"By giving the EcoReps the skills and knowledge needed to promote environmentally responsible behavior in freshmen residence halls, our program strives to create an environmentally literate student population."
EcoReps are enthusiastic incoming freshman with a desire to promote change.
There are 30 EcoReps each year— at least one on each floor of the freshman dorms. The EcoReps are guided by two upperclassmen student leaders who are experienced in on-campus environmental efforts and who have both themselves gone through the EcoReps Program.
EcoReps educate the students in their halls on environmental issues like waste reduction and energy conservation by planning dorm activities and events.
The EcoReps are taught about sustainability through an EcoReps class. This two credit seminar meets twice a week for either a lecture, discussion, or program meeting and covers many topics including recycling, energy, and climate change.
YES! EcoReps meet twice a week for a 1-hour class. Outside of the class, assignments, EcoBoard updates, etc. should take no longer than 2 hours.
Since most work is done independently, students can work any time that best suits their schedule — from early morning to the middle of the night!
And what does that mean? Anyone can be an EcoRep!
There are 30 dedicated and enthusiastic EcoReps—at least one on each floor of the freshman dorms. EcoReps are guided by two student leaders who are experienced in on-campus sustainability initiatives and familiar with all the contacts you may need as an EcoRep. As an EcoRep, you will work closely with the other student leaders on campus as well as your fellow EcoReps on day-to-day efforts including energy competitions, discussions, hall programs, and volunteer work for local organizations and community events. Basically, you will become an essential part of sustainability efforts and community organizing both on campus, and in the greater Rochester community. The coordinators will follow your work closely throughout the class and are always available if you have questions.
The EcoReps Program seeks to create a community in which students are making environmentally, socially, and economically responsible decisions by becoming aware of how their daily choices affect the larger picture. Through education and programming, EcoReps will make sustainability a topic for discussion, analysis, and understanding for all the students on their floors. EcoReps work an average of four hours per week - and many EcoReps may put in additional hours - organizing events and ongoing programs with a primary focus on waste reduction/recycling, energy conservation, and water conservation at the university. They will also work on raising awareness about local foods, transportation, conscious consumption, health, and overall climate change.
In addition to specific tasks, the EcoReps serve as "eco-eyes" for the university, meaning that if an EcoRep sees a problem with the way our university or a student handles resources, he or she has an official position that makes addressing the issue more comfortable and feasible. For example, you might notice there are no recycling bins on your floor. As an EcoRep, you would learn how to arrange to have a bin placed there. EcoReps also serve as liaisons between the departments of the university and the students. An EcoRep is the key to two-way communication, and thus better resource efficiency!
Finally, EcoReps are expected to attend all EcoReps classes, which are twice a week for an hour, update their EcoBoards, complete any and all class assignments, and have at least three hall programs throughout the entire school year.
Every two weeks, EcoReps will read a chapter of the manual — each chapter is about a different aspect of sustainability—and discuss how to apply what they've learned through programming and events. They will be responsible for displaying the information from each chapter on their EcoBoard every two weeks. That way, each hall is learning as the EcoReps learn, and sustainability is a constant subject of conversation.
In addition to updating their EcoBoards, each EcoRep is responsible for holding three hall programs within the school year. For example, one student may decide to hold hall cooking classes on ways of making your own locally grown meals. Another student may decide to host a competition to see who could take the shortest shower. Each EcoRep can take what they are most interested in and run with it. Excitement is contagious, and whatever the EcoRep is most excited about is what they will do best.
Other regular tasks will also include monitoring recycling areas as well as any other ongoing projects you may establish, promoting multiweek competitions such as RecycleMania, completing your to-do-lists, and creating new and interesting ways for dorm-mates to integrate sustainable ideas into everyday life.