EcoReps was founded in 2005 by a team of students and administrators from the Office of Housing and Dining and Student Services. The brainchild of various offices under the leadership of Scott Wright, Vice-President of Campus Services, and a group of students led by Six Silberman and Coogan Brennan to create sustainable activism, policy, and infrastructure on Columbia’s campus. They were paid employees of Housing and Dining, serving as residence hall representatives seeking to increase the amount of sustainable living education to students through outreach and initiatives like reducing each building’s energy consumption and increasing the recycling rate in particular floors. Each EcoRep would be assigned a particular dormitory and the group would meet to outline specific projects. In 2007-2008, the program had its most successful year under this format, with EcoRep Hall of Famers Arielle Zucker and Hannah Lee in charge. In 2008-2009, this particular format failed because of the strain it put on its members, and in 2009-2010 coordinators Elizabeth Kipp-Giusti, Brenden Cline, Liz Allocco, and Todd Nelson re-imagined it as a functional student group without monetary compensation or residence hall assignment. Split up into various committees, beginning with Food and Water, Energy, Waste and Recycling, and ECO’s (the revamped version of the earlier residence hall format), the EcoReps increased their programming, recruitment, and impact on campus. In 2010-2011 with new coordinators Becca Rohrer, Stephen Yang, and Griff Curtis, the group expanded its membership base, programming, and added the Events and Green your Group committees. Looking forward to 2011-2012 with a host of excited committee heads, members, and the leadership team of coordinators Aida Conroy and Louis Smith, this year should be the best yet, with new initiatives, a new website, and new projects including the Data committee.
It’s about time to make more history! Contact us at Ecoreps@columbia.edu