Sustainability Council advocates for future

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For members of the Student Sustainability Council, sustainability isn’t just a trend or buzzword.

The SSC, as it says in its constitution, “…envisions and supports a prosperous, equitable, sustainable, and ecologically healthy campus at South Dakota State University.”

The club achieves it through educating its members and the students of SDSU on how to grow in a sustainable lifestyle.

Anna Barr, the vice president of SSC, encourages students to interact or join the club if they want to see change on campus.

“We are a growing club that started fresh this year with a whole new group,” Barr said. “We are passionate and driven, we have a lot of fun together.”

Since SSC was founded, it has expanded its influence across campus. SDSU sustainability specialist Jennifer McLaughlin started the club in 2013 when she was a student and now serves as the club’s adviser.

McLaughlin said she is happy the club has grown and that she would like to have it grow more in the future.

McLaughlin wants students to join if they are interested in sustainability in any way, and wants them to know that the group is very inclusive and open to new people.

“We’re not throwing it on you, it’s very open and open for discussion,” McLaughlin said. “I would encourage students to join even if they don’t know what it is.”

One of McLaughlin’s objectives at SDSU is to ensure the university is acting in a sustainable manner in all three categories of sustainability. McLaughlin said this is achieved through tying all of the categories together.

Last semester, the club held “trash talks” in The Union to provide information about recycling, mainly what can and cannot be recycled.

This semester, the club’s focus has been on the Big Event, a community-wide volunteer day.

The Big Event is being held April 21 and will have students going out to different houses and businesses to help  with projects such as cleaning and renovating buildings.

Kory Heier, a senior and president of SSC, looks forward to the future of the Big Event in the coming years.

“I hope that it keeps getting bigger and bigger and that community members just know that every Spring the Big Event is happening,” Heier said.

Heier said many people have contacted him after the sign-up date, and he believes this is a good sign for the future of the event.

“I hope it becomes a staple like Hobo Day or Capers,” Heier said. “A thing SDSU students are known for.”

SSC’s members plan to continue to advocate for sustainability, and believe it is an integral part of SDSU and its future.

Students who want to join SSC can attend their weekly meetings at 6:15 p.m. Wednesdays in Wagner 127.

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