HallCrews enact new sustainability program for residence halls

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    The HallCrew for the Samuelson and Carter residence halls plans to implement a new program for sustainability, renewing resources and utilizing earth’s resources without harming the environment.

    Katie Thoma, a junior psychology major, is a resident in Carter who expressed concern about the lack of sustainability practices in the dorm, such as recycling and the conservation of water and energy.

    Many students have come forward asking for more recycling in Samuelson and Carter, said Evan Saperstein, the hall director for Samuelson and Carter Halls. Saperstein said the sustainability committee for housing was looking to get students involved.

    The committee sought proposals from the HallCrews of all TCU’s residence halls. Each residence hall donated $25 for funding of the proposals and the committee selected Samuelson and Carter, and Marion and PE Clark as the winning HallCrew proposals, who will each receive $150 to enact their programs.

    The Samuelson and Carter sustainability program focuses on marketing to make students aware of how to be sustainable, Saperstein said. The proposal includes posting signs on how to conserve water and energy by toilets, air conditioning units and light switches. The proposal also suggests using incentives to encourage residents to use LED light bulbs and more sustainable things in their rooms.

    The Marion and PE Clark proposal includes different programs and events such as showing movies that address issues of sustainability, and discussing how the students can lead a more sustainable future, Saperstein said.

    Thoma said she worked with Saperstein and others to write the proposal for Samuelson and Carter in hopes to get students interested and involved with sustainability. 

    Thoma, a native of Washington, said recycling and composting is common in here state and that she was surprised TCU students didn’t compost or recycle as much as her hometown citizens.

    “When I came to Texas and saw that there were no recycling bins in our rooms or anything, I was very sad,” Thoma said.

    Saperstein said most of the buildings on campus are already sustainable and green, but not well promoted, using an example of recycling bins which aren’t uniformly labeled. He said he hopes students will help spark action with the new programs.

    “We have a lot of sustainable things,” Saperstein said. “But if there’s no buy-in from the students, then why would they ever want to take part of it? We’re hoping that students will make it more interesting, do things that they want to do, and help get others involved.”

    Lindsey Papa, a sophomore art education major, is the community relations coordinator for Samuelson and Carter HallCrew. Papa said she sends out surveys to the students in Samuelson and Carter and many residents have specifically requested recycling bins.

    “A lot of people want the most simplest of things, like recyclers,” Papa said. “The problem is we talk, we talk, we talk, but it’s all talk and no do. It’s not our communication. It’s just that nothing’s ever done about it.”

    Carter resident Alexandra Constantinou, a sophomore strategic communication major, collects plastic bottles, cans and paper in her room as well to recycle each week in the lobby. She said she was disappointed when Carter didn’t have an available recycling option in the trash room.

    Saperstein said he is currently working with Waste Management, which hauls the campus trash away, to get them to sponsor Samuelson and Carter’s sustainability efforts. 

    “This is just a big revamp for all of us to start up our sustainability efforts,” Saperstein said. “The goal will be to have one uniform thing across campus.”