By Lila Epstein ’14, Senior Editor
The Diplomatic Congress (DipCon) will be hosting its first Sustainability Summit Jan. 25. The event, to be held in Stahr Auditorium at 11:00 a.m., will be open to the entire campus and will focus on bringing different members from the community together to discuss various environmental projects at F&M.
“We are really trying to get anyone who has any sort of ties to sustainability in the same room so everyone will know what different groups are currently planning and what future projects they might be interested in doing,” said Erika Jozwiak ’14, DipCon sustainability chair and former Environmental Action Alliance (EAA) president.
In addition to DipCon and the EAA, the summit invites the staff of the Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment, faculty members who teach environmental-related classes, members of the Lancaster community, and others to share their ideas with the summit. Jozwiak hopes the summit can facilitate more collaboration among these different groups and encourage more involvement in environmental initiatives.
“A huge goal for the summit is to allow for more student involvement because, as someone who is in environmental groups on campus, a lot of students have expressed interest in getting involved in a certain aspect, like food here or composting, and they don’t know how,” Jozwiak said. “And then there is the administration who is looking for student involvement and doesn’t know where to find it.”
The event will begin with presentations from several community members.
“We’ve asked the leaders of all the different environmental groups to come and have a presentation of their past projects, what their mission is, and ideas that they have for the upcoming semester and opportunities for involvement,” Jozwiak said.
The presentations will be followed by a lunch catered by Roaring Brook Market and Café, a restaurant started by Sarah McGahran ’13 that serves locally-grown foods.
The second part of the day will focus on discussion amongst all the different groups and community members present.
“The idea is to have a wall of ideas or areas where we think F&M could be better, or directions other schools have taken to improve ourselves and focus on where we want to go,” Jozwiak said. “We do that in the Sustainability Master Plan, but it doesn’t involve the whole community. We are hoping to have everyone on the same page and hope that we can have an open discussion of where we would like to see F&M in the future. “
This event, brought to life by the Diplomatic Congress Sustainability Committee, is the first of its kind, but if it goes well, Jozwiak hopes it can become an annual event and the conversation among different groups can continue.
“There are so many people doing so many exciting things and not everyone knows about it, so I think that bringing these people together will not only allow everyone to understand but will also bring an extra amount of energy that we are sometimes missing,” Jozwiak said.
Jozwiak wants to emphasize students do not need to be involved in environmental groups to attend the conference.
“If you have no idea what we are doing in the environmental aspect of this college this event is for you,” she said.
The summit is the main environmental event of the Spring semester. Sustainability Week, an event usually held in the Spring, was held in the Fall this year to coincide with environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Common Hour presentation. The DipCon Sustainability Committee is also working this semester to bring composting back to the Dining Hall. Composting began on Jan. 17.
Senior Lila Epstein is the Senior Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.