Tufts is widely known for its student engagement. We all know this. It’s also well known that we have a bit of a green streak here, proudly supporting our Office of Sustainability and the Eco Reps. As we dive headfirst into another semester on the hill, it’s a good time to step back and appreciate the community we are a part of, the community that has been built on decades of Jumbos’ voices and their dedication to shaping both Tufts and the world into a better place, one person at a time.
When I first arrived at Tufts two years ago and joined this community, I was in awe of the dedication I saw in students to what was important to them. As I’ve spent more time here, my eyes have been opened to what it means to have such a vibrant community spirit on campus. I have seen peers go out of their way to constantly take more sustainable actions, and I have watched as the entire student body rallied together time and time again, showing our dedication to improving our campus.
Over time, these observances have caused me to question what it means to me to be part of a community so dedicated to sustainability. Asking myself this question helped me see the connection between being a university of student engagement and a place of community, and caused a transformation of my understanding of this community into a group made of individuals, each acting consistently in ways that better the entire group as a whole. It showed me that the green streak running through the community is not made of paint but of life. It’s made of people and their actions that build day by day, until the impact can be seen across the entire campus. I realized that dedication to sustainability is a living, breathing thing that can be seen everywhere you look.
So, with the start of a new semester, I ask you to remember that a community is made of individuals, and each individual has an impact on the betterment that the community as a whole can create. I ask you to take a moment to look in the mirror and ask yourself what you do each day to build our community into a better place, and what you could do tomorrow that you didn’t think of today. What is the betterment you would like to see on campus, and how can you increase the strength of the herd through your own individual, everyday actions?
For me, betterment entails movement toward a more sustainable campus, similar to so many Jumbos before me. I ask you to also consider what it means to you to be a part of a community dedicated to sustainability. And I hope that, like me, it will help you appreciate the role that community plays in sustainability.