Johnson State College Holds Sustainability Day

posted Oct 27, 2010, 2:13 PM by News & Citizen   [ updated Oct 27, 2010, 2:14 PM ]

by Andrew Martin

JOHNSON – Wednesday, October 20, Johnson State College held its Eighth Annual Campus Sustainability Day. The event was part of a wider initiative at JSC that has been named “35 Days of Climate Action and Education.” This wider initiative began at JSC with a Dorm Storm on October 10 where students were registered to vote and educated on environmental issues and how to save energy in their dorm rooms. The various events of the Campus Sustainability Day were held at the Dibden Arts Center.

The first event of the day was a national webcast which began at 1:00 p.m. and ran until 2:30 p.m. The webcast was entitled “Empowering a Low-Carbon Movement at Your Campus” and, according to JSC professor Russell Weiss, the event went well. Students from the JSC Eco-Rep Team and the Green Solutions Club attended, as well as other students and staff at the college. A question that two JSC students sent into the webcast via video was one of only two questions answered as a part of the broadcast, bringing JSC some national exposure and highlighting the college’s role as a leader in sustainability and other environmental issues.

Following the webcast, a slideshow was presented by a group of JSC students who traveled to Washington, D.C. last Earth Day, April 22, on Vermont’s Solar Bus. From 2:30 until 3:30 p.m. the students shared memories and information as well as pictures from the large Climate Rally that they attended. The rally was meant to raise awareness of global warming, and the JSC students were able to give tours of the Solar Bus to other rally-goers.

The final event of the day was a panel discussion which began at 3:30 p.m. The panel for the event was made up of candidates for Vermont Senate Rich Westman and Dave Yacovone, Robert Dostis of Green Mountain Power, David Hallquist of Vermont Electric Co-op, and several JSC faculty and staff. The event was audience interactive, so after each panel member introduced themselves and gave a brief summary of anything they or their company has done to help the environment and where they see sustainability going the discussion was opened up and audience members were allowed to ask questions and interact with the panel.

“The general idea was to get students involved in the planning around future green plans for our campus,” said Weiss, “As well as to forge further links between the college and the local community.”

The panel discussion was immediately preceded by the awarding of JSC’s first ever Green Thumbs-Up Award, which was given to JSC staff member Carolyn D’Luz. Carolyn is a member of the schools Academic Support Services, where she serves as a Staff Assistant. According to Professor Weiss, D’Luz has been involved in a number of local food projects, both on- and off-campus. Those projects include the JSC Community Garden, the Produce Buyers’ Network, the committee that investigated the founding of the Lamoille Valley Food Co-op, and she was heavily involved in the founding of the Johnson Farmers Market.