New leader rebrands college sustainability group


The Eco-Corps will help maintain sustainability initiatives on campus like the K-Cup program. Madison Murillo / Beacon Correspondent

By Brynn O'Connor

Emerson’s new sustainability manager revived and remodeled the Eco-Reps program for the fall 2019 semester, renaming it the Eco-Corps.

Eco-Corps will have the same goal as Eco-Reps—to advocate environmental friendliness at Emerson. The community-based group will promote recycling, attend environmental field trips, host informative info sessions, and more to ensure the future of Emerson is environmentally conscious. 

The new sustainability manager, Catherine Liebowitz, released an official statement from the new student organization in an email to the Beacon.

“Emerson’s recognized green community, the Eco-Corps, empowers both individual and collective action through experiential learning, community engagement, and environmental stewardship,” she wrote. 

Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services Duncan Pollock credits the 2018 disbandment of Eco-Reps to students leaving the organization and the former sustainability manager, Amy Elvidge, leaving her position. 

Liebowitz took over the position as sustainability manager this past April. 

She selected three students on Sept. 10 to work as Eco-Ambassadors, which is the executive board of Eco-Corps. Approximately 13 students applied for the position of an Eco-Ambassador through Work Day—a new online hiring system. Liebowitz chose applicants to interview who are committed students with a passion for sustainability. 

The students will join two previously hired Eco-Ambassadors from earlier years. Each Eco-Ambassador, Liebowitz said, is required to work five hours per week. 

The student ambassadors will oversee Eco-Corps’ events and projects to make sure progress is being made. Liebowitz said that Eco-Corps have been tabling at various student employment fairs and at 172 Tremont Street to advocate for the organization. 

For students that did not get one of the three available, paid Eco-Ambassador positions, Liebowitz recommends they volunteer as an Eco-Corps member.

Liebowitz says that Eco-Corps employees may choose their level of involvement. 

On Sept. 11, the Eco-Corps hosted a “Climate Commitment Overview.”  In Piano Row, Eco-Corps invited any Emerson student to talk with them about climate commitment. 

“It’s for students to think about how they might participate or get involved, but really it’s to bridge that gap between what is climate commitment and how the student population interacts with that,” said Liebowitz. 

In an interview for the Beacon, Liebowitz said that, in early October, Eco-Corps will host a “Unite the Orgs” event to discuss strengths and weaknesses on campus in order to create a more environmentally friendly environment.

On November 8, the group plans to take a trip to Deer Island to study wastewater treatments.

The former Eco-Reps left a positive impression on junior Benjamin French.

“One of them was wearing an Earth costume, and they were super nice and they had me do a pledge on how to live sustainably on campus,” French said. “After filling out the pledge, they gave me a reusable water bottle that I still use all the time!” 

French, now the Co-President of the Emerson Green Collectiveanother sustainability group on campus—said he would be interested in working with the new Eco-Corps. The two organizations plan to come together at the Unite the Orgs event in October, along with yet another green group on campus, Earth Emerson. 

“The whole goal is to get all the people in one room together and figure out our priorities” Liebowitz said.