Despite a growing trend towards sustainability on college campuses nationwide, the university remains behind in their commitment to reduce its concerning carbon footprint. In light of record-high February temperatures, students littered The Green on Friday afternoon following classes; however, the university has taken no significant actions toward publicly considering the consequences of our toxic emissions on the diminishing atmosphere. Criticisms have arisen concerning the products used for lawn maintenance and building supplies, thus bringing into question the transparency of the university in regards to sustainability. Even denouncing the efforts of climate change deniers while relying on the remarkable amount of data signaling the impending climate upheaval would signal a positive step toward sustainability efforts on the campus.
Although the university hired a sustainability manager, this effort to increase climate change awareness pales in comparison to universities whose commitments are illustrated via establishment of sustainability offices complete with more than one employee. Pressure to ensure renewable energy as a source within dining halls and residence halls thus rests upon the shoulders of one person — one who does not seem have the unequivocal support of the administration or our student population.
In 2008, the university set a goal of a 20-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. While a noble gesture in theory, GHG Reductions stand at a dismal 5.7 percent since the 2008 pledge.
Small actions at the hands of a university as large as ours would signal support by the Delaware community at large. Actions could include increasing funding for climate change research and related programs, making efforts to provide for decreased GHG emissions in campus residence and dining halls. All of this would allow for increased transparency and noteworthy steps forward in a race towards renewability.
This editorial was developed by The Review staff lead by Editorial Editor Alexandra Eichenstein.