Florida A&M University's Green Coalition held its first general body meeting in the School of Architecture Bridge on Monday, Feb. 8, with guest speaker Odemari Mbuya, Ph.D., professor of agriculture sciences at FAMU.
Green Coalition is a student organization that gathers and encourages students to campaign environmental sustainability on and off campus. The meeting focused on environmental policies and climate change.
Mbuya is the faculty director of the Sustainability Institute and the Florida Climate Institute at FAMU. Mbuya, along with other faculty members and students, paid a visit to Paris, France, for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The conference negotiated the Paris agreement, a global agreement on the reduction of climate change. The agreement represented a consensus of the representatives of the 196 parties that attended it.
Mbuya shared his knowledge, experience and hope in FAMU students.
“I would like the students to not only focus on the physical environment, but beyond that,” Mbuya said.
Mbuya expressed he was very impressed with the students’ involvement and their willingness to participate, the Green Coalition being one of them.
Andrea Pugh, president of Green Coalition and fourth-year environmental science student, said the main goal this year is campus outreach to gain more student involvement.
“Students are the future and climate change will continue to have an impact on the future,” Pugh said.
During the meeting Nicholas Miller, MBA candidate, directed an open discussion amongst students testing their knowledge on environmental policies and how climate change affects them.
“It’s about what we can do individually to make a positive impact on the environment,” Miller said
Mariah Henry, vice president of Green Coalition and interdisciplinary studies of science student, said there’s a lot students can do.
“During homecoming students decorated the trash cans. I thought that was a big improvement. Our greenhouse getting remodeled is huge, because now students have better access for research. President Magnum has added a lot of agriculture related programs and events including the agriculture and food science,” Henry said.
There are multiple ways students can get involved with the Green Coalition and the Sustainability Institute.
Kathryn Ziewitz, Green Coalition advisor and Sustainability event coordinator, suggested ways for students of all majors to get involved.
“Everyone really (has) a chance to influence the policies at our university at the Sustainability Indaba focusing on a climate action plan,” Ziewitz said.
The Sustainability Institute will be hosting a free event, Sustainability Indaba, Thursday, Feb. 25, at 8:30 a.m. in the FAMU Grand Ballroom. To register for the indaba go to www.sustainability.famu.edu.