The School of Diplomacy and International Relations hosted a Teach-In on Oct. 23 to spread awareness of the United Nations’ new 17 Sustainable Developmental Goals, created as standards for UN efforts and to inspire those all around the world to act as leaders in fighting against global issues.
The goals are to fight to end extreme poverty, fight gender inequality and injustice, and fix climate change by the year 2030. However, these are not the only issues that the 17 SDGs plan to overcome.
Further goals pertain to good health and the well-being of all, quality education, decent work and economic growth, as well as environmental sustainability.
Seton Hall has been fostering awareness on campus about these issues to achieve the goals of the SDGs. At the SDG event, tables were set up to inform students on issues involved with peace and justice, health, gender, land and water, and education.
At the tables were School of Diplomacy professors Joseph O’Mahoney and Catherine Tinker, professor Nalin Johri from the department of Interprofessional Health Sciences and Health Administration, professor James Daly from the department of Educational Studies, and Alyson Neel from the United Nations Foundation.
Neel spoke about gender equality and the steps students can take in targeting these changes.
“In this entire process, our entire aim, and our mission was to make sure we had a bold and meaningful outcome,” Neel said. “(To) make sure that these goals were as ambitious as they could be and making sure they can be financed and that there’s that accountability measure. How do we hold our leaders accountable?”
Neel’s professional background is gender policy and as a journalist she previously focused on gender-based discrimination. She suggested a few tips for raising awareness on the Sustainable Developmental Goals.
“The next step that needs to happen is we need everyone on board, we need to make sure that the goals are famous through (either) social media or through organizing multiple events,” Neel said in an interview.
Gabriela Taveras, junior diplomacy and international relations major minoring in French, is involved with the Seton Hall UN Association that worked in partnership to create and promote the event.
“Our number one goal would be to potentially make this not only a Seton Hall issue but an issue that we would involve the village and the different representatives of South Orange,” Taveras said. “This is hopefully a precursor of what we’re going to be doing next semester with village of South Orange.”
Other moves to improve green culture and promote recycling on campus have been made by SHU Cycle, an initiative started by students to encourage people to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
Elianni De La Cruz, Student Government Association (SGA) chairwoman of Student Affairs, said these efforts are being implemented on campus through single stream-recycling, an easier
method that allows streams of recyclables like mixed paper, plastic or metal to be put together in one bin, taken away by the city, and then separated. This method ultimately decreases the costs for South Orange and makes it simpler for individuals to sort recyclables from their homes, schools, or businesses.
“The numerous recycling bins around campus are a sure sign,” De La Cruz said. “It was started after several students saw a need for a campus-wide effort to recycle. It was an independent initiative.”
John Signorello, associate vice president for Facilities and Operations and for Facilities and Business Affairs, witnesses the work being done through the SHU Cycle initiative and by Seton Hall students to protect, conserve, and restore ecosystems.
“Last year a lot of work was done with SGA and the Ecology Club to relocate waste and recycle cans together and provide better labels on co-mingling,” Signorello said. “Students are taking a real leadership role on campus when it comes to sustainability.”
The Ecology Club has worked with Facilities regarding clear labeling and the addition of more recycling bins around campus. Since one single piece of trash can jeopardize a whole recycling bin, the development of clear labels assures students that they are putting the right kind of item into each bin.
Stephanie Garcia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org