For the second to last segment on a theme of blogs about the changes that I have experienced during my three and a half years at Green Mountain, I would like to discuss a few changes and events that have occurred which do not really go along with a bigger theme but nonetheless affect our daily lives.
About a year ago, in the middle of my junior year, the school hired in an outside company called UGL to manage grounds, facilities, housekeeping, and maintenance work around campus. Before this change this work was managed internally. There was some debate surrounding the change while it was happening. Some people thought of it as outsourcing, some people were under the impression that all of our staff were going to lose their jobs, others believed that this was a step towards efficiency.
The only change that really happened was the hiring of a new manager and new systems and ways of doing things; we still have most of the same people working in this department that have been here for years. UGL implemented new ways of getting jobs done. For example, if something happens in your room, something breaks, or a light bulb goes out, or your heat is not working, you can put in a work order with your RA and things like this get taken care of much faster then with the old system.
The school has also been working harder at keeping up with landscaping. We have an absolutely beautiful campus, however at times there were landscaped areas that were very unkept. Now landscaping around campus is beginning to make more sense and compliment the existing aesthetics of the campus. I have noticed a drastic difference in the look of the college ground since I was a freshmen.
Another change is the implementation of the Eco-reps. Each dorm building now has one or two Eco-reps who are paid students working towards promoting and actually implementing sustainable practices around campus. For example, there are compost bins on most floors now. Since I have been here there have been many times when students have tried to implement composting in the dorms, however, not many were really willing to keep up with emptying the bins. Now the Eco-reps take care of it. They also take care of many of the responsibilities surrounding recycling practices and a number of other sustainability goals and education on campus. The Eco-reps have made a big difference on this campus; while a lot of students have great ideas the Eco-reps are great at implementing!
While Green Mountain has had many goals towards sustainability and even references sustainability within it’s mission statement for many years now, the progress that we have made as a school in ways of sustainability and many more has increased much more and much faster in the past two or three years.