EcoReps Program Back for the Fall
By Thiago Esslinger
Georgia Tech has numerous student organizations and initiatives on campus working towards similar goals to advance environmental, social, and economic sustainability. What, then, makes the Georgia Tech EcoReps Program unique? Unlike any sustainability opportunity for students to get involved in, this program specifically supports Resident Assistants (RAs) in promoting, teaching, and exemplifying sustainable practices for and with their on-campus residents. Benefits of the program include $150 to support education/outreach efforts in residence halls, meeting other sustainability-minded RAs, networking with Campus Sustainability and Housing & Residence Life leadership, recognition by the Office of Campus Sustainability, and sustainable graduation memorabilia at the end of the semester. All RAs are invited and encouraged to apply to the program by August 23, 2021, here.
The Georgia Tech EcoReps Program was created in Fall 2020 with an inaugural class of 12 participating RAs. Members of the program, referred to as “EcoReps,” explored such topics as marketing sustainability, energy conservation, responsible consumerism, waste management, personal care products, environmental justice, fashion, foods, and transportation. The group was supported by the Residential Sustainability Engagement Assistant (student) in Housing & Residence Life and experts from the Office of Campus Sustainability, Auxiliary Services, Office of Solid Waste Management & Recycling, and local Atlanta organizations such as the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance and Last Bottle Clothing. Following biweekly trainings, EcoReps were encouraged to implement the topics they learned into practice by hosting sustainability-themed events for their residents.
Starting Fall 2021, EcoReps will attend two member retreats at the beginning of the semester to learn about sustainability topics and meet each other through fun activities and games. Throughout the semester, EcoReps will be required to host a minimum of 3 sustainability-themed events for their residents, collaborate with their class to launch a residential sustainability initiative, and regularly attend biweekly meetings focused on brainstorming and planning, with occasional guest speakers. Furthermore, they will also be able to join optional social events hosted throughout the semester and have the chance to connect with Housing & Residence Life leadership by supporting existing initiatives such as the Energy Competition in the Fall and the Move-Out program in the Spring. If you are passionate about residential sustainability and hope to increase your impact as an RA, consider applying to the program! No prior experience in sustainability is required, and RAs who graduate from the program are encouraged to remain involved in following semesters as mentors.