Our leaders of today

January 30, 2017

A group of MacEwan students lead sustainability initiatives on campus


Students are often referred to as our “future leaders,” but 12 MacEwan University students are proving that they can be leaders right now.

The Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC) is new this school year, and encourages students from all faculties and schools to take on sustainability issues on campus.

"The SLC brings together like-minded student leaders at MacEwan to work on various sustainability projects," says council member Elliott Elm, a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce (Supply Chain Management major).

Among their projects, the students are creating bike lending and textbook donation programs. They’re also laying out the groundwork for on-campus solar-charged energy benches that can be used to recharge laptops and phones.

"A lot of these projects take a long time to get going,” says Elliott, highlighting the amount of research that’s gone into getting these projects started.

For Elliott, most of his work has involved connecting with the MacEwan community about their needs for a bike rental program, or a “bike library” as he calls it. Because the SLC encourages the use of low-impact modes of transportation on and around campus, Elliott says the bike library will make it more accessible for people to do that.

The SLC covers more than transportation initiatives, however.

Shad Tebay, council member and fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce (Management major), is helping put together MacJam, an on-campus concert in March. The sound equipment will be powered by the kinetic energy generated by audience members on stationary bikes.

“We want to show people that you can achieve a lot of sustainability goals in a fun way," she says.

Being part of the SLC is about more than concerts and bike libraries.

"I started university not knowing anything about sustainability, but I’ve grown a lot over the past four years," Elliott says. "I want to pass that knowledge on and help grow that culture at MacEwan."

"I want to inspire people to make change and to make conscious decisions," says Shad. “If students see that they can make small changes that collectively have a greater impact, they could be encouraged to affect similar change in the workplaces where they end up in the future.”

While the council members create change for tomorrow, they’re acting as leaders for today.

Read more stories from the Office of Sustainability:

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