The WashU Green Ambassador (WUGA) Program is a student-managed, peer-education program supported by the Office of Sustainability that orients new students to sustainability initiatives on WashU’s campus. WUGAs play a critical role in training first year students to adopt behaviors that align with WashU’s culture of sustainability, behaviors that they will carry with them during their time at WashU (and beyond).
Fall 2021 offers a unique opportunity to rethink and redesign the WUGA program as it continues to adapt to the 9-day Bear Beginnings first-year orientation program and to provide year-round leadership in coordinating the ResHall Composting Program. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic provide a backdrop and level of uncertainty around Move in and outreach programs. We continuously monitor current conditions, align with university policies, and adapt to meet the goals of the program while observing public health best practices.
Who Should Apply?
WUGA leadership is coordinating a team of individuals who are passionate about the environment, who want to influence WashU’s culture, and who have demonstrated strong leadership. Rising sophomores who have been involved in CS40, Eco Reps and student-run “green” groups are encouraged to apply. Students who will continue living in S40 residences are also a good fit, as they will be able to coach their neighbors. Returning WUGAs are welcome, of course, as are rising sophomores, juniors and seniors who are interested in shaping student perspectives and behaviors as a pathway to increasing campus sustainability culture.
In addition, students seeking a highly-concentrated volunteer experience before the stress of classes kick in will find this program a great match. While WUGAs determine their own schedule, students will have the opportunity to earn as many as 50 volunteer hours in the 10 days before classes start!
After receiving training, WUGAs will be heavily engaged with highly-visible sustainability initiatives during Bear Beginnings. Initiatives include: decreasing the environmental footprint of Move-In by collecting and recycling cardboard, styrofoam, and soft plastics; teaching first year students (and their parents) how to sort waste during meal time; distributing compost buckets for residential composting; and managing waste sorting stations at First 40 events.
During the academic year, WUGAs work closely with EcoReps and the Office of Sustainability to plan sustainable programming and educate first year students about topics like waste sorting, alternative transportation, sustainable food choices, and more. Building on the launch of the ResHall Compost Program expansion, the 20/21 academic year will have specific emphasis on promoting and implementing this popular program.
- Participate in a pre-move in training in August (times TBC).
- Volunteer on first year Move-In Day (times TBC) to assist with waste sorting.
- Participate in the Sustainability Leadership Retreat (dates TBC, overnight/offsite), subject to COVID conditions.
- Provide waste sorting coaching for at least 4 meals during Bear Beginnings.
- Staff waste stations for at least 2 First 40 events.
- Complete the required 25 hours of WUGA service during Bear Beginnings.
- Participate in the promotion of the Res Hall Compost Program and help distribute collection buckets to those who opt-in.
- Maintain an engaged role on your WUGA floor(s) during the academic year.
- Be a role model for sustainability on campus!
Benefits of being a WUGA*
- Receive extensive training on sustainability initiatives established on WashU’s campus.
- Participate in an all-expenses-paid 2 day leadership training at Shaw Nature Reserve.
- Become an expert in waste sorting, composting and recycling.
- Eligible for free early move-in (on campus housing fees are covered).
- T-shirts identifying students as WUGAs.
- Breakfast and lunch provided on move in day.
- Opportunity to carry out a sustainability project that will significantly impact the campus community.
- Leadership development and valuable experience for those interested in working in sustainability-related fields.
- Networking opportunities with a broad range of students interested in sustainability projects.
- Coach, mentor and support first-year students.
*All WUGA programming is subject to change, pending the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic.