ACU’s new Environmental Society is giving students the opportunity to discuss environmental issues and become members of a community that strives to actively accept responsibility for environmental sustainability.
The society, started by Jared Perkins, senior environmental science major from Waco and president of the ACU Environmental Society, will hold its first interest meeting immediately following Chapel on Thursday. All students are invited to attend and get involved in this forum for discussion, awareness and accountability, Perkins said.
“The issues surrounding our environment are so important now, but I think they’ll become even more important in the future,” he said. “Becoming aware now will give us the tools to become more informed voters and participants in our communities.”
Perkins said he hopes the society will serve as an umbrella organization that will allow for constant environmental discussion with the administration, Students’ Association and other student organizations to push for a green, sustainable campus.
“There hasn’t been an organization that can stand up and say, ‘We’re not OK with that,'” Perkins said, regarding minimal recycling or the void of environmentally conscious campus initiatives. “I feel like this can be that group, and we can join several voices together to make an impact.”
Dr. Jim Cooke, professor of agricultural and environmental sciences, said he has spoken with Perkins about the society’s goals and sees a similarity between this society and one called CURE, Christians United to Respect the Earth, which was established about six years ago, he said.
“I think the philosophy of that organization has reemerged with Jared’s vision,” Cooke said. “The driving force is that Christians have a responsibility. We’ve been given a great gift, and we have a certain amount of moral duty to care for that gift God has given us.”
Perkins said students can get involved by attending the interest meeting and should anticipate an advertisement on myACU with more information about the meeting’s location. Those interested can also join the Facebook group for more information.
“We’re just starting out and letting people know we’re here,” Perkins said, regarding the interest meeting. “We’ll bounce ideas off each other and find out what we can do.”
He said once a budget is passed, the society hopes to establish Earth Week on campus, a group viewing of the 3D film Ocean and a viewing of Planet Earth while the society establishes a presence on campus.
Cooke said he is proud of students who are concerned about environmental issues and are taking steps to make a difference.
“It’s a great learning experience and character and spiritual development when we realize we are blessed beyond measure and we take an awful lot of things for granted,” Cooke said. “‘Christians United to Care for the World’ is a pretty good little motto – they want to do what is right by the creation and by humanity, as well.”
Collective and individual action are necessary to change the world, Cooke said.
“How we live our lives matters; the things we do are important, and nothing is too small to try to change if it’s not right.”