Students focus on sustainability in dorms

Brandt Ecorep Prince Deven Thomas showing off the EcoVillage. (Photo by Jon Mirador)

Walter Chidozie Anyanwu, Contributing Writer

A green living-learning community is bringing students together to create sustainability projects.

The EcoVillage, sponsored by the Office of Sustainability, is located in Brandt Hall. As freshmen, students are trained and instructed to develop monthly sustainability-focused programs.

Students who live in the EcoVillage work with the resident assistant of two floors to create the sustainability projects.

“That worked but we found that there wasn’t a lot of engagement going on,” said Erin Stanforth, director of VCU Sustainability. “So we took it a step further with an application to ResLife asking for the EcoVillage to be a living-learning program.”

This required the Office of Sustainability to develop classes that students for students to take during the first semester of freshman year.

Michelle Kim, a resident advisor with the EcoVillage and member of the living-learning community herself, describes the program as having an “important role on campus.” While it has not been the most popular living-learning program by virtue of its recent establishment, it is steadily growing in size.

“I have noticed that more students from all years are beginning to join and spread awareness on the course and its content,” Kim said.

Kim said she enjoys living with other members of the EcoVillage on the same floor.

“I feel like it makes our community feel more connected and it is also refreshing to know that you are surrounded by other people who feel the same way about certain issues,” Kim said. “It also helps me understand various viewpoints that my peers hold which keeps the conversations diverse and inclusive.”

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