On Saturday, February 25, the first annual Baltimore Student Environmental Conference was held at Loyola University. This conference brought together leaders from environmental clubs from Goucher College, Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame of Maryland, and Loyola University Maryland. It was organized by the Loyola Environmental Action Club in order to encourage the colleges to work together and to share the struggles they have experienced around organizing for greater sustainability at each of their schools. Two Goucher clubs were represented at the conference: Eco Team, represented by Katherine Elicker and Beekeeping Club, represented by Virginia Turpin. There were 17 students in total in attendance, with students representing the Notre Dame environmental club, Johns Hopkins’ Students for Environmental Action (SEA), and the Loyola Environmental Action Club (EAC).
Club representatives from other universities discussed their environmental initiatives, such as making composting feasible, banning plastic bottles and bags on campus, and fundraising for local environmental groups. Several student groups are working on starting gardens, similar to Ag Co-op here at Goucher. A club at Johns Hopkins, Refuel our Future, has been working towards the college divesting from fossil fuels for six years. Johns Hopkins’ SEA is also planning a student fashion show centered around sustainability. These clubs also are working to engage with the intersections that exist between environmentalism and other areas, such as feminism.
Inspired by the conference, Goucher students proposed that all the environmental groups on campus come together in order to coordinate their efforts under an umbrella of club leaders, using a model similar to the model used at Johns Hopkins and Loyola.