Manhattanville Reid Castle In the Spring

Manhattanville Student Represents College on Sustainability Panel
Friday, 18 October 2013 15:53


Patricia Rodriguez-DiazOn Saturday, October 12, Patricia Rodriguez-Diaz ’15 represented Manhattanville College in a panel discussion about “Sustainability in Higher Education.”

“Sustainability isn’t just about the environment, it’s about social action as well,” Diaz said.

During the discussion she highlighted Manhattanville’s efforts towards a sustainable future, pointing out the involvement from clubs such as S.I.D.I (Student Initiative Toward Diversity and Inclusion), U.N.I.C.E.F (United Nations Children’s Fund), and the Connie Hogarth Center’s Environmental Crisis series. She also mentioned TriBeta, an undergraduate society for biology students, which she is a member of, that helped re-open Manhattanville College’s greenhouse, and holds Earth Week events and garbage pickups.

She explained how the campus has been making efforts to become more sustainable like having its first green building on campus with the Richard A. Berman Student Center, which is LEED Gold certified. The student center has an energy efficient, gas-fired condensing boiler, an efficient evaporative chiller, a well-insulated building envelope and roof-mounted PV solar collectors providing 13 percent of the building's electricity. The building also uses half of the energy of a typical code compliant building and the elevator uses 70 percent less energy than a common elevator, and the entire building is made from materials that have been obtained locally.

There are also signs around campus reminding students to save power and recycle, Diaz said.  

“We have more of a sense of community than larger schools, but we aren’t all doing the same thing. I hope to get people to care about the environment more,” Diaz said, hoping to tailor the message to reach people who aren’t as passionate about the environment and to make it one of their concerns.

The discussion was a student ambassador event hosted by Children’s Environmental Literacy (CELF) at Manhattanville. Joining Diaz on the panel were students from New York University, Cornell, Skidmore, and Connecticut College.

Manhattanville has a long standing relationship with CELF, which includes co-hosting one of the organization’s Summer Institutes about Education for Sustainability.

CELF networks high school students who are passionate about environmental stewardship, sustainable economics, and social justice. They also have a student ambassador program that provides training for high school students to speak publicly on environmental, economic and social issues.