Survey seeks UHCL's community responses to key questions about sustainability on campus
University of Houston-Clear Lake’s Green Hawks, a student organization focused on encouraging the awareness of sustainable environmental practices, is surveying students, faculty, staff and alumni to find out how important it is to them to improve sustainability practices on campus.
Nicole Cloutier, a post-baccalaureate biological science student who is active in Green Hawks, said that a short survey has been deployed online so that the entire UHCL community has an opportunity to participate and express their interest in sustainability.
“This is the third annual survey and we are hoping to get a very broad range of respondents,” Cloutier said. “We want to reach the people who aren’t in our own specific circle. We want to break out and reach every organization and group at UHCL who have different concerns and areas of interest than us, so we can find out what everyone thinks.”
The data the Green Hawks have collected from previous surveys has already proven to be useful. “As a result of our previous surveys, UHCL is now an official participant in the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System, which is a worldwide program of institutions of higher learning,” she said. “Being a participant in STARS helps organizations trade best practices on how to improve sustainability on college campuses. It’s amazing what some colleges are doing.”
Associate Professor of Management Dina Abdelzaher, who is the Green Hawks’ faculty adviser, said that sustainability was one of UHCL’s core values as an institution. “The university has indicated they care about this issue very much,” Abdelzaher said. “We want to measure how we stand on it through this survey, so we can improve. Students are a key stakeholder in this university, so if it’s something they care about, it’s their chance to voice it.”
As the student body changes, Abdelzaher said, the university now has the issue of sustainability top of mind. “We want to document and gauge the awareness and interest of our students and benchmark it to previous years,” she said.
Abdelzaher said that she, like a lot of students, had chosen to come to UHCL because of its priority on sustainability and environmental preservation. “I joined the College of Business because environmental management was part of that college,” she said. “To find environmental management in business was a differentiator for me.”
She said the survey would help find out the extent to which students followed sustainable practices in their life, and what they wished to see on their campus. “I strongly encourage everyone to take the survey.”
The Green Hawks survey was activated on April 20 to kick off Earth Week and the link will remain live until Saturday, April 25, at midnight.