Written by Louis Sherman
BSc (Hons) Applied Geography
Over my three years at Bournemouth University I have always thrown myself at every opportunity the university and SUBU in particular, has offered. From this blogging position, through to being a PAL leader as well as a SUBU Volunteer Leader. However, my true passion at BU has been the environmental opportunities it has offered.
I was fortunate enough to start my studying at Bournemouth at the same time as a small environmentalist group was beginning to start and grow. As a geography student I naturally gravitated towards these kinds of events and groups due to similar mind-sets, however I could never have begun to think about where this small decision could take me. Three years on and I am now the part-time officer for Environmental Activities within SUBU, a key contact for any green or environmental work at BU as well as regularly working with the university’s sustainability team, as well as a co-founder and this year’s President of the SUBU Green Taskforce. It is this final opportunity that has led to so much personal growth, changes at BU and overall expansion of the green and environmental movement at the university.
At the end of my first year, the incoming SUBU President, Chloe Schendel-Wilson as well as the environmental part-time officer at that time, Stefan Haas, put together a group of like-minded environmental students with the idea of forming what has now become this Green Taskforce. At the time it just seemed a good idea of linking green people together to get to know each other, but what it has led to for BU and myself has been remarkable. In the context of BU, it has led to the introduction of the BU reusable mug scheme, the divestment of fossil fuels as well as the huge increase in environmental events. However, for me personally it has provided even more opportunities. With the help and support of this group I have gone on to give talks on our work at BU in the local area, got involved with a vast amount of local community events as well as meet a huge body of new people who we have now been able to link with BU and SUBU to develop local community schemes and projects to increase environmental awareness and knowledge.
All this hard work has led to so much change and positivity at BU and SUBU. This week however it led to something even bigger for me, when I was awarded the first ever Green Impact Student Award at SUBU’s annual glitzy Activities Awards.
To win this award has meant so much to me. It has shown me how appreciated the work I have carried out at SUBU has been, as well as how effective it has been. I am so proud to have won this award, and been part of a journey that started three years ago. At that time the environmentalist students were small–fry ‘crazy’ students who wanted to create just tiny change at SUBU. SUBU Green is now its own department, with two members of dedicated staff, a dedicated full-time officer as well as having its own taskforce. To have been a part of this is genuinely humbling and the work we have done is astonishing. This year I sadly have to leave BU, but know I leave my environmental work in the capable hands of a whole student body and department to take it forward and make new, innovative changes. So although this green award was given to me, I share it with all those who put the foundations in place and who have worked with me to achieve this work and these changes.
By Louis Sherman