Boca Raton House of Representatives set to create the Sustainability Action Committee

Through a new committee, FAU students, Student Government leaders, faculty, and staff are working toward a more environmentally sustainable FAU.


Student Government logo. Photo courtesy of SG.

Nathalie Vega, Contributing Writer

There’s a new effort on campus to make the university more environmentally conscious – and it’s starting with the Boca Raton House of Representatives.

The House plans to create the Sustainability Action Committee (SAC), an advising body whose work they hope will reflect the environmental concerns of the campus community. Committee members will contact several departments at the university in an attempt at different sustainability efforts.

Committee members aim to begin meeting this summer, and their intention is to educate others and to bring attention to a variety of methods that FAU departments and programs can use to improve the university’s sustainability.

“This committee will have the sole focus of providing recommendations and plans to FAU departments to increase long-lasting sustainability efforts at FAU as a whole,” said House Speaker Reilly Bridgers.

Before the committee begins its first meeting, the House must confirm the applicants it receives.

Of particular importance to House Parliamentarian Nicole Abreu is FAU’s involvement in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, & Rating System (STARS). STARS is a program by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). According to Abreu, STARS tracks sustainability in schools and allows them to connect with each other.

The University of Miami, the University of Central Florida, Florida International University, Florida State University, and Nova Southeastern University, for example, are all part of STARS.

According to Abreu, “FAU is one of the few major universities in Florida that is not a part of AASHE’s STARS.”

Abreu stressed the significance of sustainability efforts, particularly in Florida, explaining that environmental sustainability would affect Florida first, due to factors such as rising sea levels, location, and temperature. Other potential concerns include water and energy conservation.

Photo courtesy of Meyers.

Kirk Meyers, treasurer of the Boca campus, believes the campus has some issues with water usage and energy conservation. Food conservation is an issue as well.

“Recycling is not a very efficient service on campus,” he said – and according to Abreu, the House has been looking into the issue.

Abreu acknowledges the challenges for these sustainability efforts, as well as what can be done long-term to help.

“We can’t continue sustainability in the long-run if we don’t make it an ingrained part of the university,” Abreu said.

Another challenge for the committee involves location. Abreu said that at the moment, sustainability efforts through the committee can only be made within the Boca Raton campus because it was created by Boca’s House, but it could later expand and reach wider audiences.

“My hope is that after the committee is formed, we can look into making it a university-wide program, so we can look at sustainability in Jupiter, Boca, and in the Broward campuses,” Abreu said.

Nathalie Vega is a contributing writer for the University Press. For more information on this article or others, you can reach Nathalie at [email protected].