By Leah Clark and Maddox Price
Copy Editor/Editor-in- Chief
Brookhaven College is no stranger to going green. With the addition of 50 new recycling bins, last fall’s Clean Economy Series, finishing near the top out of the Dallas County Community College District schools in the intercollegiate recycling competition RecycleMania, and recently being named an official “Tree Campus USA,” it is clear Brookhaven has made extensive efforts to become more environmentally friendly.
The Green Team Coalition, an employee and student committee dedicated to promoting sustainable, environmentally conscious efforts on campus, has backed these achievements and is now backing Brookhaven student Victor Batres.
Batres said he is starting a petition to hire a sustainability coordinator to support further green initiatives on campus.
Batres and Carrie Schweitzer, member of the Green Team Coalition and assistant to the president, said Brookhaven is lacking in comparison with other DCCCD colleges, such as Mountain View College and Cedar Valley College. “Both schools have sustainability programs and sustainability coordinators,” Batres said. “Cedar Valley is a campus that is recognized for its environmental ethics and academic programs. It is one of the few DCCCD schools that offers a degree in environmental science other than North Lake College, which has recently taken up this academic initiative.”
Batres said the new position would require the person to be responsible for creating and publishing a comprehensive campus sustainability report and for developing, planning, and implementing activities, workshops and conversations geared toward achieving habit transformation for students, staff and faculty at Brookhaven.
Batres is sympathetic to the needs of both the environment and the money-conscious student body. Batres said green initiatives are not just good for the environment; double sided printing and water bottle fillers are just two ways to cut harmful waste while saving the student body these expenses.
He said having a coordinator on campus would help inform the student body of ways to cut costs while being ethically commendable.
While the current petition is for a single position, Batres said the idea would be to eventually have a division devoted to an environmentally conscious campus.
He said with Schweitzer’s encouragement, Batres approached Brian Borski, student life coordinator, in an attempt to change this. Batres said he has received approval to set up a table at the Commons Courtyard from noon to 2 p.m. from March 31 to April 3.
Batres said he wants students to become more involved and believes this petition will “put the power back into the students’ hands.”
Batres said his goal is that by next Earth Day the position will be fully operational, and Brookhaven will reap the full benefits of its newest employee and will continue to encourage students to go green and stay active in campus sustainability efforts.