Students Rewarded for their Sustainable Efforts

Red Raiders receive scholarships for their environmental initiatives on campus and Lubbock community.

One way Texas Tech students can help with sustainable efforts is participating in the annual Arbor Day tradition.

One way students can help with sustainable efforts is participating in the annual Arbor Day tradition.

Students who don’t mess with Texas Tech are reaping the rewards of preserving the campus and community.

As Texas Tech celebrates Sustainability Week, University Student Housing is honoring 10 students for their efforts in maintaining an environmentally sustainable campus with scholarships.

Scholarship recipients include Stuart Davidson from Lubbock, Miranda Dominguez-Morgan from Spring Branch, Chris Gerik from San Antonio, Loren Hall from Arlington, Alex Jenks-Kline from Morrison, Colo., Garrett Macnee from Arlington, Travis Reddick from Ferris, Meghan Robertson from Lubbock, Kirsten Smith from El Paso and Victoria Young from Shallowater.

Students were selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants. Winning recipients were chosen from their essays on sustainability and how Texas Tech and the Lubbock community can be more efficient.

The scholarships are funded through recycle rebates collected by Student Housing and Hospitality Services, said Melanie Tatum, unit manager for University Student Housing.

“This was a way to show a commitment to sustainability and to let the campus and the community know we are recycling and making a difference,” Tatum said. “Most of the recyclables came from the students; it only made sense to give back to the students in the form of a scholarship.”

Winning students show their environmental awareness by using refillable cups in dining areas, recycling personal trash in Texas Tech’s available receptacles, and educating their family and peers about sustainability. Several students are members of Clean Up The Environment (CUTE) committee.

“I have participated in several campus clean-ups through the CUTE, but I feel that the best way to promote sustainability is to make it a personal responsibility,” Young said. “I recycle all that I can, and I encourage those around me to recycle in hopes that they too will pass on the message of recycling.”

More than 25,000 plants were planted by 107 campus organizations.

One student is helping her employer begin a recycling program in her workplace. Another operates a lawn service and recycles the clippings for composting. Several students plant trees or plants in their home or dorm room.

Gerik said his recycling efforts reflect his pride for Texas Tech.

“I try to lead by example and show that recycling is important to me and that I care about the environment,” Gerik said. “We all want Texas Tech to be the best and this is to me the best way to promote sustainability to the students.”

Hall agreed with Gerik’s sentiment. She said students have many opportunities to recycle items around campus.

“After all, Texas Tech students love doing their part to be better Red Raiders,” Hall said.

The students are mindful of the impact their choices have for the community. For many students, sustainable living is an important habit to form in college.

“Texas Tech is more than just a place to get a degree,” Young said. “It is a place to learn life’s lessons, and as a place that is teaching future leaders of the world, green living is valuable lesson to teach. I believe that green living should be important for everyone who wants to maintain the beauty that is our Earth. By encouraging green living, Texas Tech is teaching students to be conscious of their impact on the environment.”