Students give back for sustainability

Senior English major Emily Romo, active in the Green Institute for Village Empowerment (GIVE), received an award for her leadership at the Krikorian Theatre in Corona on Wednesday. Dedicated to the education of sustainable lifestyles, Romo along with GIVE have taught local communities the basic economic, business and social values in order to promote a greener future. Romo has been involved with GIVE for the past two semesters at the University of La Verne. / photo by Seanette Garcia
Senior English major Emily Romo, active in the Green Institute for Village Empowerment (GIVE), received an award for her leadership at the Krikorian Theatre in Corona on Wednesday. Dedicated to the education of sustainable lifestyles, Romo along with GIVE have taught local communities the basic economic, business and social values in order to promote a greener future. Romo has been involved with GIVE for the past two semesters at the University of La Verne. / photo by Seanette Garcia

Education and the promotion of sustainable lifestyles have caught the attention of many ULV students who are participating in the Green Institute for Village Empowerment, a new organization on campus.

A chapter was introduced to La Verne last September and has fostered the relationships between students and professors in various disciplines to raise awareness of natural resource consumption and eco-friendly lifestyles.

“Environmentalists usually just sit around,” John Skelton, a member of GIVE said. “GIVE provides incentives for students to actually do something,” Skelton said.

Involvement on college campuses is a vital component for the success and empowerment of the organization.

GIVE offers a definite twist to the “go green” mentality many are familiar with.

“I believe in GIVE’s mission statement: empower sustainable efforts through an interdisciplinary approach” Emily Romo, president of the ULV GIVE chapter said.

One of GIVE’s main concerns is educating others on what they can do to make the necessary changes for a different tomorrow.

For an organization with roots in the science department, GIVE has branched out to reach more than 30 members since its beginnings at ULV last semester.

A few members of GIVE. attribute its growing rate Romo’s leadership as president and to the power of word of mouth.

“Emily brings excitement and persistence to the table,” Skelton said.

Incorporating students and professors in various academic fields is a unique characteristic of this particular organization.

“We have people in public administration, biology and communications to contribute,” Romo said.
“People are able to get involved through their interests.”

Now into its second semester, GIVE is enthusiastic about making their goals into successful actions in the upcoming months.

The list of activities and long term goals is a definite indicator of members’ gravity and commitment to the club’s ideals.

The first event to top the agenda is ULV’s Earth Day on April 22 in Sneaky Park.

A variety of agencies will provide a cornucopia of products and services at students’ disposal.

21 Choices, wild life and cosmetics of free trade or that are organic will be available.

The recycling fair will offer facilities for students to bring in every day products: batteries, plastic bags and especially eye glasses, which can be fixed and given to those overseas in need of them. A clothing trade-off is another service that will be offered.

ASULV has donated money to purchase “Chico bags” and “Klean Kanteens” which are eco-friendly alternatives for these everyday used products. Most proceeds of Earth day will be given to non-profit organizations.

GIVE has incorporated ULV’s Greek Week to juxtapose the different organizations to collect and use cans for an art piece.

“We hope to create a masterpiece with cans,” Romo said.

Change or improvement on ULV’s campus is another long-term effort GIVE is actively apart of.

Within the next year GIVE will present the idea to provide more native drought tolerant landscaping in place of regular grass terrain to the Sustainable Campus Commit­tee, since students have already voiced an interest.

“We have a lot of grass and its dependent on water and students hardly use the areas in front of the library or behind Stu-Han,” GIVE member Allison Marsh said.

Members are aware of the economic costs that are usually associated with “green efforts.”

“The initial cost is high with anything green,” Skelton said.

The organization finds that it is important to think about the long-term effects that outweigh the costs.

“If we plan ahead we can resist major disasters. GIVE provides a platform on how to go about that,” Skelton added.

The ULV chapter of GIVE appears to be very focused and adamant about its concerns.

It has many goals for University and the community at large.

Romo feels that learning through hands on approaches rather than through paper hand-outs will help set GIVE apart from other similar organizations.

The organization seems to serve as a medium for many who desire to contribute to a distinct cause through one’s personal interests.

“You give what you can give,” Romo said.

Tiffany Vlaanderen can be reached at tvlaanderen@ulv.edu.

Tiffany Vlaanderen
Seanette Garcia

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