Salary important in running Eco-Reps
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:10
The most recent farmers’ market on campus, an event coordinated and planned by Eco-Reps, was dampened slightly when a member of the SGA began to interrogate a young Eco-Rep about the value of her job on campus.
He questioned whether she thought she should get paid to carry out her Eco-Rep duties and implied that a volunteer program could provide the University with similar services, sans the paycheck.
Steve Posner, Eco-Rep coordinator, said the Eco-Reps’ paycheck is an investment in the eco-literacy of UVM students.
The Eco-Reps’ weekly to-do list includes providing residence halls with compost services, and could include anything from planning farmers’ markets to conducting light bulb swaps and even contributing to University research with studies like “Weigh the Waste,” which took place last week at Simpson Unlimited Dining.
Events like these educate students and expose them to sustainable practices. In addition, there are actual financial returns in terms of the electricity savings that result from the bulb swaps.
So the question still stands: Are there students willing to do this on campus for free?
The Eco-Reps’ vision and hope for the future is a university with no need for Eco-Reps, because every student will be an Eco-Rep in their own way, doing what we do on their own every single day. We essentially want to work ourselves out of a job.
Unfortunately, right now this is just not the case — the residential composting program would not exist if not for the Eco-Reps.
I can’t think of many students who would volunteer to take out a bin of food scraps every two days, scrape food plates at Simpson or put themselves out there and connect with their peers to educate them about sustainable practices every single day.
This is what the Eco-Reps do. We get messy. We connect. We educate. And we get paid a small salary because we work hard and do our jobs well.
To volunteer visit www.uvm.edu/ecoreps.