Environmentalists Seek Campus Unity

Members of the Harvard community discusssed what they see as the apathetic attitude toward environmentalism on campus in a discussion last night.

The town meeting-style conversation held in Loker Commons was moderated by Molly E. McOwen ’02, an environmental science and public policy concentrator.

It brought together representatives from several different environmental groups around campus, with an eye toward creating a more unified front in tackling environmental problems.

“There isn’t a discussion going on among students on a daily basis the way there is at many other campuses,” McOwen said. “We fall low in the spectrum.”

Some of the 30-odd participants said the problem lies not so much in students’ unwillingness to be active, but more in a failure by environmental groups to publicize themselves.

“There is a lot of interest among students, but sometimes people just don’t know where to go,” said James Wang, a graduate student.

But this sentiment was not universal.

“A lot of people have the opinion, ‘[Energy waste] doesn’t matter. I don’t pay for it.’” Rachelle K. Gould ’03 said.

Members of the Sierra Student Coalition, the Green Campus Initiative and the Green Cup came to the meeting. These groups are now trying to improve their coordination in environmental action on campus.

“The idea of [different groups] working on various facets of the same issue is very promising,” McOwen said. “We have a vision now for a single unified environmental objective, which cuts across the various schools [of the University].”

Although the groups have not yet settled on a specific plan of action, some suggested working on a House by House basis, or finding new ways to show the community how much the University wastes.

The organizers said the meeting would be followed by others with more specific ideas to pursue a University-wide environmental push.