An Eco-rep is a peer-to-peer educational outreach opportunity for students at Valparaiso University. Eco-reps help create a culture of sustainability on campus through activism, research, and project implementation.  Whether you’re wanting opportunities to volunteer at the Office of Sustainability or enhance your knowledge on sustainability, the Eco-rep program is for you.  There are two experiences available, the researching eco-rep intern program or Eco-Rep Alliance.

Experience 1: Researching

The Eco-rep researching program works with the Office of Sustainability to explore research in sustainability. This researching experience gives students a chance to truly delve into their passions for the environment and make an impact on campus and their community. The Office of Sustainability is currently focusing on six areas of interest: energy and emissions, campus operations, transportation, health and wellness, environmental quality, and learning and service. These areas will be the overhead topics of the various researching opportunities for the Eco-Reps to explore.  Eco-Reps are chosen on a per semester basis, but if participation and dedication was of quality the title can be renewed. The student also has the option to set the Eco-Rep position as credits (speak with advisor about internship research credits)

Expectations:

Eco-Reps are expected to select a project to focus on throughout the semester. This can be anywhere from creating programs or research. One to three hours per week are expected in order to maintain the title of an Eco Rep.

Examples for Projects:

-Composting: research process of composting or implement a composting program on Valparaiso University

-Microplastics: research impact of microplastics in Northern Indiana or organize beach clean-ups throughout the semester or remove plastic bags from campus

-Landscaping: research impact of landscaping or plants on the environment or build a butterfly garden on a segment of campus

-Health: research changes with the new dining service program for waste, overeating, or other possible impacts

 

Experience 2: Eco-Rep Alliance “ERA”

Let’s start a new ERA at Valparaiso University. The Eco- Rep Alliance known as ERA will work to create positive change in residential halls and on campus. Students who choose experience 2 will act as environmental activist here on campus. ERA will partner with student clubs, organizations, and departments to promote campus sustainability events on campus. Students will also be required to host their own small programs and initiatives. Students will also help with the Green Your Dorm Room program; that certifies students who incorporate sustainable practices into their everyday lives. Students will be required to volunteer a minimum of 15 hours a semester.  Executive positions will be held by students who want to become leaders within ERA.

Requirements for Experience 1 and 2:

-Must be dedicated to solving environmental problems and implementing solutions

-Must be willing to put time forward throughout the semester

-Must be able to work both on a team and individually to make valuable progress

-Most importantly, an Eco Rep must set a good environmental example to fellow students and spread ideas of sustainability

-No previous experience is required

Benefits of Becoming an Eco Rep:

Becoming an Eco Rep is a big step. It requires time investment and effort. However, the student’s reward is dependent on the effort that they put in: by dedicating their time to their project as an Eco Rep, there is great potential for reward. The student has the option to use the position as a credit for participating in undergraduate research in Experience 1. Eco Reps have the potential to see a real change on campus which not only is great for the environment but provides the student with valuable experience. As an Eco Rep, you have the chance to guide your own project or research with the help of the Office of Sustainability. This is great experience that employers will later see as dedicated leadership and problem solving, qualities valuable to any employer. Being an Eco-rep allows you to work with many departments and clubs on campus to grow your knowledge in the sustainability field.

To apply for an Eco Rep Experience, Click Here

 

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If you are interested in taking part in energy initiatives, contact us via email at sustainenergy@valpo.edu