Wildcats for Sustainability is a student organization with the goal of bringing recycling to campus and helping with earth week.
The students came together this semester to create a sustainable organization that would maintain an active presence because there wasn’t a support system to keep the club going in the past.
Joshua M. Brokaw, associate professor of biology and current organization sponsor, said, “The first thing that has to happen is just that we start to create a culture in which sustainability is expected and valued.”
“You need a permanent person at ACU to help support that kind of thing,” he said. “Even if it’s a student organization, you want them to feel like they have ownership; you need a stable support system.”
For the organization to sustain, Brokaw said there will be monthly chapels, student projects and events.
Brokaw said that we need reminders for us to behave responsibly, so that our daily lives can be acts of worship. One of the verses printed on the back of their club t-shirts is Psalm 24:1-2.
Jaime Thompson, senior biology major from McKinney and president of the organization, said her goal before she graduates in May is to get more people involved, so it’s a bigger movement.
“It would also mean a lot if I could leave campus knowing there is a good permanent program for recycling, for just creating a culture that is looking after the earth,” said Thompson.
The short-term goals the organization hopes to accomplish are promoting the idea of bringing recycling to campus, helping host Earth Week with other organizations on campus and increasing community support to implement ideas.
Brokaw said long-term, the organization “will always have a purpose to work for the hearts and minds of our community. We want every student on campus to have at least one reminder each day about the implications of our choices, because we will be remembered for what we do today.”
A few ways some of the club officers said they live a sustainable lifestyle is by recycling on their own, conserving energy, using less and buying sustainable food.
Catherine Longest, senior environmental science major from Chauncey, Oklahoma, said they want to give students the opportunity to host recycling bins on campus, so it’s physical, accessible and maintained.
Longest, treasurer of the organization, said another long term goals is “teaching people that this is something, at least that we believe, that God calls us to do to live a way that is sustainable to his creation.”
Eric Dolezalik, senior environmental science major from Ennis, Texas, vice president of the organization said after an email was sent out to become a solidarity member to express support for their mission, over 200 students and staff/faculty have signed up.
In the sign up form, the organization gives four points as to what sustainability is: meeting current human needs without endangering or indebting our descendants, recognizing there is scientific consensus that our current environmental demands are causing problems on earth, supporting efforts to raise public awareness and reducing our environmental impacts and recognizing that substantive efforts to preserve opportunities for future generations requires work from our part.
“We hope other people around the world would see these relatively wealthy kids isolated in this university are not just out there for themselves, so we’re not the same as everybody else,” said Brokaw. “We want to recognize that we’re not the same but that we have a responsibility to do something different even if the surrounding culture isn’t doing this.”
On Saturday, February 25, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the Wildcat for Sustainability officers will take part in the Sustainable Landscape Workshop, which is located at ACU McDaniel House. The event is free for everyone and is sponsored by the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Taylor Country AgriLife Extension Service Master Gardener Program.
If you’re interested in Wildcats for Sustainability, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.