A new semester is underway… do you know your EcoRep?
When you arrive at the University of Rochester, one of the first student roles you hear about are the EcoReps. As the name implies, the role involves promoting sustainability on campus. EcoReps are approximately 30 incoming first-year students who are dedicated to and enthusiastic about the environment. EcoReps are taught about sustainability issues, such as energy and climate change, through an EcoReps class that meets twice a week. The goal is to have at least one EcoRep on each floor of the first-year dorms, and all EcoReps are guided by upperclassmen who have been part of the program in the past and are involved in sustainability efforts on-campus.
EcoReps’ main responsibility is educating students on their floor and in their residence halls on environmental issues such as waste reduction and energy conservation. They do this by planning activities and projects like energy competitions, discussions, hall programs, and volunteer work. They also engage in sustainability efforts in the greater Rochester community, and raise awareness about local foods, transportation, conscious consumption, health, and climate change.
EcoReps make sustainability a topic for discussion, analysis, and understanding for students. By creating new and interesting ways for their residents to integrate sustainability into their lives, they encourage them to make environmentally, socially, and economically responsible decisions. In addition, EcoReps serve as “eco-eyes” for the university; if they see a problem with the way resources are being used or an area where the university could improve its sustainability efforts, they act as a liaison to communicate those concerns. Ultimately, the EcoRep program is an important part of campus life that seeks to create a community of environmentally literate and responsible students, while also improving the University’s sustainability efforts.
Written by Syeda Mahnoor Raza (‘24)
Pictured Above: EcoReps Pre-Orientation 2022