Sustainability Club on a mission

Photo courtesy: Autumn Dancy

The Sustainability Club is actively working to make Florida A&M University a greener campus by organizing volunteer events, increasing student access to recycling, and collaborating with student-led organizations.

The club was started in 2021 and was recently revived with a new E-board in 2022. The club’s members created a nature-themed photo wall for students to use during homecoming in 2022 as a way to re-introduce themselves to the campus community.

Ensuring that campus operations are sustainable is the fundamental goal of the Sustainability Club. Numerous interactive and hands-on events that allowed students to interact with the environment were held to raise awareness. On Earth Day, it held a ‘Pot-a-Plant’ event for students to come onto the quad and pot their own plants.

The SEED garden, owned by the Sustainability Institute and the School of the Environment, is located close to the campus recreational center and is cared for by club members and volunteers.

Autumn Dancy, a fourth-year environmental studies major, serves as president of the Sustainability Club. Dancy spoke on the overall goals of the organization as well as the specific efforts taken to make FAMU more environmentally friendly.

“We basically want to help build a more sustainable FAMU by helping change the procedures, doing student engagement events and community service cleanups,” Dancy said.

The group has also partnered with PETA to throw events raising awareness for the connection between animal agriculture and environmentalism. A thrift fashion show was also held in partnership with the thrift club at FAMU. Dancy stressed the effort that was made to work with other student organizations, such as SGA and campus housing.

“We partnered with SGA last year and got a bill passed to bring recycling to the on-campus housing dorms,” Dancy said. “Last year, we installed 50 bins as a pilot program to see how the recycling would work, and now we’re installing 100 bins this month.”

Khalil Valcin, a fourth-year environmental science major who serves as vice-president for the club, discussed a few of the club’s recent recycling initiatives.

“What we recently did was get recycling bins in some of the dormitories, such as Village and Towers,” Valcin said.

Community service is a massive priority for the club. After homecoming last year, a campus-wide cleanup was organized as a part of their initiative to make FAMU a more sustainable environment.

Lalah Choice, a third-year environmental studies major, serves as the community service and recycling chair. Choice discussed the organization’s objectives for the current academic year.

“We’re trying to expand to Young Hall next, and we’re going to try to put at least 50 recycling bins in there,” Choice said. “One of my main goals as a community service chair and a recycling chair is just to provide more opportunities for students on campus to get community service, but also to get those community service hours while engaging with the environment.”

The Sustainability Club is making a mark not only on FAMU but on the environment as well.

Students interested in volunteering should contact the organization’s president, Autumn Dancy, or adviser Jean Rosny, for additional information or follow them on Instagram at sustainfamu.