Letter to the editor:
A few weeks ago, President Barack Obama challenged world leaders to take action immediately to address climate change. But what are we doing here in Columbus — at Ohio State?
It’s no secret that we have a strong commitment to sustainability. From initiatives, like “Out Green the Spartans” and making Ohio Stadium “Zero Waste,” to the construction of LEED-certified buildings on campus, sustainability-centered research and environmentally-focused courses, we try to go above and beyond the stereotypical green commitments. But the climate continues to change. We think we have an obligation to push further, and it has to start with greater collaboration across campus so we can epitomize these efforts in our state, our nation and our world.
Recently, the Undergraduate Student Government’s sustainability committee held a forum with students, faculty and administration to talk about our future. We discussed OSU’s storied commitment to sustainability and what students can do to lead the charge for climate action.
Pete Curtis, a professor of ecology, Timothy Haab, an environmental economist, and Samantha Allen, a former U.S. Marine who now works for the Sierra Club, were the featured guests. Students were ecstatic to talk to different professionals, but willing to listen to the wisdom that was imparted. Perhaps the most memorable quote of the night, would be from Curtis who emphasized that students should “Be loud! Be obnoxious! This is your world you are fighting for!”
With that, the night came to a close and the 36 students who came within 48 hours notice left with reinvigorated spirit and new connections within their fields. As of now, the impact of the event has yet to be determined, but we hope the words of Curtis, Allen and Haab will linger on with all who visited — the Earth certainly needs it.
Undergraduate Student Government president
Fourth-year in public health
USG director of sustainability
Second-year in environmental science