April Proclaimed Environmental Awareness Month
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 14, 2009) – In a formal proclamation signing ceremony Monday, University of Central Missouri President Aaron Podolefsky reminded students, faculty and staff of their responsibility in "planting the seed for a greener future" by supporting sustainability initiatives on campus.
Participants in a the American Democracy Project’s proclamation signing ceremony Monday, April 13 declaring April Environmental Awareness Month were front row, left to right, Sharlene Bax, campus coordinator of ADP; Aaron Podolefsky, UCM president; George Wilson, provost and vice president for academic affairs; and representatives of the SGA, back row, from left, Nicholas McDaniels and Manny Abarca.
The president was one of three individuals who signed a proclamation declaring April 2009 Environmental Awareness Month on campus. He was joined in the ceremony by George Wilson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Sharlene Bax, campus coordinator of the American Democracy Project. The ceremony was one of several events being coordinated this month by ADP to acquaint the campus community with environmental issues, and what individuals can do personally to help address those issues.
"Environmental sustainability has become a major focus on the current public agenda, and this month, throughout the country and around the globe, organizations, communities and institutions like this one will be celebrating and recognizing Earth Day with different events and activities," Bax told a small group of individuals who gathered in the Elliott Union atrium. "We are excited to be a part of this 2009 celebration, which will feature a wide array of events and activities sponsored by several different departments, groups and entities from across the campus, demonstrating that environmental awareness and environmental sustainability is important to us all."
Podolefsky commended ADP for making the month of awareness activities possible. The proclamation he read noted that the "current generation of UCM students is particularly dedicated to environmental conservation and sustainability, and recognizes that aggressive and positive actions now will leave future generations better prepared to combat the world's environmental challenges."
He said the university's commitment to addressing environmental challenges includes becoming a charter participant on the American College and University President's Climate Commitment in 2007. The university president was one of nearly 300 college and university presidents across the nation who signed a document agreeing to help promote efforts to reduce their institutions' carbon footprint.
Podolefsky has also established the UCM President's Commission on Sustainability to bring about sustainable practices at Central Missouri, focusing on recycling and waste management, standards, transportation, utilities and energy, planning and funding, and curriculum and education. He added the university is seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building certification as it renovates the Morrow/Garrison buildings and constructs the new Student Recreation and Wellness Center. UCM is also undertaking a campuswide effort to provide a high-performance learning environment on a green, sustainable campus by reducing utility use and costs, carbon footprint, facility operating and maintenance costs, and addressing deferred maintenance and energy infrastructure needs.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Bax presented copies of the proclamation to members of the Student Government Association, Nicholas McDaniels and Manny Abarca, to share with other SGA members. Individuals who want to know more about ADP activities during Environmental Awareness Month are urged to visit the web at http://www.ucmo.edu/adp/events.cfm. American Democracy Project with support from College Democrats, the Office of Academic Affairs, the Political Science Student Association, SIFE, and the Student Government Association.
The American Democracy Project at UCM is part of a nationwide effort to produce graduates who are committed to engagement as citizens of a democracy.