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Five Southwestern College Green Team members recently attended workshops by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) in Denver, Colo.
Students attending the conference were Clint Dick, Spivey; Mark Strecker and Stephen Strecker, Tonkawa, Okla.; Sarah Rommelfanger, Baldwin City; and Autumn East, Royse City, Texas.
Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern, says it is beneficial for his students to see what other colleges are doing about sustainable living.
“It is good to expose our Green Team students to other people at other colleges,” Speegle says. “There is a world outside of Southwestern College that is trying to progress toward the same goal that we are. It creates a motivation towards a larger sustainable effort. This was a huge educational opportunity.”
According to Speegle, close to 1,000 universities were represented at the conference.
“I thought the size and scale of the AASHE community was amazing,” Mark Strecker says. “I had no idea that North American higher education had such a heavy investment in sustainability. I learned a lot in the way of how to make Southwestern more sustainable and the different paths that can be taken to do so. Overall it was a great experience.”
Joining the Green Team members were Southwestern College assistant professor of biology Rick Cowlishaw and vice president for planning and new programs Steve Wilke.
“The AASHE conference was hectic, but we all learned so much that we can now take to Southwestern College and the Winfield community,” Rommelfanger says. “Events like the AASHE conference are very important and very effective ways to spread cutting-edge knowledge about fields that affect everyone. Sustainability is one of the most important ideas for our time, especially for the current generation of students while the stewardship-oriented perception of a citizen’s social duty is expanding at such a huge rate.”