Photo caption: Chancellor James Schmidt and vice chancellor Grace Crickette (in blue) learn more about the Student Sustainability Resource Center from Student Office of Sustainability director Maddie Loeffler (in green) and SOS education intern Molly Larson at the April 22 grand opening. (Photo by Shane Opatz)
Campus and student leadership gathered on April 22 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s new Student Sustainability Resource Center on the first floor of Davies Center.
Created to serve as a central location for all student activity, outreach and research related to sustainability, this new physical space is seen as a key step in meeting the challenges of climate change and campus carbon neutrality goals.
Grace Crickette, vice chancellor for finance and administration, is grateful for the hard work and dedication from the Student Office of Sustainability (SOS) in making this student resource a reality.
“This center is just the latest example of what we can accomplish when we work together,” Crickette says. “The Student Office of Sustainability is a key member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Council on Sustainability and Climate Action and has been an outstanding advocate and voice for the student body.”
The current director of the SOS is senior environmental geography major Maddie Loeffler, a Cottage Grove native. Loeffler is thrilled about not only the actionable ways this new center will allow students to contribute to sustainability, but also about the concrete and visible statement this location will make for all students and campus visitors.
Loeffler lays out the three overarching goals for the center:
- Increasing the accessibility of student involvement in sustainability.
- Engaging and amplifying student voices.
- Providing sustainability resources directly to students.
Additionally, Loeffler emphasizes that the space will contribute to increased student engagement with the initiatives and efforts of SOS, the Administrative Office of Sustainability and student organizations like the Conservation Club.
“It will provide a consistent way for students to access resources like the Green Fund, energy-saving kits and waste-sorting guides. It will be a hub for students to directly access the information they are looking for related to campus sustainability, as well as provide a space for forums, events and collaboration,” she says.
UW-Eau Claire student body president Jaden Mikoulinskii has been proud to advocate and speak on behalf of all Blugolds in establishing this dedicated space for students to engage in sustainability work.
“This is our physical commitment as a university to prioritize sustainability at the forefront of all that we do, especially when considering how essential the topic of sustainability will be for future Blugolds and generations to come,” says the senior sociology and family studies major from Neenah.