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Kristen Twohey 

Kristen Twohey educates and empowers her roommates living in student residence.

Livin’ la vida verde

April 2, 2009

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Bringing students together to enhance their educational experience in a 360-degree perspective is the model for the living-learning floors in the student residence buildings. Residence life training programs have several themes, including the green living community, which debuted in September 2008 to engage resident students with Bill 44 and the sustainability advisory committee’s mandates. Kristen Twohey, a second-year psychology student from Edmonton, is the green living-learning liaison officer who took the initiative to engage her 21 roomies in McTaggart-Cowan Hall.

"I want to make the world a beautiful place to live by making wise decisions on how I choose to live my life today," says Twohey. She’s quick to add that it’s fun. Some of the activities include awareness and educational challenges such as encouraging people to turn off the water while lathering up in the shower and using laundry racks to dry clothes. She even donated a rack to the green floor. Twohey also prepares earth-friendly handouts and writes in the cooperative newsletter.

Each week, she awards a coveted green-star plaque for eco-friendly performance, which the winner proudly displays on their dorm room door. Sustainability advisory committee member and fellow resident Josina Vink is planning a res-wide clean-up event for eco-week, followed by an organic breakfast.

Liz Hilliard, manager of residence-life training programs, embraces the theme-floor concept. "We foster ideas students provide and encourage student-led initiatives," she says, "Sustainability issues are evident and are ever-changing." Hilliard’s goal is enhancing the residence-life experience and making "sustainability sustainable." And she says this program’s student-initiated ideas "are a breath of fresh air."

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