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The Student News Site of Fairmont State University

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The Student News Site of Fairmont State University

The Columns

Creative Sustainability Council Continues Work to Improve Fairmont State Campus


Creative Sustainability Council, a long-standing student organization, is a special-interest club dedicated to the promotion of sustainable practices, education on renewable energy resources, and implementing sustainability-focused efforts on campus and in the community. A medium-sized group, this organization consists of faculty and students of all class ranks and majors. The Creative Sustainability Council focuses mainly on on-campus projects, though the organization has discussed possibly expanding to the wider community in the future. Major contributions to Fairmont State from this organization include the community garden, the arboretum and its trees, and their glass crushing services.

There are many wonderful and impactful projects sponsored by the Creative Sustainability Council. On March 1st, the organization had an informational meeting on their Bird Strike study. For this study, participants are investigating the buildings around campus for evidence that birds have collided with the windows. According to the Bird Alliance of Oregon, approximately one billion birds die each year in the United States due to collisions with windows, and their research shows that 54%-76% of bird-window collisions are fatal. One solution offered was created by Professor Kellie Cole, a faculty member of the Architecture Department and member of the Creative Sustainability Council. Professor Cole proposed the use of Bird Stickers, stickers that when placed 2-4 inches apart, break up the reflection for birds. The removal of the reflection prevents most bird strikes, with the window appearing as a solid object instead of being invisible to birds. A second, long-standing sustainability project spearheaded by Dr. Robert Baker advocates for the removal of Styrofoam containers from the Fairmont State University cafeteria and replacing them with reusable plastic clamshells. This initiative is in progress and could possibly be implemented in a testing phase as early as the end of the Spring 2024 semester.

Tree planting is still underway for the arboretum project, with the first two trees having been planted in October of 2023. Between the gardens and the arboretum, the Creative Sustainability Council has done an amazing job incorporating new green areas into Fairmont State to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint. Incorporating green spaces is also shown to improve the mental health of students in multiple studies according to the National Institutes of Health. Upcoming events for the organization have been proposed for Earth Day programs and/or projects. Keep an eye out for more information as Earth Day approaches to get involved in these fun and educational opportunities!

Creative Sustainability Council President Ryan Williams urges the Fairmont State University community to prioritize the university’s future. “Sustainability is so important and impacts everyone. It is more than just global warming, as important as that is to address, it affects every aspect of your life!”. The Creative Sustainability Council’s projects and efforts to assist the Fairmont State community in becoming more sustainable rely on student and faculty support. Volunteering with the Creative Sustainability Council is a great opportunity to give back to the community, earn service hours, and an excellent way to contribute to the future of Fairmont State.

If you are interested in learning more about Creative Sustainability Council, email President Ryan Williams at [email protected] or Dr. Nathan Myers at [email protected]. You can find Creative Sustainability Council on Instagram at @cscfairmont, or visit a meeting! Meetings are hosted every 2nd Friday of the month in Jaynes

304 at 2pm. Special thanks to Ryan Williams, President of Creative Sustainability Council, for interviewing with Columns to allow for the creation of this article.

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About the Contributor
Quinn Arzt
Quinn Arzt, Staff Reporter
Quinn Arzt is a 20-year-old Junior here at Fairmont State University. She is pursuing an Architecture degree while also working toward her History and Political Science minors. Quinn's favorite season is Autumn, and her favorite book is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Quinn is a Residential Assistance (RA) here on campus, and also involved in multiple other organizations like the Honors Association, Fairmont State Catholic Student Union, Falcons with PRIDE, Falcons for Disability Advocacy, and more.
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