Courtney Bailey, Staff Writer
With the honor of a DuPont grant recently being awarded to Wingate
University, both faculty and students have begun collaborating together to form a new sustainability group that will hopefully launch the campus and local community into a more environmental existence. From energy meters being installed on campus to an “Earth Week” planned for the upcoming spring semester. The visionary ideas of this group are already beginning to take form in very exciting ways.
Initially called Blue and Gold Makes Green, the sustainability group now possesses a catchy acronym for its name: BIGG. This stands for “Bulldogs Into Going Green”. The acronym comes from the creative suggestions of Professor Debbi Brock and her marketing team. Their involvement, as well as that of the Student Government Association and faculty, is passionate about sustainability making BIGG an all-encompassing organization.
“This is a group for everyone,” Dr. Catherine Wright, a theology and ethics professor and faculty advisor to BIGG, said. “Every person has a talent that is needed in this group. Whether you’re a football player, a journalist, a swimmer—everybody has a place at the table of the sustainability group. Everyone is needed. The only way to make sustainable change is to have everyone involved.”
Dr. Wright feels that this sustainability group has the potential to turn into an extremely positive component of the university and surrounding community. Provided that students take the initiative to become involved and have their voices heard.
“Many people are passionate about this on campus and would like to see sustainability as part of our plan moving forward,” Dr. Wright acknowledged. “This group is here to get ideas from students. We want to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.”
The open-forum approach to BIGG is hopefully what will make it successful and sustainable for years to come. The DuPont grant requires its university recipient to create a more sustainable campus, and in order to accomplish this change at Wingate, multiple organizations must be involved. BIGG seeks to draw in members from all registered student organizations, faculty and the Wingate community.
“Faculty and students need to know that this committee plans on being around for years and years to come,” Trevor McKenzie, a junior Mathematics major and member of BIGG, said.“But the only way that we can make anything happen is if the whole campus is in on it. Make it a call to action. Nothing can happen with just one group.”
Kyle Ferrebee, a junior Business Management major and member of BIGG, also echoed the sentiments of Dr. Wright and McKenzie. “I believe that students, faculty, and even the town of Wingate need to understand that the group is still trying to construct itself, and that it has a huge opportunity to positively impact the entire Wingate community—if, and only if, it receives some meaningful participation from motivated members of the campus and community that wish to leave a positive legacy.”
BIGG hopes to further educate the campus on its purpose and future goals in the upcoming spring semester through projects, events, and lectures. As of right now, the group is still attempting to establish its identity.
On November 18, the group began the process of adopting its constitution and by-laws. All students, faculty, and local community members are welcome to attend the weekly BIGG meetings on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. located in Hayes. “We need the campus to reach out for change,” McKenzie said. “We invite anyone to come to our weekly meetings. Anyone can help.”
Edited by: Brooke Griffin and Kyndra Sanden