York St John University marks its first Green Week
Published: 16 March 2021
Organised in collaboration with York St John University Students' Union, Green Week is a celebration of sustainability with a number of events running from 15 to19 March.
The week has a wide range of online events, from panels with local businesses, to alumni involved in sustainable careers, to social media takeovers by student eco-bloggers, to ecological theatre performances.
Green Week was the brainchild of York St John University Students’ Union (YSJSU) President of Education Jenny Marchant. She said: “Green Week started as a concept when I ran in the YSJSU elections last year. One of my Manifesto points I was elected on was ‘both the University and the Students’ Union need to recognise the footprint we leave on the environment.’ Luckily York St John already has some fantastic groups, such as the Ecological Justice Group, which enabled us to work together to create a week jam packed with events.
“Especially in the student movement, the future is ours and it is important we are doing what we can to actively learn and understand what action needs to be taken, and what we can do in our day to day lives. There is still a long way to go, but York St John University and the SU want to do our part to enhance the current movement. It is also a very special moment to have a joint event between the staff community and the student body, with student volunteers shaping the week’s agenda, and staff supporting the creation of the activities.”
Among the highlights of the week is The Future’s Our Business, a discussion of how businesses, charities, and the education sector can seek new opportunities to become more sustainable. The panel includes representatives from the V&A, VetPartners and One Planet York, as well as Approved Food brand ambassador and anti-waste campaigner Jonathan Straight.
Dr Straight, an Honorary Graduate of York St John, said: “I am delighted to be involved with Green Week at York St John University. For my whole career, I have focused on sustainability - trying to minimise the impact of my business activities without taking anything away from future generations. I have been impressed with the way students are embracing this topic and the palpable interest they have in learning more. For these reasons, I am looking forward to being part of a panel sharing my knowledge and experience with others.”
Students are heavily involved in the week, with events including the Green Week Sustainability Challenge and presentations from the Ecological Justice Student Research team. They will share their ongoing work into how York St John University can best prepare students with the skills required for emerging green industries.
Organiser Rebecca Padgett from York Business School said: "My job is to help students grow in confidence so that they can be the best that they can be. It has been a real treat having students helping us organise this university wide event. Seeing them engage and being impactful has been so wonderful. It gives them invaluable skills and experiences for when they graduate."
Kate Cameron, a 2nd year events student said: “Participating in Green Week has enlightened my understanding of how my current daily practices can negatively impact the environment. Not only have I learned how to reduce my own carbon footprint, but I am now actively encouraging others to do the same. I have also had some brilliant hands on and practical experience of which I am so grateful for the opportunity- it's been hard but so enjoyable!"
For more about Green Week, search #YSJUGoGreen on social media.