By Christopher Hunter 

We’re so excited to finally be up and running with SAR this year! Last week our team met for the first time during the All-SAR meeting and had the opportunity to get to know each other via fun team-building activities at our retreat over the weekend. We have our first meeting with our stakeholders, Daisy Oliver and Addae Jahdai-Brown, planned for tomorrow, so we have yet to really get started on our project or even decide on a direction. Nevertheless, we already have several ideas for sustainability projects we would like to pursue. Due to unprecedented efforts to develop a sustainability plan with the Graduate Housing division, we would like to establish a baseline or starting point for future projects by running one or more audits of either energy, waste, or water. Completing at least one of these audits relatively quickly will greatly help us to determine areas of need and where we could most effectively improve sustainability within the department. So one of our short-term goals is to explore what performing an audit entails and what the timeline is.

Our team’s goal is to not only identify and diagnose problems relating to sustainability but also find tangible and self-supportive solutions that can benefit the graduate housing community in the long-run.  For example, one idea that was raised was to set-up a community garden that would address waste, food insecurity, and build community within the housing development. To organize something like this we hope to reach out to and work with some sustainability-focused graduate student groups.  While all this sounds great now, we’ll likely have a wildly different plan by next week, but we’re excited for whatever project we ultimately settle on!