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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Earth Day celebrations and campus sustainability efforts

Photo+by+Paulina+Veremchuk.%0AThe+Northside+Apartments+are+one+of+the+crowning+achievements+of+the+Milliken+Sustainability+Initiative.+This+project+is+part+of+Wofford%E2%80%99s+campus-wide+sustainability+efforts.+
Photo by Paulina Veremchuk. The Northside Apartments are one of the crowning achievements of the Milliken Sustainability Initiative. This project is part of Wofford’s campus-wide sustainability efforts.

The students that serve as a part of Campus Union’s Facilities and Sustainability Subcommittee

worked to plan events leading up to and on Earth Day, which occurred on Friday, April 22. The committee centeredits events around this year’s theme, “Invest in Our Planet.”

“Using the theme we have, we want(ed) to plan our events to include something along those lines,” said Anna Windle ’22, student chair of the Facilities and Sustainability Subcommittee. “Overall, we primarily want to raise awareness for environmental practices that Wofford participates in and encourage others to evaluate their own environmental impact,”

The events leading up to Earth Day included trivia night with questions relating to sustainability, a flower planting event, an educational visit from the Greenville zoo with live animals and a tie dye event that used natural dyes. The week ended with an Earth Day celebration where students could get snacks and a reusable water bottle. 

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Windle worked closely with Amy Telligman, assistant professor of environmental studies. 

Telligman is also heading the school’s sustainability master planning committee. This group, separate from the Campus Union subcommittee, includes other faculty and staff members from many different backgrounds, bringing their own perspectives to the planning of campus sustainability.

The master committee also includes students, which provides a more collaborative feeling to its work and gives students a chance to participate and have more responsibility on campus. Along with Windle, the other students who comprise the committee are Sarah Peak ’22, Isaiah Franco ’23, Hampton Randall ’23, Carson Archie ’24, Lauren Scalise ’24, and Lucinda Bulanow ’25.

“Serving as a member of this committee feels like I am playing a part in making real strides towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious campus,” Randall said.

“While having a master plan will surely help Wofford become a more sustainable campus, it cannot be done without people making conscious efforts towards living a greener lifestyle,” Peak added. “We need the administration, faculty, staff and students to all work towards bettering our environment, both on the campus-wide scale and on a global scale.” 

Wofford’s commitment to Earth Day extends before and beyond the recent purview and scope of the two sustainability committees. Earth Day was first recognized nationally on April 22, 1970, and it is considered to be the birth of the modern environmental movement.

John Lane ’77, retired professor of English and environmental studies and former director of the Goodall Environmental Studies Center, discusses Wofford’s environmental efforts in his book, The Greening of Wofford: A Narrative History.

Wofford received a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation that was used to establish an upper-level seminar during interim, an experimental science study group and a summer research program. 

As early as 1990, Wofford participated in events pertaining to Earth Day, as documented by the Spartanburg Herald Journal. During the week leading up to Earth Day 1990, students wore green to support environmental issues, brought non-recyclable items and plastic cups to the sidewalk near the old Fraternity Row, and organized a candlelight vigil for the world’s endangered species on the lawn in front of Old Main near Ben Wofford’s headstone.

Eventually, after multiple efforts spanning several decades, Wofford established an environmental studies major in 2010 to synthesize these efforts into a degree for students to study and earn. 

With the efforts from current environmental studies majors and faculty along with the work of the Campus Union Facilities and Sustainability Subcommittee and the Sustainability Master Planning Committee, Wofford hopes to continue making strides forward to improve and conserve the world and its resources.

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