Get Networked

How to Connect to Student Sustainability Groups on Campus


If you are an undergraduate at the University of Rochester with a passion for sustainability, we’ve got great news: there are a ton of green groups with different environmental focuses at the River Campus! These groups not only serve as extracurricular activities to keep you engaged in these issues, but also can provide close knit friend groups, housing options, resume builders, and leadership roles. How do you become a part of these efforts? Below are some of the groups and their main contacts, if you are looking to find out more and become involved next semester. Check it out!


Global Water Brigades at the University of Rochester (GWB)- This is a local chapter of a national organization that focuses on water related issues of sustainability both locally and abroad. The group strives to inform the campus community about the current water crisis and hosts annual trips to Honduras to help enact efforts in tangible ways. For more information, contact President of GWB Amanda Hall at


Grassroots – This is the largest student group promoting environmental action and awareness on campus, creating a student culture focused on achieving a sustainable future. The group is flexible and their events and tasks depend on the specific interests of group members. So if you have a specific issue you’d like to see addressed, join Grassroots and propose your campaign! Campaign examples include advocating for more sustainable dining options, tree planting, river cleanups, and enhancing sustainability’s presence in campus academics. Some standard yearly events are RecycleMania, UR Unplugged, Clothing Exchanges, and Earthfest. Contact Gouri Mahadwar, President of Grassroots, at for more information.


GreenSpace – This is a special interest housing group that focuses on sustainability. Its goal is to encourage members to lead sustainable lifestyles and habits individually as well as prompt the collaboration of green-oriented minds to help generate ideas for creating a more sustainable world. “I like that there’s a wide spectrum of ways to be involved. Some members contribute by being more mindful of their waste and energy usage while other members are vegetarians and vegans,” says Linda Shackles, Class of 2017 and Greenspace Member. For more information, contact


Student Association of Vegan and Vegetarian Youth (SAVVY) – This group strives to increase awareness about the impact dietary and lifestyle choices can have on both individual health and the environment. The group also acts as a support group for vegans and vegetarians and uses these lifestyles as educational tools in encouraging more sustainable uses of resources and enhancing society. The group holds vegetarian potlucks and restaurant trips, as well as work to secure more vegan and vegetarian options on campus. Contact current co-president Terika Harrell at to get involved.


Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW) – This group strives to promote sustainability by implementing student led projects, leading informative tours of sustainable buildings and mechanisms, and partaking in on and off campus sustainability efforts to enact green practices. This project based group focuses on the enacting creative and innovative ideas and welcomes new project ideas from any member! A recent example project was a bike-powered smoothie maker. Though the organization’s title seems to be catered to engineers, all majors are encouraged to join! Contact ESW president Emily Kwan for more information.


EcoReps- This is a group of incoming Freshman who strive to be leaders of sustainability for their class and school. The position provides accepted applicants with the skills and tools they can use both at present and in the future to help build sustainable programs and advocacy in local community. EcoReps live on freshman resident halls and will meet twice a week, as well as participate in a 2-credit course where they will be encouraged to create their own conceptions of sustainability and their own unique ideas about how to implement these conceptions. To become an EcoRep, apply online by June 1st, 2015, at For more general information, check out this brochure or contact


SA Student Sustainability Council – This group works with the leaders of the groups from Grassroots, GreenSpace, and Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), and EcoReps, among others. Though she is graduating, contact Leslie Wolf, Class of 2015 for more information, as she is the current Sustainability Coordinator of the council. “I truly believe that the SSC is helping bring the campus into a more united front for sustainability,” says previous Student Sustainability Coordinator Will Finnie.


Written by: Julie Elliot, Class of 2015

Photo: College Students – Two college girls studying for their end of the year exams in the library

CollegeDegrees360By: CollegeDegrees360

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