By Kadie Gurley
Recycling bins, hydration stations, sustainable straws, and transportation are some resources that Long Beach State University has incorporated on campus. As a matter of fact, there is a program on campus to integrate sustainability. The environment is something that is affecting not only staff or faculty, but students too. According to a Students Organizing For Sustainability International survey amongst 7,000 students in higher education, 92% agree that sustainable development is something which all universities and colleges should actively incorporate and promote. The world is at a place where the younger generation is becoming “woke” about current climate and environmental issues. The students in the Environmental Science and Policy club are making a difference on and off campus.
“Essentially, we meet once a week for 30 to 45 minutes and like to discuss an environmental topic that the club votes on,” said Naya Shah, environmental science and policy major. “You can come in and learn something new about an interesting topic or a way to help out, just kind of share ideas.”
The club wanted to make sure this message was clear. “Environmental science is something that gets a lot of different majors involved because environmental issues are so prevalent and everyone seems to care a lot,” said Alex Lynch, environmental science and policy major.
Shah and Lynch, both environmental science and policy majors, mentioned how you do not necessarily need to be that major to participate in the club or any of their events. “Our club is always open to any major and we get plenty of people from other majors to come and talk about the big topic of the day which is the climate issue,” said Lynch. “They just want to know more about what is going on.”
With environmental issues coming to light, there is a need for more people to take action. The ES&P club is striving to help more students apply for scholarships. Also, they want to help students get internships and potentially a career to help tackle the climate. On April 12, ES&P hosted a career panel for students interested in working in environmental science. “The career panel is essentially a little job fair for environmental science,” said Shah. “It is a way for people who are looking for internships to get started, people who are listening to seek work to get started, and just general knowledge.”
As mentioned before, they host on campus events and meetings, but the club partakes in off-campus activities such as hiking and their event on April 22. ES&P marched to Target in protest of the corporation partaking in several emissions at the port.
“We are co hosting a march protest to Target and co-hosting it with a group that is called Pacific Environment,” said Lynch. “We are basically trying to bring awareness to the fact that Target is participating in a lot of emissions at the port, which causes a lot of damage to people's lives. We are walking from the Pyramid to the Target south of campus. We are just trying to bring it up so that maybe they will have to deal and kind of reckon with and make some changes to reduce their emissions at the port and otherwise.”
When asked if the campus is doing a decent job in adapting to needed sustainability changes, this is what the club had to say. “We have a sustainability department, which is good, a good step because they push, meet with, and work with all other departments to try to improve their sustainability the best they can,” said Lynch. “At the end of the day, it takes pressure from all sides. Adding more solar panels and native gardening is a big thing that we could do a lot better on, but there is no pressure to do it.”
These students look forward to influencing others to make a difference and using their voices to make a change in our environment one day at a time. If you want to learn more about getting involved in the ES&P club or attend club meetings, visit their Instagram @csulbesp or the ASI website.