Friday, March 2, 2012

SOS begins “green” initiative

By Emma Stenzel
Managing & Advertising Editor

Students Organizing Sustainability (SOS) is the new student-led organization committed to promoting sustainable practices at Saint Mary’s University and increasing awareness of current environmental issues.

SOS was founded in January by a group of environmentally minded students at SMU who hoped to improve the school’s sustainable efforts and advocate alternative solutions. They work to create new opportunities at SMU that will help preserve resources, reduce waste and encourage productive dialogue about environmentalism.

Tina Swanberg, founder and president of SOS, initiated the club after observing a number of areas where SMU could develop its sustainability.

“I noticed there was a lot of waste at our school, so I wanted to start with small projects and see if people were interested,” said Swanberg. “I just think that higher educated students should have a better understanding of sustainability and make the effort to actually practice it.”

Swanberg said she has several goals she would like SOS to accomplish before she graduates in May. She said among the club’s main priorities are to educate the campus about SMU’s recycling programs and to draw attention to the everyday actions that students can change in their own lives, such as avoiding disposables and plastic bottles, consuming less, saving electricity and not driving to campus from residence halls.

“We’ve all heard so many times, ‘Every effort counts!’” said Swanberg. “But really, every small thing does matter. So turn off the lights and recycle because it will go a long way.”

Club members are also interested in seeing SOS sustain itself as a campus organization, which will require the active and consistent participation from SMU students who are dedicated to improving the school’s carbon footprint.

SOS encourages all students to attend its weekly meetings held on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. in Toner Room B. Students can also connect with the club by “Liking” its Facebook page or reading its blog at

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