Campus News

Sustainability searches for new leadership

By: Raymond Humienny ~Campus News Editor~

Urban Farming - Ray Humienny

Photo courtesy of xavier.edu | The Urban Farm is operated regularly by the Sustainability committee interns.

Xavier Sustainability has stood strong during the summer and continues to grow as an organization despite the departure of its director, Ann Doughtery. The program’s board of directors told the Newswire that the program is not experiencing any turmoil due to the recent vacancy.

“(The) Sustainability committee is an ongoing and fully functioning committee with (David Lococo) and I as co-chairs,” Nancy Bertaux, cochair of Xavier Sustainability, said in an email. “Our sustainability director, Ann Dougherty, who reported to physical plant, recently left for another position, and of course she was very important to our sustainability efforts. Xavier is in the process of addressing this vacancy.”

Although the organization has dual leadership, Lococo has had limited involvement, working parttime with Sustainability every other weekend. The search for a new director has been underway since the beginning of the fall semester. Moving on in Doughtery’s absence, the committee hosted its annual Sustainability event in Kennedy Auditorium on Sept. 14. The event included discussion surrounding Alter Hall’s sustainability, as well as guest speaker Benjamin Barber, most known for his democratic theory in his book, “If Mayors Ruled The World.” Barber addressed civility and its connection to local sustainability efforts.

“There are five ongoing academic programs in sustainability at Xavier, as well as a variety of other efforts by many individuals, so sustainability initiatives have not ceased,” Bertaux said. In light of efforts made to quicken the hiring process, Xavier Sustainability interns have been collectively leading the organization. Campus initiatives, such as Green Roofs and a ban on water bottles, have not been forgotten by Carmelle Louise, an intern who sat down with Newswire to clarify the current status of the committee.

“Sustainability at Xavier is still flourishing, but we still feel sort of decentralized,” Louise said. “We need to centralize so that we can refocus on some major projects we’ve had in mind for this year, like Green Roofs. If the space above the caf can have grass, why not Smith? A lot of Xavier’s buildings are not regulated to meet these standards to sustain a small green house environment, and we want to see this happen as an organization.”

Louise said that there are two summer interns who have not yet been compensated for their work at the Urban Farm. Bertaux did not immediately respond to this claim. Despite this, Xavier Sustainability efforts have not gone unnoticed over the years. In 2008, Xavier president Fr. Michael Graham signed an agreement issuing carbon-neutral Xavier transportation by 2030. This ongoing initiative aims to reduce carbon dioxide exhaust by half in the coming decade. For more information about Xavier Sustainability, contact Nancy Bertaux (bertauxn@ xavier.edu).