What is Grassroots?

Founded in 1997, Grassroots is one of the very first environmental action and awareness groups on the University of Rochester campus. Their fundamental goal is to raise awareness of collective as well as individual responsibilities of the Earth and its natural environment. Grassroots has a very diverse membership, and each member’s contribution is undeniable. They help design different programs and campaigns that together encourage awareness and action within the U of R and the Rochester communities.

This year Grassroots is focusing on university-wide sustainability initiatives. They have a series of events and campaigns encouraging community outreach, environmental stewardship, and education. According to Grassroots’ official page, ongoing programs include a monthly Clothing Exchange, promotion of and education about the campus recycling standard, encouragement to save energy in the dormitories, community outreach, and participation in the Graduation Pledge Alliance. Grassroots members also have the unique opportunities to plan Uof R’s only Earth Day Festival and coordinate the Recyclemania competition with university staff. Be sure to watch out for these major campus festivities, speakers, and the Earth Day celebration in the spring! For educational purposes, Grassroots also regularly sponsors a variety of speakers and off-campus trips.grassroots

Now let’s go behind the scene and see what Grassroots is all about. First and foremost, all students are eligible for membership. An active member is a person who has attended at least one general meeting and is on Grassroots’ mailing list. A meeting is considered valid when one officer and more than one member of Grassroots are present. All members have equal voting power. Grassroots’ e-board includes co-presidents, business manager, secretary, publicity chair, RecycleMania Coordinators, Earth Day Coordinators, Community Service co-chairs, and a Clothing Exchange chair. Elections occur by secret ballot.

For those who have not heard of Grassroots, with RecycleMania coming up, it would be hard for Grassroots’ name to go unnoticed.   It is organizations like Grassroots that help establish a greener college campus. Students should recognize and greatly appreciate the work and effort they’ve put forth to promote an environmentally friendly community.

Written by Wendy Long, Class of 2016

Photo by Ken Lund, Lower Boardwalk Trail, Congaree National Park, South Carolina, June 2, 2011