office for Sustainability.
  • 2 to 2:50 p.m. Climate Action Plan discussion session, Office for Sustainability.
  • 4 to 7 p.m. Open house, project showcase and reception, Office for Sustainability.
  • 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sustainability slam followed by dessert and meet and greet with slammers, Office for Sustainability.

Office for Sustainability

The Office for Sustainability is located near the corner of Howard Street and West Michigan Avenue. Its mission is to guide and assist the WMU community in fulfilling and growing its sustainability commitments. Through building a diverse and flourishing learning community around sustainability, it endeavors to continually explore and develop new opportunities to create a culture of sustainability and improve quality of life for all.

For more information, visit wmich.edu/sustainability or contact the office at wmu-sustainability@wmich.edu.