Thursday September 4, 2008

Learning and Living Green

A new learning-living community for first-year students focused on sustainability has been in high demand and may be creating more green awareness.

Call it sustainability, the "green" movement or concern for the environment, but whatever it's called – it's very popular with a new generation.

Within the first 24 hours of availability, students at the University of Dayton snapped up all 50 slots in UD's first learning-living community for first-year students focused on sustainability, energy and the environment.

The initiative drew the attention of ABC22/Fox 45 reporter and UD grad Erin Meyer, who reported on the sustainability community on Sept. 2.

Clustered on the fifth and sixth floors of Marycrest, students are already practicing recycling and trying to reduce use of plastics, such as water bottles, according to student Paige Gilligan.

They've been drawn to the learning-living community from majors as varied as engineering, education and business, said physics professor Robert J. Brecha, who is leading the sustainability initiative across campus.

In addition to living together, the students will learn from common reading materials on the environment and sustainability during the fall term.

In winter, they'll engage in interdisciplinary seminars, joining faculty members from across the University to explore the issuefrom a variety of perspectives, Brecha said. Topics will include climate science, energy engineering, public policy, ethics and philosophy, Catholic social teaching and economics.

Brecha said there has been growing interest across the University in relating curriculum to sustainability and in implementing campus programs, such as installing rain gardens and increasing recycling efforts.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or