Hannah Hollinger

Hannah Hollinger

Student coalition brings local and global sustainability solutions into discussion

In Spring of 2017, the Student Sustainability Coalition brought students from all academic disciplines and standings together on the first Thursday of each month to discuss the pressing issue we all face and care for: sustainability. In the midst of a evolving political climate, especially in light of climate change science skepticism, coalition meetings fell far from having a short discussion list. Every meeting had something exciting in-store, with the end goal to provide a new understanding, opportunity, or skill set for those who attended.

The Student Sustainability Coalition (SSC) acts a monthly think-tank of sustainability driven students and campus organizations. Student organizations in attendance are given the opportunity to announce upcoming events and initiatives, as well as gain tidbits of insight to UCF sustainability operations from the meeting facilitator.

Each meeting of the inaugural semester began with an infamous icebreaker, which always included a hodgepodge of sustainability related topics to engage every attendee’s interest. The initial focus was to identify what contributes to attaining sustainability and to what extent various entities contribute to the lack thereof. The coalition studied and discussed the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals or SDGs to better understand what aspects of improvement can change our world and even, our campus.

From there, meetings included various workshops and on-campus opportunities in efforts to combat these sustainability issues. This included an informational session on micro-grant events from IDEAS for Us, a personal divestment workshop by First Green Bank, an introduction to international involvement via Peace Corps recruitment, and an Energy Specialist Training Program offered by City of Orlando and USGBC.