UConn will hold a Student Climate Action Summit for the first time from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today in room 304C of the Student Union as part of Focus the Nation, a nationwide awareness event about climate change.
The summit is targeted to undergraduates, but anyone can attend. Participants will spend 10 to 15 minutes at each station, where they will discuss a variety of topics related to the reduction of UConn's carbon footprint. The event was created to generate more student involvement quantity.
"We wanted to get direct student involvement in the university's climate action plan and to give them the chance to give their ideas," said Meghan Ruta, the Climate Action Plan Project Manager at the Office of Environmental Policy.
Focus the Nation also features a Climate Change Teach-in(*1), where faculty commit to set aside one class period for a lesson about climate change within the context of their discipline. This year's teach-in ends on Friday.
"The idea is that climate change affects us all," Ruta said.
According to Richard Miller, the director of the Office of Environmental Policy. Miller, 60 faculty members from the UConn campuses participated in the Teach-in last year. Geology, geography, sociology and anthropology are among the 14 departments participating at the Storrs campus this year, according to the Web site of EcoHusky(*2), a student environmental group on campus.
Ruta is in charge of the Climate Action Taskforce(*3), which formed after President Michael Hogan signed the Presidential Climate Commitment on March 25, 2008. According to the EcoHusky Web site, the PCC, which has been signed by over 500 schools, recognizes the unique responsibility that institutions of higher education have as role models for their communities and in training the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming.
Hogan signed the PCC after being approached by student environmental groups such as EcoHusky and ConnPIRG.
"One of the reasons Hogan signed the PCC was because he felt it was what students wanted," said Miller.
© Copyright 2009 The Daily Campus
The original article was also published online. Click here to view the original Daily Campus article.
Article comments from the UConn Office of Environmental Policy:
*1 - The 2008 national climate change teach-in was refered to "Focus the Nation." For the 2009 teach-in there are multiple sponsors, including the organization Focus the Nation. Consequently, the teach-in is no longer referred to exclusively as "Focus the Nation" but rather simply as the National Teach- In on Global Warming.
*2 -The EcoHusky website is not the website of the EcoHusky Student Group, but rather the official website of the UConn Office of Environmental Policy, which advises the student group.
*3 -Meghan Ruta, the Climate Action Plan Project Manager, was not "in charge" of the Climate Action Task Force as the article suggests, but rather helped facilitate the efforts of the CATF workgroups and reported progress back to the CATF.