ECO Students prepare for Earth Day
March 20, 2010 1:46 AM
Members of the Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECO Students) hosted a green-themed bake sale in the quad March 17 that raised nearly $100 for their upcoming Earth Day celebration.
Club members, dressed in their St. Patrick's Day best, asked passersby to contribute whatever they could in exchange for sweet treats ranging from chocolate chip cookies to apple pie.
"A lot of people seem more interested in the club than the baked goods," ECO Students member Ashley Malyszka said.
Members also used the bake sale as an opportunity to gather pledges in support of the SEED Fund, a proposed $5 fee increase that would raise $125,000 annually for student sponsored sustainability projects and events. Although they recognize that fee increases are less then popular at a time when budget cuts are rampant, members are quick to emphasize that the money generated by the fund would be accessible to all SF State students.
"There's just a lot of people who are wary of increased student fees," Malyszka, a senior majoring in environmental studies, said. "It takes a lot of convincing. This is their money, it's available to them."
ECO Students, a chapter of the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC), works to promote environmentally sustainable projects both on and off campus. Their accomplishments include the installation of compost and recycling bins at Café Rosso and in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, as well as three new bins in the Business building. They also recently revitalized a garden located behind Mary Park Hall.
"Six weeks ago it was a rat hole," Adam Hofbauer, a graduate student in the creative writing department, said. "Now it's awesome."
Members hope to gain support for their cause through the Green Gators listserv, an online forum where SF State students can discuss sustainability issues, projects and events such as their upcoming forum on e-waste in developing countries.
"A lot of people don't even know we exist," Malyszka said. "As busy as we are, it's kind of weird to know we haven't reached everyone yet."
ECO Students members, who say they'd like to see more bike parking available on campus, will host Bike to School day on April 22, also known as Earth Day. Students who ride their bikes to school and park on the quad will have access to free food and bike repairs, as well as live music.
"It's become a very multifaceted group," senior and ECO Students Administrative Coordinator Allison Schentrup said. "I got involved because I felt isolated from other people who are willing to take action. There's only so much a person in a building sitting far away can do."
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