Campus Sustainability Day is a day for individual campuses all over the nation to celebrate the success of their sustainable efforts while still seeking out new ways to improve and maintain their strengths in the sustainability arena.
This national day was first celebrated in October of 2003. When it started, The Society for College and University Planning hosted a webcast where many collegiate leaders discussed ideas for integrating sustainability practices into all areas of a campus. Until 2010, these annual webcasts continued to generate conversation and analysis of the campus sustainability movement.
Then in 2011, a website was created for the purpose of sharing events and conversations hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) while the anchor webcasts and other virtual conversations were still hosted every year.
For Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the Student Organization for Sustainability did their own part to recognize campus sustainability this year, however their events happened a week before Campus Sustainability Day, which is on Oct. 24.
On Oct. 18, SOS hosted a costume party in the Meridian Ballroom in the Morris University Center at SIUE. The theme for this costume dance was “vampires, werewolves, and zombies” and how these supernatural creatures can humorously be related to sustainability. This was a free event and had door prizes and a DJ. The Student Government had “mocktail” drinks and the Association of Students Against Poverty collected clothes to donate to the Oasis Women’s Crisis Center in Alton, IL. All students and even families were encouraged to dress up (though not necessary), show up, and have a great time.
The following day, Oct. 19, SOS hosted Global Campus Sustainability Day in the Morris University Center. The theme for this event was that sustainability has no bias and no prejudice, because it can affect everyone equally. There was also a special emphasis on showing SIUE students the importance of sustainability no matter what professional career they choose. Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, SOS officers, and members of SAG all gave speeches and presentations at the event, while tables were set up around the area to feature student displays of sustainability initiatives from around the world.
Finally, SOS and ECO house joined together to participate in a dumpster dive on Oct. 20. They opened up trash bags to see what people on campus were throwing away that could actually be recycled or even used for composting (if the campus had composting). What they found was incredible.
Campus Sustainability Day was greatly featured this past week at SIUE but feel free to celebrate it in your own way this Wednesday!