ORU committee promotes environmental sustainability

By Sara Rozalina Krstevski ('12)

The Oral Roberts University green campus committee was created in Fall 2008 as a subcommittee of the Institutional Improvement and Student Learning Committee to increase efforts and interest in environmental sustainability on campus. Run by faculty, staff and students, there has been a significant growth of interest in the past two years.

Cal Easterling, director of Institutional Research and Assessment at Oral Roberts University, says this is an important project that the campus should be aware of.

"It's an ongoing initiative to achieve sustainability, help protect the environment and minimize ORU's carbon footprint," Easterling said. "This sustainability means that we can continue on a less expensive basis by saving money. Energy costs go down among other things. Those resources can be rechanneled into areas that will benefit students, such as more faculty and more programs."

Also heavily involved in the green campus committee is Stephen Herr, ORU professor of physical and environmental science.

"There are different ways that we are getting the students involved. Students have the option of creating their own gardens in the greenhouse on campus and different ways of recycling used items," Herr said. "I think the recycling of plastic bottles have been the most successful. We also have filtered water fountains, and the one near the Deli has had about 70,000 bottles of water filled in the past two years."

In order to increase awareness and encourage students to participate further, it must become a more convenient process.

"We meet every month and try to answer any concerns that we have for any of the programs that aren't working properly," Herr said. "We are working on increasing energy savings and creating more convenient access for the students."