Campus Life & Engagement hosts some of the largest events on campus, which are often the first contact students have with McGill. Given the size and complexity of these events, it can be difficult to integrate environmentalsustainability into the way they are run. Practices such as distributing single-use plastics, lack of waste sorting support, and insufficient water refilling infrastructure are issues that require time and dedicated attention.
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Given Campus Life & Engagement's Unit-Level Action Plan, and the complexity of logistical issues the CL&E face, the team would like to hire a student intern to find lasting solutions to these problems. If viable solutions are found, they will be simple to integrate into our annual event planning in the future.
The intern's portfolio would include the following: (1) significantly reducing the number of plastic water bottles distributed at orientation events, (2) coordinating waste diversion at orientation, including packaging, compost, etc., (3) compiling educational material to be integrated into leader training for events, (4) recruiting event volunteers passionate about sustainability to help with waste sorting and logistics at events, (5) working with the Off-Campus & Commuter Student Support program to ensure sustainability and accessibility of programming (6) otherwise implementing the Unit Level Action Plan.
In addition to the funding needed to pay for the new position, SPF funds would also go towards purchasing refillable bottles and refilling infrastructure. While we collaborated with the Office of Sustainability to reduce our bottled water consumption (5,000 fewer bottles than previous years!), we still purchased over 10,000 bottles over the course of orientation week. Refillable bottles and the necessary portable water refilling infrastructure (including coolers, jugs, and pumps) which have been identified as necessary to provide water at our large, outdoor events will allow the CL&E team to further cut down on single-use plastic bottles.
A Sustainable Orientation project in 2017 made strides in apparel, training , and food within the student-run froshes. We hope to build upon the work done by that project team, and help institutionalize their work within the administration.
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