Hobart and William Smith Colleges focused on sustainability during Earth Week with the arrival of the Conscious College Road Tour on Monday, April 29. HWS is one of only 14 college campuses across the U.S. that were visited by the tour, which informs students on a variety of sustainability themes, empowers them to create tangible change and mobilizes them to develop on-campus sustainability projects.
Sponsored by Turning Green, a global student-led organization that encourages individuals to make environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices, the 8th annual Conscious College Road Tour visits institutions ranging from Penn State to the University of California at Berkeley. This is the first year that HWS participated, made possible by the engagement of Amy Ziff ’92 and her husband Jeffrey Glueck. Ziff introduced the Colleges to the organization and generously funded the event on campus.
The day’s events began with a lifestyle expo outside of the Scandling Campus Center. The exhibition featured displays on seven sustainable lifestyle themes — footprint, food, fashion, body, zero waste, clean and living space — with samples of sustainable products, demos and prize giveaways. Student volunteers were available to answer questions.
Later that day, the Road Tour hosted a town hall-style meeting from 6-8 p.m. at the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts. The event included dinner for faculty, students and staff and the opportunity to develop a collaborative student-led campus sustainability initiative.
HWS Sustainability Manager Michael Amadori opened the town hall event with a review of the current state of sustainability at the Colleges. “I focused on achievements, gave our highlights, unveiled the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) plaque [for the Gearan Center] and identified a few areas of improvement,” he said. The Gearan Center for the Performing Arts is the Colleges’ first LEED-GOLD certified building.
Following Amadori’s presentation, Judi Shils, founder and executive director of Turning Green, discussed the importance of living sustainably and creating change by working together. “Students, faculty, staff and community members brainstormed ways that we can make change happen on a campus and community level,” says Amadori.
The HWS Sustainability Program enables and encourages students to link classroom learning to real world application and plays a direct role in the environmental performance of the Colleges.
A full schedule of Earth Week events can be found on the Colleges’ website.