In honor of campus sustainability month, Mississippi State University will participate in Green Week Oct. 15 through Oct. 20.
Christine Lashley, MSU’s sustainability coordinator, said this is the second year MSU has hosted Green Week events, and is hopeful about student involvement.
"I feel the more that students appreciate the earth and what it can give you, the more they will be proactive in protecting it," Lashley said. "If you don’t appreciate something, you are not going to want to keep it around, so we just want to increase awareness and appreciation of the earth."
The week will be kicked-off with the ribbon cutting ceremony for the community garden with MSU President Mark Keenum behind Landscape Architecture at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 15. The proposal for the garden was brought up at the Student Association’s proposal competition, and has been an ongoing project for students and faculty members over the last two years.
Using funding allocated from Keenum, the SA’s green initiative proposal competition, which mirrors MSU’s Green Fund, has been in action every spring semester since 2017. Both semesters, community garden proposals have won the competition.
Delaney Gillespie, co-director of environmental affairs in SA, said the application for SA’s Sustainability Proposal Competition will open at the end of Green Week on Oct. 18.
"This competition is how projects such as the garden and the new library bottle-filter stations have been funded and implemented," Gillespie said. "The application will go live Oct. 19 and stay open into the spring semester."
Cory Gallo, associate professor of MSU’s landscape architecture, is the coordinator for the community garden and works diligently to incorporate volunteer work and class activities to help expand the garden.
"It kind of landed on me to take it from an idea to getting realized and built," Gallo said. "I have been coordinating the construction of the garden, as well as the organization of the garden, which is the membership, getting people involved and creating classes."
Gallo said he is excited to celebrate the progression of the garden and all of the hard work gone into making it so successful.
"After a very long push, we are coming to a point where we can say it is done,” Gallo said. "It is first of all celebrating what we have done, but also letting everybody know it is here for you to use."
Gillespie said SA's environmental affair cabinet will host a discussion panel in Fowlkes Auditorium at 5 p.m. Oct. 16 as a part of the continued Green Week events.
"We’ll be hosting the 'Climate Talk,' which will feature a panel of professors who will discuss the effects climate change has on their research," Gillespie said. "The professors are from a range of departments, including biology, plant and soil sciences, anthropology, sociology and geosciences."
Gillespie said she is equally excited about the other Green Week events, particularly the recycling sort in front of McCain at 2 p.m. Oct. 17.
"McCain recently got new recycling bins, and we will be sorting and weighing trash from the building to see how successful the new program has been," Gillespie said. "It is a volunteer event, and people can sign up on Orgsync."
As the week comes to an end, Lashley said she is excited for the organization fair on the Drill Field from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 18, which will provide opportunities for students to learn about 16 campus organizations for which students can join once Green Week ends.
The "Lorax," an animated film including vocal work from Taylor Swift and Zac Efron, will be shown at 8 p.m. Oct. 19 on the Drill Field to conclude campus-based Green Week events. However, the Soil and Conservation Society will host a creek clean-up at Catalpa Creek. Those interested in the clean-up will meet at 9 a.m. Oct. 20 at Fresh Foods.
Gillespie said she has dedicated much of her time to promoting sustainability on campus, and feels students need to prioritize sustainability in their own lives as well.
"In a changing world, it’s important for us to all become more aware of our impact on the environment around us–both on an individual level and on an institutional level," Gillespie said. "Green Week is important because it gives students the opportunity to reflect on where they can lessen their own environmental impact–whether it’s carrying a reusable water bottle or choosing to carpool. It also gives us the chance as students at MSU to recognize how our university is prioritizing sustainability, and consider how we can improve our environmental consciousness going forward."