Contact Dawn Insanalli, director of Public Relations, at (914) 637-2726 or by e-mail to email@example.com.
By Megan Gallagher
Ionian FEATURES EDITOR
In case you haven't noticed, "green" is the new black. And with Iona being the trendy and socially conscious campus that it is, it's no wonder why green initiatives are popping up all over campus. But while it seems like concerns about the environment have only come to light in the past decade, Iona has been advocating sustainability for over 15 years. That's when the Environmental Concerns Committee first began at Iona, and it continues to be an important voice at Iona, influencing other organizations such as IC Green and various academic departments to do their part. The main goal of the ECC is to raise awareness of environmental issues on campus and try to educate all members of the Iona community.
"We are all concerned about the environment in general, and especially about making Iona a greener campus," ECC Chair Dr. Fredrica Rudell said. "And it's not only about greening the campus, but the greening of the student mind so to speak." The ECC has taken a role in educating students both in and out of the classroom. Last semester, they helped to introduce green marketing programs. "Sustainable Finance" and "Current Issues in Marketing" are just two examples of how the environmental agenda is making its way into student lives. Rudell expects that this trend will continue.
"That's a professional trend that we're going to be seeing more greening of the curriculum at various universities," Rudell said. "They have green MBA programs now that specialize in sustainability in business, and more universities will be introducing it." In addition to the academic programs, the ECC has done its part to reduce paper consumption significantly by creating the well-known Paper Conservation Campaign.
According to the ECC website, consumption of office paper has nearly doubled since 1980, but Iona's conservation campaign has aided in lowering this number and educating students on not being wasteful. This project has been so successful that it has earned Iona recognition with the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Program. While the ECC consists of mostly faculty, any member of the Iona community is more than welcome to join. Rudell encourages anyone who has an interest in the environment and sustainability to join and learn more about what they can do.
In the past, many student members of the on-campus group IC Green have worked closely with the ECC. IC Green is an organization that creates awareness of environmental issues that affect all parts of the world, and specifically Iona College. In the past, IC Green has organized several successful events such as Respect Day's plant a seed event and many recycling drives. As the popularity of "going green" has grown, so has the interest in the club. "We are amateur philanthropists," President of IC Green, Bryan Hart said.
And IC Green is doing their part to influence students as well. They already have several events planned for the semester, including "Green Jeopardy." This fun game (aimed mostly at off-campus students) will educate students on the simple steps that they can take to go green. What many students don't realize is that going green can help them save some cash and ease the financial burden of off-campus living. "We're not insisting people go out and buy hybrids and hang solar panels from their roof," Hart said. "Just some small changes such as turning off the lights, recycling and turning of electronics when not in use."
It's these small changes that are being seen all over Iona that are making a huge difference. IC Green and the ECC are just two examples of how Iona is continuing to evolve as a socially conscious and responsible campus. Other areas of the campus are going green as well. The new dining service, for example, advocates for sustainable food growth and distribution. The college has even hired an engineer to make modifications to how Iona is run. Things like time-controlled thermostats, double-sided printing and motion lights are all saving energy and promoting sustainability, not to mention saving money. Iona has been taking the environment into consideration when making alterations to campus as well. Renovations on the Arrigoni Library, including the furniture and carpet, were done using recycled materials. In addition, parts that were removed from Arrigoni were donated and recycled.
And perhaps the biggest change on campus is the new Ryan Library. During the library's construction, the college followed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Although the college did not seek LEED certification for the construction, this allowed the library to be built in a sustainable manner. The majority of the steel used in construction was from recycled sources, and most leftover materials were sorted for recycling. In addition, the library features designated recycling areas and printers that allow for dual-sided printing. So with the college making all of these changes, it's now time for students to take action on an individual basis. While the issue of global warming may seem daunting, making simple changes to everyday life can make a huge difference.
"I think that if you say, we're in it together, what you do matters, it's a behavior that matters then that works," Rudell said. "It's about gradually changing people's behavior."
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Public Relations Office
Iona College, 715 North Avenue, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801
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