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Members of Ohio University's Student Senate, sit around a table during their meeting, Sept. 13, 2023.

Student senate discussed sustainability

Student Senate met on Monday to listen to a presentation from Ohio University’s Office of Sustainability.

Sam Crowl, director of sustainability, gave the presentation. He discussed the current state of OU’s carbon emissions, and how students can be more active in sustainability.  

He started the presentation by talking about the “three P’s,” which are people, planet and prosperity.

“We cannot just throw billions of dollars at our problems and hope that solves them,” Crowl said. “We need to consider what things cost and how we can make the right decisions when it comes to treating all three of those areas equally.”

Cowl shared the goals of the Office of Sustainability. Some are being carbon neutral by 2050, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% and having 36% renewable energy by 2026. 

To work directly with students, the Office of Sustainability and Kyle Butler, associate professor of instruction of English is working to provide students with outdoor classroom spaces. 

“He really focuses his time in the office on what's called the outdoor classroom issue,” Crowl said. “He would like to actually bring more classroom experiences into the outdoors.”

Finally, Crowl discussed how students can get involved with the Office of Sustainability.

OU students are able to sign up for a biweekly newsletter, apply for a work-study position in the Office of Sustainability, attend sustainability events and plan their own green events among other things, Crowl said. 

Several members of the senate had questions for Crowl about how they can help, and be sustainable themselves. 

Environmental Affairs Commissioner Caden Hibbs asked how students can be sustainable in their everyday lives. 

Crowl answered by saying being sustainable is based on the choices that people make every day. 

“Sustainability is an individual sort of choice and we all know that we make different choices,” Crowl said. 

Students are able to help by reporting when light sensors in buildings are not working, or by simply turning the lights off in an empty room to help save energy, Crowl said.


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