On Track- Saskatoon: Progress

Notes from Tracey:

In Saskatoon the meetings went quite well.

I was impressed with what we’ve accomplished collectively. Julia Jones from the University of Saskatchewan’s Sustainability Commitment Working Group was kind enough to welcome me to their multi-stakeholder meeting. I was smack down in the middle of a meeting steeped in SYC history. The first presentation was by Marc Desjardins who works for energy efficiency with Facilities Management, he talked of the progress in measuring GHG – from initially working with the tool by Cool Air Cool Planet – the Canadian version was created in partnership with SYC – to what’s been necessary for the President’s Pledge for action on Climate Change, and figuring out what it means to have signed on. Most importantly, the institution now needs to allocate a staff member’s time as it’s an intensive process to complete the audit.

Next the Board moved to updates from the various sub-groups: the process of defining what pertains to sustainability research, a final amendment to the definition of sustainability, and a report on how they will approach the legwork necessary to fill out the STARS assessment. Input was sought from the two student reps and even from me. I felt like I was living out the dream of students who have advocated for sustainability in the university for the past ten years – in the process of figuring it out. How do we measure this? What systems exist or need to be instilled so that this information is available. This board is figuring out the logistics for enabling sustainable practices. It reminded me of what was said at the birthday dinner in Edmonton, the student advocate had said that ideally sustainability is something that everyone can do. Sustainability just is. How we operate. And at the University of Saskatchewan these folks are making that possible, quietly, after the fanfare of a few years back when there was a question of whether or not sustainability would make it as a priority in the university’s integrated plan, these folks continue the processes.

Meanwhile back at the ranch. We are many students who wish for change. Who seek a better world. Who are looking to put our energy somewhere. Is it best suited building alternatives or re-investing in the structures that have shaped us? Do we have faith in ourselves to be able to re-energize these structures, to maintain our creative spirits. To continue to cultivate community where stream-lined processes and relations threaten to quiet our souls. I think we must answer a call to build the alternatives or to re-invest, but either way if you are dissatisfied you must keep seeking – to find the place where your joy meets the world’s need. Because, as the great quote on that topic says, what the world needs is more people who have come alive. Feel alive, believe. To me, that is the resistance we need.

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1 Comment


     /  January 24, 2011

    So who posted this?


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