Know Your EcoRep…wait, who?

When freshman first come to campus, the first thing on their mind is of course sustainability, going green, and recycling, right? Well, probably not, but that’s what we have EcoReps for! Starting in Fall 2009, UR began running EcoReps, a program specifically for incoming freshman, dedicated to sustainability education right in the dorm. So what makes EcoReps different from any other general campus education for these students? The teaching is done by their peers! EcoReps are also incoming freshmen who apply to the program during the summer before their arrival, and are chosen based on their leadership experience and passion for ecological sustainability. EcoReps are placed in specific room locations spread out throughout freshman housing to ensure that information is getting to all of the students living there. EcoReps are assigned to a specific housing area, and are responsible for educating their fellow students who live there. EcoReps are also required to hold 3 educational hall programs a year which demonstrate some aspect of going green in their hall. They are also given an “EcoBoard,” a bulletin board centrally located in their area, where they can post new and interesting information on sustainability as they learn it.

EcoReps also includes a two-credit class, which the EcoReps themselves take, so that they can learn about sustainability, getting the information to pass on to their peers. The class is also taught by students, the two program coordinators, who were previously EcoReps, and are selected to run the program each year. The group also features a program director, a previous coordinator who oversees the program, as well as faculty advisor Dr. Karen Berger, to provide more insight into the topics studied in class.

But really, the main thing that drives the EcoReps program is passion. It’s a program that was dreamed up by a student three years ago, and has remained the brainchild of students since. It’s about passionate learners who care enough about the environment that they are willing to use their own time to be a role model in the community they live in, and continues to grow and improve with each successive year.

Related sites:  The EcoReps Program is for interested first-year students who wish to combine their living experience with sustainability efforts and education on campus. EcoReps arrive on campus… Check out the first edition of UR GREEN News, a bi-weekly newsletter about sustainability and the environment at the University of