Student Senate to host Student Speak on environmental issues

The Student Senate Beautification Committee calls on students to gear their minds toward positive change for the future of Waynesburg University’s campus and community. They will be hosting a Student Speak on the third floor of Stover Friday, Jan. 24 at noon. 

“Student Speaks are one of the best ways to get students talking about issues,” Tre Thomas, senior history major and member of the committee, said. 

The event is open to all Waynesburg students. The student senators will be leading a discussion on ways to advocate for environmental issues both globally and campus wide. 

“It’s an opportunity to provide feedback for global issues and things that they would like to see change on the campus as well,” Rebecca Shank, freshman psychology major and committee member, said. 

Shank hopes students will be encouraged by the openness of the discussion and will bring an ample variety of ideas to the table. 

“It’s not just a one-sided discussion. It’s a discussion that we want to take a bunch of points of views from,” Shank said 

Some possible topics of discussion include the reduction of carbon emissions, recycling on campus, the possibility of a campus garden and the idea of a campus yard sale. 

Shank enthusiastically took the opportunity to head up the project when recommended by Thomas. Shank has been the main moderator performing research and preparation for the presentation. Thomas and the rest of the committee have been organizing behind the scenes.

“I’ve always enjoyed leadership opportunities like this in high school,” Shank said. “The Student Senate has done a really great job of reaching out to freshmen which has been really encouraging. The [Stover Scholars] really encouraged me to explore my thinking and provided a comfortable atmosphere to do so.” 

The campus garden is one project the committee has been working closely with the campus eco-stewards and Professor of biology Janet Paladino to get up and running as soon as possible. The project is largely headed by another student member of the beautification committee, Alex Weis. There is a wide array of uses for the garden’s produce including partnering with Aladdin Dining Services or donating the product to local food banks.

“We have been taking a new direction with the committee that can be hard to explain to students. Our mission now has been to focus on environmental changes to promote better living on campus,” Thomas said. “We really want to do something that will benefit the campus, the community, and ultimately benefit the students.”

The Student Speak will be an opportunity for students to have their voices heard when it comes to the future of beautification and ecofriendliness on campus. 

“I think it’s really important to keep in mind our impact and influence,” Shank said. “I think in the day and age that we live it is good to come up with creative solutions for any issue. As a campus we have a really awesome group of people. We can make a big change starting with little change.”