To the Daily:
Although Thursday’s Campus Sustainability Integrated Assessment town hall meeting went on mostly unnoticed to the majority of the students, faculty and staff at the University, I am confident that its effects will not share the same fate (At town hall, ‘U’ officials talk campus sustainability, 1/29/2010). The Integrated Assessment program, to be completed in early 2011, consists of analysis teams that produce comprehensive reports detailing environmental sustainability efforts, concerns and recommendations in various categories, including culture, energy, food and transportation. The Integrated Assessment teams are led by faculty, staffed by students and consider input from across the disciplines and from multiple stakeholders.
After attending the town hall meeting, it is clear that the involvement of dedicated students and staff, the vision of world-class faculty and the support provided by our sustainability-minded University will provide the impetus to make the program successful, not only in its implementation but also from a leadership standpoint.
The high level of involvement from both members of higher education and stakeholders of various backgrounds, coupled with the program’s multidisciplinary nature, gives the University a unique opportunity to serve as a leader to other institutions of higher education. For me, this is where the true value of the program lies.
The effects that the Integrated Assessment program will have on our campus will without a doubt be beneficial, but even more exciting is the potential for this program to spread to other campuses. The results of the Integrated Assessment, reproduced manifold, have the potential to promote buy-in to a culture of sustainability on a large scale — resulting in more responsible energy and resource usage across campuses. As a Michigan student, I am excited that this particular University program has such potential and such vision, and I encourage readers to share in that feeling as fellow Wolverines.