By: Sophie Koutsoftas | February 6, 2023
U.S.S at the Fall 2022 Block Party
Photo Credit: UAlbany Students for Sustainability
The UAlbany Students for Sustainability (U.S.S.) is a student organization that advocates for sustainability on and off campus. They pride themselves on their focus on the social and educational aspects of being environmentally conscious.
“It’s mostly an educational club. With COVID, a lot of stuff got put on hold and we’re starting to get back into having clean ups on campus and doing more in person collabs this semester,” club president Mya Darsan said.
One way this club has combined social aspects with education is by organizing frequent field trips that offer hands-on experience in Albany. Last year the U.S.S. had a field trip to the Radix Ecological Sustainability Center in downtown Albany. The Radix Center is a non-profit organizational center that focuses on urban sustainability. They learned about The Radix Centers efforts to plant trees, compost, and the club was able to see the chickens the center has.
The club has been quite busy this year. Last semester, they hosted a Green Scene formal in collaboration with the other clubs that operate in tandem with the Office of Sustainability and as a part of the Green Scene.
COVID has had an impact on the UA Students for Sustainability, as it has on other clubs. Many of their hands-on events, such as on-campus clean ups and tree plantings, could not happen.
“I think a lot of it was the social aspect, meeting with fellow students, talking about things that we are all interested in. The events were a little weird to do, trying to have a planting night over Zoom and having a guest speaker. But we’re slowly gaining traction and picking up again.” Grace Hammond, Vice President of UA Students for Sustainability, said when asked about the impact COVID has had on the club.
The U.S.S. also frequently collaborates with other clubs on campus such as The Albany Outreach for Animals, a composting event with The Gender Resource and Sexuality Center, and a campus clean up with the UAlbany Running Exchange on the Friday before Earth Day. They plan to host another Green Scene formal on Earth Day, April 22nd.
The UA Students for Sustainability is hosting a Social Stuff Swap on Tuesday, February 8th in Social Sciences 131 at 8pm. This event will be a way for students to reduce, reuse, and recycle by decluttering items that they are no longer using. Clothing, dishware, and other items can be accepted. A reusable water bottle you never used? A free UA shirt that you got at an event? All can be given a second life and a new home.
To join the UAlbany Students for Sustainability, DM them on Instagram (@ualbanys4sustainability), follow them on TikTok (@uas4sustainability), and email them (firstname.lastname@example.org) to sign up for their weekly newsletter.