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University of Windsor Alarmingly Among Greenest Campuses

The following article is satire. Facts have been skewed for your entertainment.

by Joshua Boucher

The Princeton Review’s 2017 Guide to 375 Green Colleges has listed the University of Windsor one of the greenest university campuses in North America, and we are all deeply concerned. Schools were evaluated based on a “Green Rating” that considers sustainable and healthy student life, environmentally responsible university policies, and how well a school prepares students for working in a world shaped by environmental concerns. The University of Windsor earned a rating of 83 out of a possible 99.

“Obviously we’re very happy to be listed on the Green Guide,” said Bohn Legier, manager of Environmental Services at the University of Windsor. “But, dear God, the bar is remarkably low. I’ve lost count of all the times we’ve had to send recyclables to the landfill because people keep putting garbage in the wrong bin. And that’s not even the worst of it…”

Legier then looked out the window, longingly gazing toward the sky in contemplation of a more innocent time. A time when man lived in blissful ignorance of the scars they leave behind before they had gained too much power for them to handle. After a short while, he quietly muttered under his breath, “We don’t even compost.

The University of Windsor’s relatively high ranking was attributed to the environmentally focused efforts that are currently in place. Specifically mentioned were the Environmental Sustainability Advocate, sustainable food options, bike-share program, and bus passes for students.

The Environmental Sustainability Advocate is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology who specializes in migration and migrant rights. Her responsibilities as Advocate include advising the Vice-President Academic and the Vice-President Planning and Administration on ways to make the university operate in a manner that is more ecologically sustainable. The professor was chosen for this position on the basis that, worst-case scenario, if she doesn’t improve our campus sustainability she can at least hypothesize what went wrong from a sociological perspective.

In an interview earlier this week Sandy Haversa, the VP Planning and Administration, went into more detail about the selection process. “People usually wonder why the position wasn’t given to a professor who specializes in environmental sustainability,” Haversa explained.

“But if we were to hire someone from, say, Earth and Environmental Science or Civil Engineering, they’d probably give us a lot of suggestions for improving sustainability. By choosing someone less familiar with sustainability issues, we get fewer suggestions and we perform fewer tasks. We manage to save a lot of money this way, which is, frankly, a much more important type of green.”

Food Services also offer food that is locally produced, organic, or vegetarian. For example, residence students who regularly dine at the Crocodile Grill can enjoy healthy and nutritious vegetarian meals such as veggie burgers, macaroni and cheese, and water.

When asked why there are only two vegetarian options on the dinner menu (three if you count the garden salad), Davey McWanny, the Department Head of Food Services, explained that “items that don’t sell as well get taken off the menu. If there isn’t enough demand for certain dishes, there’s simply not much we can do.” When asked what they do about the students in residence who rely on vegetarian meals for every meal, McWanny was silent for a moment before responding, “the what now?”

Our alternative transit options, like our universal bus pass and bike-share program, are part of our university’s long tradition of sustainable transport that started up two years ago.

While the University of Windsor may be greener than many other Canadian universities, it is generally accepted that there is still plenty of room for improvement. The university’s administration has shown that they are very aware of the importance of environmental sustainability, and will continue to implement policies that reflect this growing concern.

The following italics contain true information from an email exchange with John Regier, the Manager of Environmental Services at the University of Windsor:

When recyclable waste is contaminated with trash, it is often sent to the landfill and does not get properly recycled. While this does happen at the University of Windsor, the frequency of this scenario is not known with any certainty. However, if the waste is properly sorted into the right bins, it is very likely to go through the proper recycling processes.

The University of Windsor also recycles other forms of waste, such as concrete, e-waste, pallets, light bulbs, and metals. Environmental Services are also hoping to begin composting in the near future.

Environmental Services also collaborates with alumni, faculty, and students for various environmental projects, such as conducting annual waste audits. The Ministry of the Environmental conducted an audit of the University of Windsor’s recycling last year and was “very happy with what they found,” according to Regier.

If any students are interested in assisting with this year’s waste audit, they can reach out to Regier at jregier@uwindsor.ca.


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