Introducing: Your 2014 SAGE Committees

The Office of Sustainability SAGE Ambassador program brings together students, faculty, and staff interested in learning more about sustainability. The Office holds trainings to empower Ambassadors with the technical know-how to make their offices, buildings, and classrooms more sustainable. After training, Ambassadors serve as advisors to their peers on all things sustainability – and enjoy inside access to the Office of Sustainability and SAGE Ambassador community. Ambassadors can be students, staff, faculty or other members of the UChicago community, so contact the Office of Sustainability if you’re interested in joining the growing sustainability movement at UChicago.

This year, Ambassadors will come together to form three strategic committees on the following topics: Local Food, RSO Roundtables, and Earth Fest 2014. These committees meet regularly to collaborate on projects that make a visible impact on campus.  Read on for more committee details, and let us know what area you’d like to focus on when you contact the office.

Local Food Committee

Last year, the Environment, Agriculture, and Food Working Group’s Local Food Team studied the benefits of local food sourcing in the Hyde Park area. Definitions of “local food” range widely, and are often quite flexible. For example, food vendor Aramark defines “locally sourced products” as all products that are produced, processed, packaged, and/or headquartered within 150 miles of campus. EAF’s report dives in deep to evaluate factors like cost and returns, local economic development, greenhouse gas emissions, health, and neighborhood engagement. Using EAF’s rubric, Local Food committee members will collaborate with Aramark to better understand the benefits and impacts of staple food items. This committee will also be heading up “Veg Week” – stay tuned for more on that soon.

RSO Roundtable Committee

The University of Chicago is home to hundreds of registered student organizations (RSOs) working on a variety of issues – including sustainability. The SAGE RSO Roundtable Committee brings together undergraduate and graduate student leaders from across campus who are working to advance sustainability on a local, national, or global scale. The Roundtable provides leaders with the opportunity to communicate directly with related student groups, interested faculty and staff, and the Office of Sustainability. These meetings are designed to enable student groups to collaborate, brainstorm, and identify additional opportunities to accelerate progress toward their respective goals.

Earth Fest 2014 Committee

This year, as in prior years, we will rely heavily on our SAGE Ambassadors to coordinate and host Earth Fest! In 2010, we took on water issues with “They Came From the Canal.” 2011 examined our modern food system with “Children of the Corn,” 2012’s “Recreate” encouraged the reimagining of waste, and last year we volunteered you as Tributes in our “Climate Games.” What’s the theme for 2014? We need old and new committee members to let us know! This year’s committee will assist the sustainability office in developing, communicating, and implementing programming for Earth Fest 2014. Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s theme.