In the last issue of the Q, there was an article about a recent coalition of environmentally minded clubs on campus. Goucher has a long history of environmental organizations, and this week we’ll look at the newest member of this legacy: the Eco Team. I spoke with club president Kat Elicker (‘19).
Why did you decide to start the club?
I’ve always known since I was a freshman, that I was going to be an environmental studies major. It was one of my passions. I’m also a Dorsey scholar, and they encourage you to find some kind of niche to grow your leadership skills. And I thought ‘well, I’ll be part of the environmental club on campus, and work my way up’.
When I had first toured the school, I had heard of four different ones, and when I got here I went to the club fair and couldn’t find any except for Ag Co-op. Don’t get me wrong: I love gardening, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for. I found out there was a club named GEAR – but it was dying down. I couldn’t figure out when their meeting times were.
My Sophomore year, I was like ‘you have to find this club!’. And I found it, and found out is was no longer a club. So I looked into a few other clubs, tried those out. My junior year I told myself ‘ you know, the Dorsey people said find your niche and grow in it, but maybe I should grow my niche myself.’ So I decided to create an environmental club on campus, sort of like GEAR. Since I didn’t have the same goals or guidelines set up like GEAR did, I wasn’t going to rename the club GEAR. So we go by the Eco Team. Had a good ring to it.
What’s the purpose of your organization?
Where GEAR was environmental action, we’re environmental awareness. The point really is to raise awareness on campus about how people can have more green practices, and be more sustainable in their everyday living. I feel that Goucher is a school that looks at the broad picture when it comes to sustainability, but then they forget the little things. Things that we as students are going to have to take on, because they are not going to implement them.
So the idea is to have at least one or two action projects a semester. And hopefully if the club continues on after me, they might do more environmental action.
What are your plans this coming semester?
We hope to do some club bonding: probably a documentary movie night within the club. We also want to work with FMS and construction in making sure there is proper recycling in the new buildings. We are also putting up new recycling posters soon. Moving into future semesters, it’s going to be a case by case basis. We’ve heard about some freshman peers who want to deal with the single use plastic issue at Alice’s and Huebeck, and we might partner with them next semester.
Do you think Goucher is an environmentally friendly campus? How can it improve?
It was difficult as a student to see how Goucher isn’t sustainable, but it’s really in day to day life. When they were moving the buildings, they had initiatives to try and reduce construction waste and buildup- but that led to a bunch of trees being cut down. They say they have an initiative where for every one tree they cut down they plant two, but where do they plant them? There are just logistical things, where their overall mindset is green, but I see a lot of faults in the things they do. Thankfully, there are places you can go if you want to see change happen. That’s part of the reason why I started the club, so there would be another place you could go to.
Why should people participate?
It’s a space where people can talk about their environmental passions, and also make friends. If you want to come to my club, if your looking for the environmental side of things where you are making recycling posters and talking to people about the practices they have – then our club is the place to do it. But if you don’t, I would be more than happy to have people come to our club if there is a problem they see on campus that they would like to address. I don’t want them to feel like they need to be committed to the club after that. Come and say your piece. We can work on it, maybe only a small change, and after that, you can stay with us or put your time somewhere else until you have another idea.
And that’s that for this installment of club chat! Interested in having your organization featured in the next issue of the Q? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to be in the next edition!
Featured Image: Eco Team focuses on increasing environmental awareness on campus. Photo Credit: Google Images