As environmental awareness continues to grow in the U.S., the Student Government Association (SGA) at Oklahoma Christian University decided to take the first steps toward creating a green campus by implementing a recycling program.
Sophomore Mallori Mueller is this year’s chair of the SGA’s healthy living committee, which also includes the green committee. According to Mueller, the program has been active for a while, but they are currently trying to raise more awareness and possibly add on to their work.
“I mainly bring to the table the health sciences side of things, as Eagle Health Initiative’s SGA rep and a Biology major,” Mueller said. “However, I believe recycling is important, and the lack of it on campus can definitely be improved with incentives for students or even passing the responsibility on to a club.”
According to Mueller, there is at least one recycling bin in each building on campus, usually located next to printers, with 26 bins total. She said, currently, members of the healthy living committee collect the bins around campus, which collect only paper, and take them off campus to empty at the recycling plant.
“Whichever student takes them off campus will be given a $10 Visa gift card to pay for gas and to thank them for their time,” Mueller said. “We are working on making recycling an opportunity for students campus wide where they can receive Kudos by helping pick it up. However, another idea we have is for a social club on campus to be responsible for paper recycling, and the healthy living committee can focus their efforts more on adding plastic bottle recycling.”
Mueller said the committee is looking for more volunteers, as there are currently only three students working to collect the recycling on campus, which she does not believe is ideal. Although information has been sent in student announcements and Mueller received many responses, Mueller said only one additional student showed up to their committee meeting.
“I would encourage people to volunteer because as of now, the healthy living committee is low in numbers,” Mueller said. “I am not personally able to take out the recycling, due to my schedule, but the students who are able to would appreciate all the extra hands they can get.”
Mueller said the recycling program is beneficial to Oklahoma Christian because it gives students the opportunity to better the environment, and she is passionate about ensuring students have many opportunities to create healthy habits on campus.
“I don’t want our campus to be known for the ‘Freshman 15’ or the lack of environmental awareness here,” Mueller said. “My hope is that when students graduate, they will start their own recycling bin in their home. The goal is not to only improve the healthy living of the campus, but to have our students leave feeling like they have learned how to lead a healthy lifestyle.”
The healthy living committee is planning a Kudos-approved Environmental Day before the end of the semester, led by Elise Miller, and will show a documentary spreading the awareness of the planet’s needs. Mueller said the goal is to teach students the important role they can play in their own dorm room.
Students wanting to volunteer can contact Mueller by email. The healthy living committee meets every Friday in the SGA office.