Being a student on a "green" campus

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  • February 9, 2011 - 9:56 AM

What is it like to study at a school like the University of Minnesota, Morris, where sustainability is a big, big deal?

Here, two perspectives, one from a student who's deeply involved with campus sustainability, the other from a student who's not:

Kayla Pridmore - Morris' sustainability intern

Pridmore is part of a work group researching how Morris might compost. That group includes students, administrators, people from dining servies, a local farmer, etc. "I think it really, really exemplifies what’s so great about Morris," Pridmore said. "As undergraduates, we get to work so closely on these issues… It's really a peer relationship.

"It's just awesome that they’re open to that and we get to come to them and say, 'Oh hey, we want to compost.'

"It’s been said pretty directly to students in MPIRG [Minnesota Public Interest Research Group] that we need you to take a lead on this. And that’s not unusual."

Sam Fettig - a first-year student from Minnetonka

Fettig chose Morris because of its focus on the liberal arts. The green thing "wasn't really a motivating factor," he said.

But it was a perk at high school graduation parties. "People would say, 'Oh, I’ve never heard of that before,' and instead of saying, 'It’s a small school in the middle of nowhere,' I could bring up that they're big on recycling, renewable energy.
It's an extra edge.

"I was expecting a little more of a constant environmental theme from the tagline and promotional materials," he said. "That’s not to say they’re not doing as much as they say they are. It just doesn’t feel like something that’s being shoved down your throat."

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