Signals

The garden initiative is only one way to get involved at IU. Photo courtesy of Indiana University

A lot is happening at IU. If you were looking for something to do for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, you could enjoy a Jacobs School tribute performance, enter a discussion at the leadership breakfast, join the interfaith prayer service, watch a performance of ”The Meeting,” participate in the Unity Summit, end the day at the birthday celebration, or whip out some weather-stripping on a weatherization SWAT team. You could do any of these activities, but you would have to know about them first. Would you hear about them from a friend, professor, Facebook, Twitter, email, calendar, poster, radio, website, newspaper, or something else? If you were looking specifically for a sustainability activity, how would you know you could spend your day of service caulking door frames?

No fewer than 26 student organizations are involved in sustainability activities at IU. For those interested in athletics IU has Greening Cream and Crimson. World-travelers can join the Global Environmental Brigades. Gardeners can get dirty with the Campus Garden initiative or Students Producing Organics Under the Sun (SPROUTS). Foodies can enjoy Slow Foods at Indiana University. Kelley, Mauer Law, and SPEA students all have environmental/sustainability groups in their schools. These groups are only a few of the many opportunities available.

Professors are teaching seventy-three sustainability-focused or related courses this semester alone, and more than 50 faculty members are engaging in sustainability-related research, so the challenge is not only to create sustainability groups, programming, research, or classes, it is also to be heard because IU has so many opportunities.

The campus boasts 607 registered student groups and 10,836 sections of course offerings. With this abundance of decisions, can people find the 26 student sustainability groups and 73 courses? Both lists are already available on the Office of Sustainability (IUOS) website, and courses are simultaneously listed on the Registrar’s website. The information is available, but it’s only useful if people are finding it.

The Academic Initiatives Working Group (AIWG) with IUOS wants to build a stronger signal to be heard above the noise. IUOS already engages in many forms of publicity, but this semester AIWG it is hoping to find ways to amplify the signal, so anyone who is interested can find the information. How do you hear about sustainability?

Written by Alexi Lamm, Academic Initiatives Working Group Intern of the IU Office of Sustainability

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