Just as a sustainable environment is in the best interest of all of us, the dedication and determination to act to take care of the environment is shared by all of us at the University, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We seek ways to increase awareness of environmental issues and to find new ways to live and work that result in less impact on our environment.
The student group CUPS (Cleaning Up Public Spaces), the President’s Sustainability Commission, the Environmental Sustainability committee of the Faculty Senate, the Staff Association, and the Physical Plant are just a few of the groups who are working on various aspects of sustainability. Additionally, incoming students for Fall 2010 will participate in an event called “Our Campus, Our Planet” as part of orientation, and the College of Arts and Sciences is leading the project to establish an environmental studies major and minor.
As part of the President’s Sustainability Commission, Prof. Laura Pence (Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences) and Prof. Katharine Owens (Department of Politics and Government, College of Arts and Sciences) were named to be co-Sustainability Coordinators for the University for the 2009-2010 academic year.
A full inventory of the University’s efforts toward sustainability, or UHOPE, “University of Hartford Organizations Protecting the Environment” is Prof. Pence’s project for this year. This website will become the central location for information about activities, committees, groups, curriculum, faculty interests, and other sustainability initiatives at the University. Anyone interested in contributing information is invited to contact Prof. Pence at LPence@hartford.edu.
Prof. Owens’ projects for the year will be to carry out a greenhouse gas assessment for the University and to evaluate the current behaviors and attitudes toward sustainability among the members of the University. From these essential baseline data, we will then be able to measure the progress of our various initiatives.