Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

“Things are looking a lot better”: Sustainability Coordinator Jacqui Moy joins Emerson’s sustainability team

Sofia Waldron

The Emerson Dining Hall trash cans frequently hold the wrong kind of waste. Whether it be a banana peel in the recycling bin or plastic water bottles in the compost, it is no secret that Emerson students struggle to sort their waste correctly. 

Each Emerson student wastes about 280 pounds of dining hall food each year due to a lack of transparency in waste disposal, said Jacqui Moy, Emerson’s new sustainability coordinator. In a perfect world, she says, all Emerson students would know how to dispose of waste properly—but currently, this is not the case.

After being appointed the sustainability coordinator in September 2023, Moy has quickly become accustomed to improper waste disposal while promoting sustainability to the Emerson student body. However, this is not the first time Moy has worked so closely with the issue of waste. 

Moy attributes her knowledge of sustainability at the higher education level to her work on a student sustainability team during her undergraduate time at Syracuse University and, later, New York University. 

“I was working with the office of sustainability a lot in my undergrad,” Moy explained. “To be able to take that experience as a student and apply it as a full-time staff member, I thought, would be a really cool experience.”

Moy found an unexpected passion for sustainability as an undergraduate student and hopes sharing sustainability messages will inspire a similar passion in Emerson students. One of the goals she hopes to accomplish during her time at Emerson is to bridge the gap between sustainability practices and students at Emerson who need to be made aware of the simple, easy lifestyle changes that help reduce their carbon footprint.

Moy added that because she is a recent graduate, she understands students’ experience interacting with sustainability teams. She said that her time as the sustainability committee chair for the NYU Student Government Assembly and her work as a 2040 Now Ambassador for NYU’s Office of Sustainability prepared her for her new role at Emerson. 

In terms of student engagement, Associate Director of Sustainability Jennifer Lamy said Moy’s time at Emerson is already benefiting Emerson’s sustainability goals. 

“We’re already seeing, after just a few months of having [Moy] here, a lot more focus on waste,” Lamy said. Excessive waste is one of Emerson’s most pressing sustainability issues. “Our numbers are looking better in that competition than in the past, so from a pure performance in the competition point of view, things are looking a lot better.”

Lamy attests to the importance of integrating sustainability into the everyday lives of students. Lamy’s work focuses largely on aiding Emerson in its goal to be carbon neutral by 2030. Lamy oversees Moy in implementing practices such as reducing and offsetting Emerson’s greenhouse gas emissions, advancing climate justice on campus, increasing its waste diversion rate, and bringing awareness to sustainability issues. 

Lamy hopes that in addition to helping improve sustainability at the college, students will continue to consider it beyond their time at Emerson.

“I want everyone to graduate from Emerson knowing how sustainability fits into their field of work that they’re going to take on after college,” Lamy said.

Lamy hopes to use initiatives like the Campus Race to Zero Waste to help achieve this goal. The Campus Race to Zero Waste is an eight-week-long waste-reduction competition between colleges and universities nationwide. Since 2013, Emerson participates annually, having placed third in the “Energy” category last year.

Moy and student fellows developed the Scouts for Sustainability app, a reward system for sustainability practices like using a reusable water bottle, properly sorting waste in the dining hall, and recycling and composting at high rates. As an offshoot of the Race to Zero Waste, Scouts for Sustainability aims to stoke internal competition between students for a good cause. 

Moy said that this internal competition, which targets the Emerson community, encourages students and faculty to get excited about participating in sustainability practices.

Lamy explained that the Scouts for Sustainability app helps students keep track of all their progress on different sustainability challenges throughout these next couple of months. The more students engage with the app and complete challenges, the more rewards they can receive. She said prizes will be given to those who complete most activities and attend the semester-long sustainability events.

The Scouts for Sustainability initiative is just one way Moy is making sustainability more interesting at Emerson. She said students interested in learning more about sustainability are encouraged to follow the team’s blog, Sustainable Emerson.  

As for the improperly sorted waste, Moy sympathizes with students. 

“It can be confusing at times, going up to all the different signs, especially when they don’t have the item that you are disposing of,” she said. “That’s a big thing that we’re focusing on, especially with the Race to Zero Waste, [educating on] where to put your trash, where to put your compost, where to put your recycling.” 

Moy wants to hear from students about their experiences, so she can better help them become more educated on sustainability.

Bridging the gap between consistent sustainability practices and students, she said, is as simple as “letting us know what you want to see and any questions that you have about sustainability.” 

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About the Contributor
Katherine Cressman
Katherine Cressman, News Co-Editor
Katherine Cressman is a sophomore journalism major from Bucks County, Pennsylvania and serves as the Beacon's News Editor and beat reporter for SGA. On campus, she is the Secretary for Xi Gamma Nu and the President of Achoired Taste. When she is not writing, you can find her playing tennis or watching cat videos on TikTok. To keep up with Katherine and her work, visit her website or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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