Staff Editorial

This year marks the end of Lawrence’s two-year Green Roots Initiative. This initiative aimed to set in place policies and procedures that would enable the “greening” of the Lawrence campus and promote stewardship. The initiative was headed by a committee of faculty, students and staff from various departments and offices.
Among the accomplishments of the Green Roots committee have been the formulation of a strategic plan for sustainability, the reduction of paper usage on campus, and the implementation of new sustainable building policies. The committee has also reached out to the Lawrence community through lectures, film series and other events to raise awareness about environmental issues and to get feedback from students. The committee communicated with other institutions of higher learning to share strategies and goals.
Though the initiative has served out its two years, there is still much work to be done to make Lawrence an independently sustainable community. This is why we strongly encourage President Beck to turn the Green Roots Initiative into a permanent President’s Committee on Sustainability.
Other president’s committees include the Committee on Multicultural Affairs, the Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Resource Board and the Long Range Financial Planning Committee. These committees have all been successful in engaging and enhancing the Lawrence community and in preparing it for future challenges.
A permanent Committee on Sustainability would interact with the community in a similar way to the Green Roots Initiative and would be an avenue for new proposals to find success. Just as the Long Range Financial Planning Committee helps to determine the financial course of Lawrence, a Committee on Sustainability could guide the university in its ongoing reduction of its environmental impact.
We would also like to see action taken in regard to the university’s buying and heating policies. Although Green Roots has already made progress in these areas, more time is needed for their full implementation.
Being environmentally responsible cannot be achieved over the course of two years but requires constant diligence. We fully encourage President Beck to give the Green Roots Initiative permanent status as a president’s committee.

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