The Undergraduate Student Government Sustainability Subcommittee returned to the University of Connecticut this semester after a year-long hiatus, according to sixth-semester environmental science major Sydney Collins.
As Sustainability Advocacy Coordinator, Collins is eager for the subcommittee to resume the USG’s mission of fostering collaboration between sustainability-minded student activists and advocating for the things they care about “to the administration and all other appropriate bodies,” USG said via their website.
“My goal is to unify and strengthen the broader environmental movement on campus by leveraging the resources and platforms available within USG,” Collins said in an email interview. “I encourage students to explore what they are interested in and passionate about, and to allow the Sustainability Subcommittee to serve these interests and be utilized as a resource.”
Collins said the Sustainability Subcommittee is collaborative and solutions-oriented — connecting student activists to other organizations within USG, such as the Transportation, Sexual Health and Mental Health Subcommittees, to address intersectional environmental issues at UConn and in Connecticut.
This semester, the organization is rebuilding and celebrates any degree of new membership — offering “any and all UConn students” research opportunities and event-planning support to create sustainable change at the local and state levels, according to Collins.
“There’s not a specific number [of members] that determines our success. Just understand that when we show up, we show up together,” Collins said,
Collins explained that the organization is as powerful as its degree of unity.
“Big or small, there’s an opportunity to make a large impact through commitment and courage,” Collins stated.
According to Collins, it’s been hard for the Sustainability Subcommittee to organize this past year when most student activities have been online.
“Virtual learning fatigue is real. I think the pandemic made collaboration across organizations difficult and limited the capacity of students to engage.”Sydney Collins, USG Sustainability Advocacy Coordinator.
Collins emphasized that the subcommittee is a welcoming organization, excited to represent and support the needs of student activists at UConn once again.
“Community-care cannot be achieved without self-care, and vice versa. It’s important to carry the principles of mutual love, respect and balance throughout how we conduct our own programming and what our programs promote. We value the well-being of our community and the environment,” Collins said.
The first of the Sustainability Subcommittee’s weekly meetings will be held virtually on Sunday via WebEx, when subcommittee chairs will explore the initiatives to take on this semester. Collins hopes for subsequent meetings to be held in person. Students interested in joining can reach out to the subcommittee’s email, email@example.com.