Sustainability website tries to communicate on-campus green initiatives

Sustainability website tries to communicate on-campus green initiatives
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Students can advertise their sustainable acts to show how green TCU's campus is on the university’s sustainability website.

The site was created two and a half years ago by sociology instructor Keith Whitworth. The goal was to promote sustainability as an incentive to come to TCU, Whitworth said.

The site has information about all of the green initiatives and activities being done around campus. The tabs on the side of the main page take visitors to each specific field in how TCU is becoming greener. Some of these fields include transportation, energy conservation, and more.

There is also a tab for those interested in taking classes to learn more about sustainability.

To help with managing the site, Whitworth created an internship to help advertise and get information for the site. Chloe Burgoon, a senior strategic communication major, is the first student to receive the internship.

Burgoon said she learned about the internship by taking Whitworth’s class on sustainability. She wanted to become more involved, so she talked to Whitworth and eventually got the internship.

Whitworth initially helped create the site, but he gave the job of designing the site to Jennifer Zarate, a university web designer. Zarate said she wanted to make a collage that made the site feel organic.

However, since its creation, the visibility of the site and some green initiatives on campus has declined, Whitworth said. Some students, like sophomores Casey Miller and Haley King, said they have not heard of the site.  

Whitworth said the reason for the decline was because the site used to be a tool for recruiting future students. He also said it could be a reflection of the conversation around the nation. Whitworth said he believed that the site's lack of visibility is due to the change of focus on campus. Since the university has become a more popular campus due to its athletic successes, the focus has shifted from going green.

A lot of focus has been drawn away from being green, which it is not as much of a priority for some students as it used to be, he said.

Despite its decline, Burgoon and Whitworth are still focused on putting out more information about what is being done around campus. Starting three weeks ago, Burgoon said she gathers information about events and activities being done on campus to help promote sustainability. Because the internship is still new, the process is slow in getting more participants for the website.

Students can suggest things to post on the website by emailing Chloe Burgoon.

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