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Students and Staff Present at AASHE Conference

By Sustainability Office on October 19, 2018

From October 2-4, three Colgate students and three staff members attended the AASHE Conference and Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. AASHE, or the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, hosts an annual conference attended by nearly two thousand people. The theme of this year’s conference was “Global Goals: Rising to the Challenge.” The conference gave attendees the opportunity to present their efforts to promote sustainability at Colgate as well as learn about successful projects at other universities.

“People come to AASHE to make change-inspiring strategies accessible to all. I witnessed people actively solving how to scale new systems within different geographical and cultural contexts. It was truly a privilege to learn from and alongside such innovative sustainable thinkers,” said UCan founder Christina Weiler ‘21.

(L to R) Christina, Isabel, and Maddie at AASHE.

Thanks to funding support from CLTR, students were able to attend AASHE and view presentations, network with sustainability professionals, and present the work they have done at Colgate. Isabel Dove ‘19, an intern with the Office of Sustainability and founder of the Beekeeping Club, was a panelist on a presentation entitled “Pollinator Friendly Campuses: Strategies to Help You Get Your Buzz on.” Isabel discussed student involvement with campus apiaries and gave advice for establishing apiaries at other institutions. Intern Madison Smith ‘19 and Christina Weiler ‘21 both served as panelists on “Sustainability-themed Living and Learning Communities,” in which they discussed Colgate’s innovative S-Rep program. Christina also presented a poster on her social recycling system UCan.

Sustainability and Environmental Studies Program Coordinator Pamela Gramlich co-lead the workshop “Develop Your Toolkit for Sustainability Communications.” Pamela and Kat Pritts, a designer for the Communications Office, both contributed to the presentation “Communication Strategies to Reach Beyond the Choir.” Finally, Director of Sustainability John Pumilio served as a panelist on the presentation “Approaches to Carbon Offset Procurement.” These workshops and presentations were an effective way of communicating Colgate’s leading-edge approaches to promoting sustainability on campus.

The AASHE conference served as a professional development opportunity for students and energized interns to continue thinking of ways to engage the Colgate community in sustainable lifestyles. Madison reflects, “While it was great to present at AASHE, gain experience in public speaking, and collaborate with people from other schools, the most valuable part of the conference was listening to the ideas of my peers and learning through the work that they are doing.”

Water Refill Stations Promote Environmental and Personal Wellness

By Sustainability Office on October 12, 2018
By: Jaanvi Sachdeva ’21

Colgate University is currently home to 16 state-of-the-art Elkay water refill stations, and is on the path to installing more. This cleaner, more energy-efficient water experience is something that students have come to understand as part of their lives, but they have not been around forever.

The University has installed these water refill stations in several batches, with each new addition following student backing and request. In 2015, a refill station was installed in the renovated Cooley Science Library, and in 2016, four were installed on the first, third, fourth, and fifth floors of Case-Geyer. Many of these projects have been the direct result of SGA proposals that highlighted the essential role the stations could play in encouraging sustainable behavior and showcasing sustainable living at Colgate. Bryan Complex just received an Elkay water refill station thanks to a successful SGA proposal, and 113 Broad is expected to receive one before 2019.

Students have expressed that these stations significantly benefit their lives, as they promote both sustainable behaviors and regular hydration. “I think I drink much more water here [at Colgate] than I do at home, because every time I walk by one of those stations, I am reminded to fill my bottle up. At home if I’m thirsty, I just grab a plastic water bottle but I regularly use a reusable bottle while here,” said Jared Collins ’21.

The Elkay water refill stations leads to a wider acceptance and normalization of reusable water bottle use. This is important because last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38, leading to significant environmental harms. The Elkay water refill stations not only save money spent on disposable water bottles and add convenience to the lives of students, but also decrease waste associated with single-use bottle production and disposal.

While more widespread use of reusable water bottles by Colgate students has been encouraged by the Elkay water refill stations, there is still room for improvement. Perhaps the largest obstacle to reducing plastic waste is that many students do not feel comfortable drinking the tap water here and consequently opt to drink bottled water. One student reports, “It’s convenient to keep plastic bottles in the room, because I’m unsure about the quality of the tap water. It doesn’t taste as good as water from other places.” While Colgate’s tap water is safe to drink and is regularly tested for safety, the Elkay stations do provide students with another, better-tasting option to refill their bottles.

While Colgate is making great strides to encourage healthy, sustainable lifestyles and reduce waste, we can still do much more! If students are passionate about these issues, some outlets for these concerns might be talking to Commons leaders, seeking funding from various student groups, or simply putting their concerns in the public eye where decision-makers are aware of them. We encourage student participation in this conversation for greater sustainable living!

The locations of the current Elkay refill stations at Colgate can be viewed here:



Meet the Interns!

By Sustainability Office on October 1, 2018

Skylar Jeveli ‘21

Skylar is a sophomore from Lafayette, California majoring in Environmental Studies. Her hobbies include sailing, skiing, travel, photography, hiking, cooking, and volunteering. This year, she is excited to help promote all of our incredible sustainability events and encourage students to attend and learn about Colgate’s sustainability initiatives. She is also looking forward to working on the state of New York sustainability report for Colgate.


Maggie Dunn ‘19

Maggie is a senior from Greensboro, North Carolina majoring in Geography. Maggie enjoys baking, reading, and learning about new topics of sustainability. She is studying to become a LEED Green Associate and can’t wait to help implement the lessons she learns on Colgate’s campus!



Jacob Watts ‘21

Jacob is a sophomore Biology major from North East, Pennsylvania. His hobbies include sailing, hiking, white water kayaking, rock climbing, and tree identification. During his first year as an intern, Jacob is excited to teach the PE passport classes about sustainability to anyone who is excited to learn!



Adam Zaharoni ‘21

Adam is a sophomore from Yardley, Pennsylvania double majoring in Geology and Classical Studies. His hobbies include debate, a Capella, and paddle boarding. Adam worked as an intern over the summer and is excited to mentor the S-Reps this semester.



Chaveli Miles ‘19

Chaveli is a senior from Shelburne, Vermont double majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies. Chaveli loves to listen to music, stream podcasts, and do just about anything if she’s spending time with friends. This year, she’s excited to work with different campus organizations and student groups.



Madison Smith ‘19

Maddie is a senior from Goffstown, New Hampshire double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, biking, reading, and cooking. Maddie spent all of last year abroad and is happy to be back in the Office of Sustainability, where she will be  getting first-year students involved with sustainability on campus through the S-Reps program!


Caroline Barrett ‘20

Caroline is a junior from Vestal, New York majoring in Environmental Studies and minoring in Psychology. She enjoys hiking, soccer, reading, live music, restaurants, yoga, running, traveling, coffee. This semester, Caroline looks forward to working with the other interns to organize and plan programs and events!



Samantha Lovely ‘20

Samantha is a junior from Jupiter, Florida double majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies. Her hobbies include horseback riding, playing French horn, and paddle boarding. She is looking forward to working with the S-Reps to get first years involved with sustainability at Colgate!



Matthew Froelich ‘19

Matt is a senior from Seminole, Oklahoma majoring in Geography and minoring in Economics. His hobbies include paddle boarding and canoeing. Matt can’t wait to help complete our Greenhouse Gas Inventory this year!



Jaanvi Sachdeva ‘21

Jaanvi is a sophomore from Mamaroneck, New York and is double majoring in Environmental Studies and International Relations. She enjoys reading, baking, and watching Netflix. During her first year as an intern, Jaanvi is excited to help organize and coordinate the NYCSHE Conference that Colgate is hosting in November.



Ethan Reiser ‘21

Ethan is a sophomore from Greenville, Pennsylvania double majoring in Environmental Studies and History. He enjoys playing basketball, frisbee, guitar, and doing anything outdoors. This year, Ethan is looking forward to eliminating needless waste on campus.



Luvna Dhawka ‘20

Luvna is a Molecular Biology major joining us from Mahebourg, Mauritius. She enjoys embroidery, reading, trying different cuisines, and making flower presses. More recently, Luvna has become interested in identifying scientific names of plants. She spent this summer as an intern and is excited to keep working on making the Office of Sustainability and its accomplishments more visible to students through social media, thereby encouraging the Colgate population to become more conscious of sustainability.


Isabel Dove ‘19

Isabel is a senior from Collegeville, Pennsylvania majoring in Geology and minoring in Geography. When she’s not working in the lab, Isabel spends her time hiking, knitting, reading, and running Colgate’s Beekeeping Club. She is looking forward to working on this year’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory and helping Colgate reach carbon neutrality in 2019.