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Housing sustainability awareness increases

Submitted by Ricky Harris on September 18, 2011 – 1:59 pmNo Comment

The new school year brought a new graduate assistant position within the Office of Student Housing, which was created to focus on sustainability efforts within the residence halls.

Tremaine Williams, who was a resident assistant as an undergraduate, began studying for his master’s in student affairs this semester. The position is part of that program. He also serves as a part-time hall director one week a month.  “It is a very interesting combination … I believe this is the ideal situation,” Williams said.

“As the sustainability coordinator, my mission [is] to make students more aware of the world that is beyond University Avenue and Fair Park Boulevard,” Williams said.  He said that educating students does not just involve getting them in a classroom, but rather teaching them civility, accountability and awareness of those around them.  “I believe it is my goal to take advantage of this opportunity by creating a sense of reality for students,” he continued.

Williams said there are multiple programs already in place, including The Green Team, a student organization that serves as the sustainability committee for the Office of Student Housing.  Members of this organization are known as sustainability officers and work alongside Williams to introduce new ideas, evaluate the effectiveness of current initiatives and vote on future initiatives.  Williams serves as the organization’s adviser.  The leadership of the team consists of Tekeytha Martin, chief sustainability officer and Brandon Sims, vice sustainability officer.  Williams said that all residents are encouraged to join.

Other programs include a sustainability seminar, participation in Little Rock’s Can the Grease program, a sustainability pledge campaign and other efforts to inform residents of basic ways to live a sustainable lifestyle.

“Sustainability in housing is very new.  As my team and I learn and continue to grow, sustainability in housing will also,” Williams said.  “A major part of our program is research.  We evaluate the sustainability related efforts of other colleges and universities to better understand sustainability’s place in higher education.”

Residents interested in getting involved can email Williams at tbwilliams@ualr.edu or contact the Office of Student Housing at (501) 661-1743.

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