A green thumbs-up

SEA’s Earth Day celebration promotes change, actions for QU sustainability


Quinnipiac University students lined the Quad in hopes to get a little more green in their diet and pick up some great resources to learn more about environmental conservation and their impact on the Earth. (Aidan Sheedy)

Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

On a gusty spring afternoon, Quinnipiac University students and community members joined to build a more sustainable future at the annual Earth Day Fair, presented by the Students for Environmental Action.

The April 21 event boasted an array of environment-friendly resources for students, like glass reusable straws, natural overnight oats, bottle donations and information about how to stay green while away at school.

Among the student-run tables was a vendor of vintage Quinnipiac athletic gear to promote reusing and a representative of a Quinnipiac Dining-affiliated produce company called Sardilli.

Linda Wooster of Bethany, Connecticut, was selling throwback merchandise to the students and many took home some rare finds like a “Class of ‘05” shirt or a Quinnipiac Braves — the university’s former mascot — starter jacket.

Wooster said she was a Quinnipiac Athletics employee for many years and made quite the collection of Bobcat and Braves apparel in her own house. She also added that all the proceeds were sent directly to the Bethany Historical Society.

Alexander Moylan, the Sardilli Produce and Dairy account representative, said Quinnipiac Dining thought his contribution to the Earth Day Fair was necessary to get the students excited about eating and growing their own fruits and vegetables.

“There can never be enough (events),” Moylan said. “Every single time the students are always happy, the smiles are brimming … Just being outside that service is different and engaging.”

But this Earth Day celebration was more than just another event for passionate environmental leaders. Although she’s not on the executive board, devout SEA member Ana Caliri said the university needs more students to spark a change.

“As young students get educated, there’s been more voice toward (change),” Caliri, a junior health science and environmental studies co-major said. “The more students are aware about how individual actions can create big social change, the more the university will hear that and hopefully make real changes toward being sustainable.”

Throughout the day, Caliri focused on using the SEA as a tool to educate the student body on topics that may not be covered inside the classroom like how to compost properly. But something bigger than that was bothering her— the university’s carbon footprint and the lack of knowledge about it.

“We’re on a campus that doesn’t really prioritize or value sustainability,” Caliri said. “The university is supposed to be leading young minds … When the environment is such a pressing issue today, why not use that fodder to improve?”

Caliri listed off five environmentally- detrimental actions that Quinnipiac University is facing: lack of LEED-certified structures, little to no natural flora and fauna, energy output, seemingly no recycling process and the termination of Pine Grove.

As reported by The Chronicle in March, Quinnipiac’s sustainability score ranked among the worst in the state and far behind competing schools like UConn, Yale and Wesleyan. However, the new recreation center and the south quad in construction are all set to be LEED certified, the green rating system most commonly used worldwide.

This Earth Day, the largest takeaway Caliri wants is more power to the voices of the students, as many may underestimate the power of people in large numbers.

“The students’ role is huge. The will of many is bigger than people think,” Caliri said. “If we get a lot of people speaking and arguing for the university to be more sustainable, they’ll listen to us at least.”