As a leader in higher education, you can inspire your campus to chart a new course on climate.

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Starting a Climate Conversation on Your Campus

By Sharon Chen
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One university is inviting its students to “wrestle with the great ethical issues of their time,” and the conservation of our planet is undoubtedly one such issue. Students at Fordham University are urging their campus community to take a hard look at the university’s sustainability practices, and what these practices say about ethics.

Framing climate action in terms that are relatable and meaningful to different audiences is an important way to inspire people to take action. Fordham, with its emphasis on the Jesuit principles of teaching and the ethics and morality of climate change, is steering the climate conversation in a way that is relevant to its community.

By framing the climate conversation in relevant and relatable terms, we can increase engagement and action. To find out more about how to successfully start a climate conversation and catalyze behavioral changes, please download our latest research report, Let's Talk Climate

 


How to Make Fordham More Sustainable

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences | The Fordham Ram | February 10, 2016

At Fordham University, we strive to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us through the principles of a Jesuit education. The Society of Jesus, founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola in 1534, has long held a deep respect for the intellectual and ethical challenges of our world. As such, a Jesuit education should be revered as one that embraces the potential of its students to be the change they want to see in the world. Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of the university, said that “students have to be invited to wrestle with the great ethical issues of their time.” One of the greatest ethical issues of our time is the conservation of our planet. As a group of conservation biology students, we know now, more than ever that steps must be taken to preserve the world that we are so spiritually and physically intertwined with. As a Jesuit university, Fordham should be leading the way, but all too often we have seen signs that environmental concern and conservation are not top priorities for our institution. As such, the Fall 2015 Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Conservation Biology class has compiled a list of unsustainable practices our university is currently engaged in, alongside meaningful — and easily employed — changes that can be made. In doing so, Fordham can truly be seen as challengers of unethical standards.

Landscaping & Horticulture
The Rose Hill campus has been lauded for its landscaping efforts which, while aesthetically pleasing, are ripe with unsustainable practices that Fordham has made no public commitment to address. One such practice can be found in the irrigation system. Running the sprinklers during rain or in peak sun on hot days is inefficient and wasteful. Additionally, a number of sprinkler heads target paved or non-landscaped areas. With no greenery to absorb the water, runoff drains directly into local waterways along with the pesticides, herbicides and non-organic fertilizers that are liberally applied on the campus. Runoff has been shown to be the cause of many deleterious effects to local ecosystems.

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