The Earth Institute Student Advisory Council and Columbia’s Environmental Stewardship Office brought together representatives of student sustainability organizations for the first annual Environmental Summit on November 14. The goal of the summit was to share with Columbia’s sustainability community the campus-wide initiatives being developed and to encourage collaboration and networking between sustainability organizations.
Jessica Prata, Senior Vice President of the Environmental Stewardship Office, began the event by discussing Columbia’s sustainability initiatives and future goals of the office. Jessica also highlighted Environmental Stewardships upcoming Green Fund program that will offer funding for large scale student-led projects that focus on sustainability on Columbia’s campus.
Jessica was joined by her colleague Allie Schwartz who discussed Columbia’s participation in PlaNYC’s College Challenge.
The central focus of the event was networking and collaboration. Representatives from a wide range of student sustainability organizations were given an opportunity to present on their projects and upcoming plans. The goal of this was to increase awareness about all of Columbia’s student sustainability initiatives and to encourage student groups to work together to achieve their goals.
The Earth Institute Student Advisory Council is made up of 24 students representing the following schools at Columbia: General Studies, Architecture, Barnard, the Business School, Columbia College, Journalism, Mailman, School of Continuing Education, School of International and Public Affairs, Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and the Law School. Each student was nominated by their dean as a student leader in sustainability. The Council is tasked with advising on resources offered to students and with developing events meant to increase awareness of sustainability initiatives on campus.