NYPIRG, PEA Struggle for Student Support on Green Initiatives

Originally published on The Purchase Brick.

There was scarce attendance in the Natural Science’s computer lab Thursday night when NYPRIG hosted a global climate change workshop to help educate Purchase College on current environmental issues.

NYPRIG, a student run organization that deals with much of the political advocacy on campus, held a session Thursday Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m in which it detailed the basics of global climate change and overall environmental friendliness. Students also discussed different strategies to promote awareness in the Purchase community and beyond.

The few students that came out to voice their opinions on how to get their peers aware of the need to be informed about environmental issues, mentioned numerous marketing tactics. Programs such as opening up a community garden in Port Chester, from bake-sales, to ceasing to use of plastic bottles on campus, and to even alternative female hygiene products such as the Lunapad, a washable and reusable menstrual pad, to be sold at the annual campus held musical festival Culture Shock.

Even with the brainstorming of ideas at the workshop, it all came down to whether people will actually take action in these issues.

“You saw the attendance here tonight and there were maybe five people, six people and it’s just sad. People are either overwhelmed by the scope of the issue and how big it is or they’re just uninformed and don’t care. So we’re trying to educate people so they can understand what we’re dealing with”, said Campus Project Coordinator of NYPRIG Kevin Stump.

Chelsea Co, a 20-year-old journalism student, is the president of the Purchase Environmental Activism club who has been very active in trying to promote student participation. She has encounter problems with gaining student members because she recently obtained control of the group, and lost all the remaining active members and officers when they graduated last spring.

“The big thing about Purchase is that the student participation is so low here. The amount of kids who will come out for an event is dismal,” said Co. “Even though we’re a green campus and people want to be involved with the environment and support it, what are they actually doing? They are letting someone else take care of it assuming someone else will stand-up and take responsible for it even though they are saying they are such advocates for the environment.”

Promotion, awareness, and education are the main focus of both organizations. This workshop was set up to allow students to be well-informed on what’s going on in the environment for next Wednesday’s student action meeting where ideas are supposed to be put into motion.

“I think we need to work on getting as many people involved and getting the word out”, said Jonathan O’Connell, a 19-year-old acting conservatory freshman. “Everyone believes they care about the environment and they like to think they care about it, I think that the thought rarely transfers into any actual action.”

“The school is a lot of talk about the environment and not a lot of doing”, says Co.

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