Scuppernong talk brings community together

Students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Guilford College to speak on sustainability efforts on their campuses. Photo by: Abigail AbantoHollans /The Guilfordian

On Wednesday, March 27 at 7:00 p.m., Scuppernong Books hosted a Green Drinks discussion about the Green New Deal. This discussion brough students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and Guilford College to speak about various sustainability efforts that they have been involved in on their campuses.

“Green Drinks is an open space,” said Green Drinks Co-coordinator Kathy Latham. “We don’t have a creed or anything that has to be followed. We are not pushing an agenda. We are really just here to hear from each other and learn from each other.

“So we are glad to have a variety of people come and talk about what they are doing in this area in terms of sustainability. We have several speakers from different campuses in North Carolina who are involved in environmental and sustainability efforts on their campus.”

NC A&T student Julian Gordan, who currently leads the Climate Justice Team on his campus, spoke about some recent programs and future initiatives have planned for their community.

One major change that the Climate Justice Team is working to implement at NC A&T is to place more recycling bins around campus.

“We helped get the Environmental Club started at school and we’re doing a bunch of different programs around campus,” said Gordan. “We’ve also been working with Dr. Vicki Foust, a research associate at the Center for Energy Research and Technology on campus.

“We’ve been working with her to do cool things. Right now, there is a recycling summit that we are doing with her. She has a map of every single recycling bin and trash can on campus, as well as a plan for where recycling bins should be, so she has really helped us a lot.”

In addition to increasing the amount of recycling bins, the Climate Justice Team is also working to test the quality of the water on NC A&T’s campus.

“We’ve been doing a lot of initiatives with water quality on campus and we are trying to do more water quality testing at different places around campus,” said Gordan. “So far, we’ve only been able to do two or three tests but we would really like to do more tests. The only thing is that we would need a little bit more funding so we are doing more fundraisers for it.”

Gordan went on to discuss other benefits from having fundraisers on campus, including having the opportunity to reach out to more students about what they are doing.

“We are doing a Paint a Pot event soon where people paint a pot and give away a plant,” said Gordan. “So this is one way that we can just reach out and get some names and emails from students and show that we actually have an Environmental Science Club for people to get involved with.

Because a lot of people on campus don’t know that there is something to be involved in, so getting our name out there and getting more student support is definitely a good thing.”

Following the discussion about environmental sustainability at NC A&T, Guilford College student Alice Croom spoke about the work that the Green Society is doing on campus.

“We were discussing the role of youth in the climate movement,” said Croom. “While social media is a great tool and it connects many, the older generations may not have access to social media. That kind of leaves them out of the conversation sometimes because a lot of environmental initiatives can really get big on social media. So it’s kind of up to us younger generations.”

Croom also emphasized the importance of student involvement and utilizing different interests and skills that different students have.

“We all have different skill sets and come from different majors, so it’s really nice for it all to come together,” said Croom. “Some of us have a business perspective, some of us have an environmental perspective. It’s nice to do that and it supports us so much.”

At the conclusion of the student discussions, members of the Greensboro community were able to give feedback and ask questions about the topics that were covered. As the event drew to a close, attendees broke into smaller groups to discuss their thoughts on the Green Deal and sustainability on college campuses.