Sustain Mizzou wants more members, money for '08-'09

Environmental group hopes to expand programs and awareness on campus

Sustain Mizzou will hold an informational meeting for incoming freshmen and any other students interested in the organization 7 p.m. Wednesday on the Francis Quadrangle.

The meeting will inform students on sustainability and environmental awareness on campus and will introduce freshmen to Sustain Mizzou's objective of creating a sustainable way of life through education, cooperation and local action regarding the environment.

"The meeting will give students an idea of what Sustain Mizzou is currently working on and the opportunities people have to get involved," President Patrick Margherio said. "We're going to try to give the students the bigger picture of what we're trying to do and what the administration is trying to do with sustainability on campus."

The student leaders of Sustain Mizzou will be on hand to answer any questions freshmen or newcomers might have regarding recycling, saving electricity and other topics relating to the environment. They will also go over many of the organization's current projects.

"Mizzou as a whole is looking to have sustainable guidelines developed for approval by the chancellor by the second semester," Margherio said. "There's a lot of grant opportunities given to Mizzou and all universities for environmental projects."

Congress' passing and the president's approval of the Higher Education Sustainability Act in July granted $50 million in grants to universities and schools. Sustain Mizzou is looking to fund many of their campus projects through these grants.

"One of our main projects is Tiger Tailgate Recycling where we give students from the University of Missouri recycling bins and encourage them to volunteer," spokeswoman Julia Haslanger said. "Last year we gathered over 23 tons of recycling from home football games."

Former Sustain Mizzou President Adam Saunders will also be teaching a new class that will take on a comprehensive food-composting project.

"The class came about because of a grant offered to the (Information Technology) department," Margherio said. "The class will go out and actually compost food gathered from dining halls, using different products and finding which ones work best. They'll gather food from Rollins Dining Hall twice a day for 10 weeks as part of the project."

Sustain Mizzou will follow up their meeting with a nature walk through Capen Park Thursday.

"Part of our new conservation education project is about Missouri natural wildlife," Margherio said. "Throughout the year, we'll try to do more nature walks and hikes to learn more about Missouri wildlife."

After the nature walk, Sustain Mizzou will gather to watch one segment from the BBC's documentary, "Planet Earth," which focuses on the earth's diverse environments. 

Sustain Mizzou's first general meeting will be Wednesday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. in 100 Stewart Hall. The group will provide free pizza for both members and visitors and will go over some of the organization's more long-term projects.

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