Marymount ‘Goes Green’ To Help The Environment
By Alexa Breslin
Marymount Manhattan College, a small liberal arts school located on the Upper East Side, has launched a year-long project hoping to raise environmental awareness within the college community.
Monday, April 14, marked the beginning of MMC’s “Year of the Environment,” a large effort within the entire campus to raise college and community awareness regarding serious environmental issues. Throughout the week, several members of the administration provided an example for students to follow. Fluorescent light bulbs were distributed while the art department led a recycled artists’ book workshop.
Professor Kurylo calls herself a 'paper
Continuing through Earth Day, Marymount had scheduled several events to launch Year of the Environment. Included was a panel, “Greening the Curriculum,” featuring three Marymount professors speaking out about environmental issues featuring methods to reduce pollution, an exploration of several academia environmental topics, and personal insights regarding these issues.
“They’ve been doing a great job with Earth Day and the events in the Black and White galleries. I hope it continues,” says Anastascia Kurylo, a professor in the Communication Arts department.
Beginning with a new environment-based curriculum, Marymount is now offering an Environmental Studies minor, as well as guest speakers and events regarding serious environmental issues and extra curricular activities such as the GoGreen club.
The administration may have created Year of the Environment and the activities to go with it, but they aren’t the only section of Marymount trying to green the school.
Many art students had energy-conserving artwork and presentations presented throughout the Black and White Galleries during throughout the week. Student clubs and organization representatives hosted activities such as raffles, giveaways, as well as arts and crafts all based around the environmental foundation.
Although there is little time left in the Spring 2008 semester, Marymount has fashioned opportunities for students to take part in turning green. The college’s annual Strawberry Fest will now feature organic strawberries as well as a GoGreen table to invite other students. There are still several opportunities for students to attend environmental awareness hearings.
While April 14 may have marked the beginning of a week-long effort to produce serious environmental awareness, it is only the start of a year that will be filled with ways to green the college and community.
“If greening the curriculum could be done more through classes and events that aren’t necessarily about being green we could weave it into the fabric of Marymount. For example, using Blackboard as part of a class. Then students have the option to print,” says Kurylo.
Marymount isn’t the only institution hoping to generate environmental awareness, many retail designers and stores have also been trying to gain an eco-friendly atmosphere. Stores such as Victoria’s Secret have started producing organic cotton t-shirts and tote bags. Each features the recycle logo or phrases such as “Make Green, Not War” and “Peace, Love, Green.”
It may not be easy transitioning from inorganic to organic food and clothing; but doing so will invite a greener community to follow over time.
“People have to be patient to be eco-friendly,” says Kurylo, “we’re on the right track.”