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President Glassner publishes sustainability op-ed in USA Today

October 27, 2011

Forest (Juniper) Residence Hall

Today’s high school students are paying more attention than ever to the green practices of the colleges to which they apply. But, in an editorial for USA Today, Lewis & Clark President Barry Glassner questions whether colleges are doing enough to “couple action with real academics” when it comes to sustainability.

As an example of a successful pairing, Glassner references Lewis & Clark’s Juniper residence hall, where students lived trash-free for two weeks. The project wasn’t just about reducing waste. As Glassner explains, the students “published their research questions and the insights gleaned from the experiment on their blog, offering knowledge to the campus as a kind of analogue to the produce coming from our campus garden.” Learn more about the project in a recent Oregonian profile.

Glassner hopes this combination of action and learning becomes the norm across the country.

“We need to encourage students to take rigorous courses to inform their sustainability pursuits, to undertake research to ground their efforts at composting or energy-conservation or greenhouse gas reduction in complex understandings of context and consequences,” Glassner writes. “We need to challenge them to think through the likely efficacy of whatever environmentally related project they are considering. Only then will students have an experience with sustainability deserving of the term ‘higher education.’”

Read the op-ed


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