Two SGA senators have introduced legislation that would amend the by-laws of the Seton Hall Student Government Administration and would establish a new student-run environmental commission.
According to the bill, the Environmental Protection and Conservation Commission (EPACC) would be “dedicated to bringing the Seton Hall University undergraduate student community together to bring about worthwhile change in the environmental protection, conservation and sustainability practices.”
Authors of the bill Senators Arthur Adriano and Julia Nicolls hope that creating this new commission will help consolidate some of the ongoing environmental efforts within SGA such as the Blue Goes Green initiative.
“The overall trajectory of the Blue Goes Green task-force was much larger last year than it is this year,” said Adriano. “We had an ad-hoc task-force for about a year as the by-laws mandated, but this year it expired and was never renewed. Last year we probably had about 15 people on the task-force, and this year there were maybe five.”
Nicolls reiterated that the hope behind the permanent commission is that its creation will help “increase the longevity” of environmental initiatives at Seton Hall. According to Nicolls, there have been numerous instances of similar SGA and non-SGA affiliated programs that have fizzled out in the past.
“My personal goal would be to see meetings once a month between the EPACC student commissioner, faculty within the environmental studies department, and administrators to be able to discuss [environmental] improvements that need to be made around the school,” said Nicolls, who also said she would be open to guidance and assistance on projects from the environmental studies department as well.
However, in the short-term goals, Nicolls stated that she hopes that the commission will be able to help cut down on plastic waste by making recycling bins more accessible to students in heavily trafficked areas, such as the library, and creating informational posters on the benefits of recycling.
As for student membership, if passed the committee will be open to everyone regardless of SGA affiliation.
“Environmental conservation and protection should not be limited to a certain group of students,” Adriano said. “I would encourage everyone to come and try and see what’s going on. Even if it’s to help with a small project, some of those small projects can blossom into something great. If you have interest, come to EPACC and contribute to being stewards for our environment.”
As of Feb. 6, the EPACC Charter Institution Act, which would establish EPACC, is set for a vote at this Monday’s SGA meeting at 7:00 pm in the Chancellor’s Suite.
Nicholas Kerr can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.