This year, the theme of the Western Canada Sustainable Campuses Conference is ‘Campus as a Living Lab’, examining how students can take their education beyond the classroom and learn by implementing real projects in the community that make a difference.
As a volunteer for the conference, student leader Kim Burgess describes how planning the conference itself has been an opportunity for her to use the campus as a living lab. On the student planning committee, Kim has had the opportunity to design a conference that she would want to attend – a conference where students learn and collaborate together to strengthen initiatives happening on their campuses.
Kim’s first experience getting involved in a tangible project for sustainability was in the SFU dialogue program. The topic for her semester was Energy Consumption, and students organized a dialogue event which brought the community together to discuss “how to turn conservation from passive and unpleasant to something active and fun.” In this program, she learned that education wasn’t as narrow as she thought; she learned that she could learn a lot by doing. Also, through this process, Kim learned that she loved organizing events – specifically planning logistics.
This semester, Kim has been using her talents in organization and logistics to contribute to the planning of the Western Canada Sustainable Campuses Conference. The conference will be happening February 16-19. In addition to providing an opportunity for students to share what they are doing on their campuses, there will be a wide variety of workshops on a board range of topics including personal development, social media, fundraising, working with the university and academics, and sustainability. Kim hopes the conference will foster leadership and help leaders empower other leaders.
Register online by Friday, February 10!
by Sarah St. John, goBEYOND Campus Organizer SFU