-Cecilia Kane ’20
As a first-year student last year, I was presented with an overwhelming number of opportunities to get involved on campus. Excited by the prospect of working with my residence hall to become better stewards of the Earth, I applied to be a Sustainability Representative, or an S-Rep. In this position, I collaborated with like-minded first-years and was mentored by interns in the Office of Sustainability to educate students on sustainable behaviors and promote sustainability events within my residence hall and across campus. While I had often found it easy to “live green” at home, where sustainability was a family value of mine, I realized that it was more difficult—if not seemingly impossible at times—to affect the actions of those with different priorities here on campus. Therefore, I was grateful to have this community to both support and challenge me as I made personal commitments to sustainability and strove to inspire members of my residence hall to do the same.
Some highlights from the program included our biweekly meetings (which were often kicked off with YouTube videos of Snoop Dogg narrating “Plizzanet Earth”); the chance to mingle with alumni as we recycled at the Homecoming and Reunion tailgates; and the overall network I created between my residence hall and the Office of Sustainability. We also helped advertise campaigns such as Colgate Unplugged and Recyclemania in an effort to spread awareness to the broader community outside of our residence halls. The friendly competition generated by these events facilitated camaraderie within my residence hall and gave us a communal goal towards which to work.
My participation in the S-Rep Program provided me with an enriching and informative introduction to sustainability at Colgate and was the primary motivator behind my decision to continue working with the Office of Sustainability. I encourage all first-year students to apply to be an S-Rep!