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The Story of UWaterloo's Student Sustainability Leaders Network

As concerns around climate change and sustainability are becoming more predominant, it has prompted more student interest in getting involved with building a culture around sustainability on campus. With such a diverse, unique, and dynamic campus, we’re faced with many challenges, but also with many opportunities to engage the student population on campus.

HOW DID THE STUDENTS NETWORK FORM?

A variety of factors were at play when early discussions around student engagement started to form. The Sustainability Office soon realized that there were many student groups on campus, but many of these groups did not engage with one another. We realized that to help promote a sustainable campus culture, adhere to Policy 53 (Environmental Sustainability), and meet environmental targets and objectives, we need more students to get involved. After talking with different clubs across campus, we decided to go ahead and start planning for the first Student Sustainability Leaders Meet-up for Earth Month 2017!

WHERE DID WE START?

This network will contain students from several student groups, societies, and clubs to work towards creating a more sustainable campus. The network will first be used to facilitate discussion and provide feedback on how we can reach out to more students on campus who are aware or uanware of sustainability progress at UWaterloo. Following the trial year, the Sustainability Office hopes to expand the network to individual students who are interested in getting involved but don't know where to start!

Student groups brainstorming ideas

The UWaterloo Student Sustainability Leaders Network aims to facilitate discussion on campus engagement and sustainability between like-minded student groups to increase our collective impact for on-campus sustainability. Through collaborative meetings, resource-sharing, and online engagement, this network will help to ensure that sustainability is promoted through awareness-building, behaviour change campaigns, and celebration of our sustainability efforts!

WHEN WILL THE NETWORK BEGIN?

On March 25th, the Sustainability Office unofficially kicked-off the introduction of the Student Sustainability Leaders Network with a meet-up! This meet-up resulted in a total of nine different student groups getting together to discuss the challenges and solutions to building a campus culture around sustainability . The network will officially began at the start of the Spring 2017 term as an initiative to promote more student engagement and involvement with sustainability.

WHAT'S NEXT?

To move towards a campus culture of sustainability and to promote sustainable behaviour changes, we need student leaders to come together to help make this a reality at UWaterloo. If your student group would like to get involved, please get in touch with us by e-mail at sustainability@uwaterloo.ca. If you would like to learn more, check out this web page that illustrates our commitment to student engagement with campus sustainability! 

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