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Recycling Petition Urges UT for a Call to Action

BY FRANCISCO NAVARRO

As part of the new campaign, environmental clubs have created a petition for UT students to promote the expansion of recycling services on UT’s campus.

The online petition asks UT “for clearly labeled recycling in every dorm, academic spaces and facilities.” as stated by the petition. By signing the petition, the campaign is aspiring to quantitatively demonstrate that the UT community (students, faculty/staff, alumni and parents) supports recycling expansion.

Roots and Shoots, SEAC (Student Environmental Action Coalition), and the Society for Conservation Biology are asking more students to get on board and help with the advancement of the campaign “Recycling is BeaUTiful”

“We chose the slogan, ‘Recycling is BeaUTiful’, because we want to send a positive message about recycling and campus sustainability to upper UT administration,” said Alexandra Marter, Environmental Science Sophomore and president of the Roots and Shoots environmental organization. “We’re not aiming to criticize or negatively represent UT, but to push UT to reach its full potential in sustainability and to set the right example for the broader Tampa Bay community.”

The campaign’s purpose is to show that the UT’s student population wants to enhance recycling because they expect a higher standard on campus. Students are petitioning to increase recycling opportunities; create more programs like the Pilot program that started in 2014.

The Vaughn Center is currently the only residence hall with an active pilot recycling program. The program was initiated  by the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC) and the FSC. Each of the six resident floors has two Trash & Recycling rooms, so there is a total of 12 recycling collection bins.

Students involved are carrying out the campaign in two ways. The first step is looking for signatures, the second step is taking photographs of anyone who supports the campaign holding a “Recycling is BeaUTiful” sign to promote the campaign.

“This petition is something that students themselves are doing because they want to see an improvement,” Senior, majoring in Marine Science and Biology, Lauren Twele, President of Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), said.

The petition is currently a few signatures short of 1,000 signatures, and the ultimate goal is 4,000, roughly half of the student population. The petition signatures will be collected until April 22 on Earth Day, which by that time these environmental organizations will propose to UT’s upper administration the efforts made to make a better change to our community.

“Recycling needs to be improved in UT; it’s not at par with rest of colleges in the rest of the United States,”  said Jennifer Campbell, senior political science major and vice president of SEAC and Roots and Shoots. “I’ve never been on a campus that has so little recycling, and that you have to actively think about where is the closest spot to recycle a plastic water bottle, and ends up being across campus. Recycling is just one of the things that gets pushed back on this campus and we want to change that.”

The petition is currently a few signatures short of 1,000 signatures, and the ultimate goal is 4,000, roughly half of the student population. The petition signatures will be collected until April 22 on Earth Day, which by that time these environmental organizations will propose to UT’s upper administration the efforts made to make a better change to our community.

“In that period of time we really want to show that this is something the students care about,” Twele said.

These organizations are tabling in the Vaughn center this semester once a week, for UT students to take action to promote the campaign and sign the petition.

“We’re really are trying to be positive about it, we want it to be a positive message,” Marter said. “We could be doing better, and this campaign is how we can do better. We want UT to know that recycling is something we the students care about and we can do better.”
Petition link: https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/recycling-is-beautiful

For more information contact Francisco at francisco.navarro@spartans.ut.edu

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