The new program puts faith in students’ ability to make change

TRU Sustainability Office tasks student sustainability ambassadors with educating fellow students

Students looking to make an environmental difference in Kamloops and on-campus can now join TRU Sustainability with the relaunch of the TRU Student Sustainability Ambassadors program.

TRU Sustainability Office recently relaunched the TRU Student Sustainability Ambassadors Program with the goal of spreading “the spirit of sustainability” on campus. TRU Sustainability Office believes students can be a force for change and have the potential to improve the culture of sustainability at TRU, therefore, the program centres on peer education, interaction, and advocacy.

Environmental Programs and Research Coordinator, James Gordon, stated, “at the heart of it, [TRU Sustainability Office] is wanting to get students excited about sustainability and the opportunity to get involved with specific projects that can be implemented throughout the school year.”

TRU Student Sustainability Ambassadors are meant to become ‘sustainability champions’ on campus and are tasked with educating their fellow students about sustainability initiatives promoted by the Sustainability Office. The program is about increasing participation in, and support for, certain sustainability practices on campus, whether new or existing, big, or small.

“This notion of having projects all over campus gets me very excited,” said Gordon. “Sustainability is, of course, very complex. There is a lot of variety involved with, for example, environmental and social issues concerning sustainability. The hope is that, through these projects and programs, we can give students the chance to learn and think about issues [concerning sustainability] as well as the chance to put certain behaviours into practice. In the process, the Sustainability Office hopes to achieve specific objectives.”

Student Ambassadors will need to interact, either in-person or virtually, with at least 500 of their fellow students during one or more school semesters by educating them on a variety of sustainability issues. Once these 500 ‘touch points’ are complete, and a report and program evaluation form are submitted, each ambassador will receive a certificate of completion and a credit of $200 which they can put towards tuition at TRU.

“Let’s say, for example, [an ambassador] has 40 students within a specific class, and, at the beginning of that class they give a short presentation about a sustainability project or program. Well, that presentation will end up accounting for 40 ‘touch points’ just like that. Say you do a tabling event and another 60 or 70 students walk by and interact with you, there are another 60 or 70 ‘touchpoints,” said Gordon.

TRU Student Sustainability Ambassadors can feel good about making a difference as they work toward a more sustainable future on campus while deepening their understanding of key sustainability concepts throughout the program. Through networking with peers and those of similar interests, Ambassadors can also build connections and possibly make friends along the way.

If interested in joining the TRU Student Sustainability Ambassadors Program, students must submit an application by Jan. 20. The Fall application deadline has already passed but there are still opportunities for participation this Winter.

Applicants must provide their contact information, a 100-200 word description of why they wish to join the program, as well as two references preferably from TRU staff or faculty members, although employer references will also work.

Please email the completed application to the program coordinator, James Gordon at jgordon@tru.ca.

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