Green Committee Meeting Minutes
October 3, 2011
Present: Kristyn Mosky, Sam Hill, Pete Polliak, Karen Busham-Newton, Robin (Bill)Gorham, Susi Mattheisen, Rob Como, Dan Wells, Ray Bailey, Kathleen Odige, Victor Zabielski, Cathy Montero, Ruth Stanton
Election of officers:
Ray Bailey agreed to serve as acting chair until November in order to give newer members a chance to see what the committee work entails and consider taking the position. The vice chair position will also be elected at that time. Ruth Stanton agreed to take minutes.
Generally has been 3:00pm to 5:00pm on the first Monday of the month but could work better on another day for the current members. The next meeting will be held at 3:30 on November 7th in the large Brault board room and those needing to attend remotely will be able to do so. The conferencing system can support up to three sites, but degrades beyond that. Call Peter Tharp to get set up. The phone number to call can also be obtained from the President’s office.
Ray will send out an email using Doodle to get members’ preferences for days and times for future meetings.
Status of the Sustainability Coordinator:
Ray discussed the background for this proposal which was submitted to Dr. Templin as the end of April. Sam Hill and Ray Bailey met with Dr. Templin beforehand to lay the groundwork for this position. A list of functions was developed as well as the justification for having a coordinator rather than simply an advisory committee. The point was made that NOVA is behind many other community college leaders in addressing collegewide environmental issues and that students have come to view active participation in environmental concerns and the presence of related curricula as a criterion for choosing a college. On the other hand, NOVA is doing many of the things which these other colleges are pursuing as environmental goals.
At the May 3 Administrative Council, the position was put onto the college wide priority list and Bill Chamberlin was asked to create an EWP for the position. The committee provided Bill with the position description from George Mason’s position to use as a template and the plan was that he will ask the committee to review the draft. Ray will inquire as to the status of the position which will have to compete with other priority positions for funding.
Green committee members are asked to talk with individual provosts to encourage them to support the position for the following reasons:
- NOVA needs to be perceived by the community we serve as being cutting edge
- The systemic coordination and implementation of green practices will lead to savings
- Students want the experience of working on green projects
- Many jobs have a green component and all students need to leave the college with basic knowledge
- Because we are a two year institution with constant student turnover, there is greater need for sustainability resources leading to increased continuity (Not sure I captured this thought)
- We are not in a position of taking a leadership role; we are in danger of falling behind our peers.
- We need to model green behavior for faculty and staff as well as for students.
- We are developing a green infrastructure which we need to maintain and celebrate. Planning for green buildings and landscaping needs coordination across the college.
- Having a sustainability coordinator would make it easier to get funding for green projects
- We would have an increased presence (credibility) with area organizations like the Sustainability Coordinators Network with opportunities for increased collaboration and access to resources
- It’s the right thing to do because the focus makes us a partner with the community.
- Students expect us to have a defined program.
Ray envisions a transition to a structure where the committee serves in an advisory capacity .
Kristyn brought up a couple of items for discussion, the first being intercampus coordination among campus student green groups. Annandale and Woodbridge currently have active student groups and Loudoun’s group could be revived if a new leader can be found.
The second item of interest is the environmental certification program and what has become of the group which worked on this. Victor was on the committee which proposed a separate two-year degree which was shot down because it was felt that there was no demand in the workplace for that level of credential. Employers were looking for more specific skills. It was suggested that NOVA could create work-related certificates instead of a two year degree program.
Both Manassas and Loudoun have majors which are combined with environmental studies. There are internships available for students at GMU and students can transfer into a BS program.
Karen suggested setting up a listserv for sharing information among committee members and has the committee’s approval and encouragement to do this.
Karen described a proposal for a grant which has not been funded but which involves pollinator pathways and rain gardens and community participation.
Kristyn brought up the issue of what classes could be created as part of existing programs. Sam suggested that NOVA pursue what the workplace wants for certificates—what they need in the workplace. WDCE has been involved with this; what are they currently doing in this area? William Gary will know what the research says about demand. Sometimes programs start on the non-credit side and transition to credit. The issue of not being able to get credit for basic environmental science classes to transfer toward a science major was raised.
Areas for the committee to pursue this year:
- Susi has resources in the grants office which she can use to help market funding opportunities and also help those preparing grant proposals.
- Publicity—Need to place articles in the intercom and use other media to get the word out
- Focus on coordination of green clubs
- Meet with provosts on the need for a sustainability coordinator
- Further collaboration with GMU
- Address green curricula
Ray will try to get Lenah Storm to attend the November meeting if possible to talk about how to proceed with the push toward a sustainability operation at the college and also to talk about course credit issues.
Victor reported that Alexandria had a junk fest which revitalized recycling in the campus community. Manassas felt that the campus infrastructure for recycling is good, but more publicity on campus is needed. Loudoun students have been undertaking trash audits to assess compliance on campus. Bill has Powerpoints which can be put up on the flat screens in hallways and elsewhere to publicize recycling. Annandale also encourages faculty to take a few minutes at the beginning of class to talk about recycling. A new dean at
Alexandria is pursuing offering an orientation on environmental practices on campus.
Tentative next meeting is November 7.