Sustainability department moves into Riley Center

Alexandra Feller , Writer

The new sustainability coordinator, Reza Refaei, has many things in store for the year to come. Refaei will be the third coordinator the office has had in the last three years.

Their office has been relocated from the Observatory to Riley room 301. This is for Refaei’s convenience because he is closer to the College Activities Office, community and engagement services, and multicultural programs office.

“I can collaborate and work with a lot of other departments instead of being in my own building” said Refaei.

Some of Refaei’s goals include revamping the garden. With money provided by ASLC, he wants to have paid staff positions in the Linfield Garden, as well as to buy new equipment.

Refaei says, “one of the other things we are looking into is what it would take to start an outdoor recreation program and use that as a bridge to promote sustainability.” The outdoor recreation program would include 14-18 trips a semester. These trips would be 1 to 8 long and would include things like hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, and skiing.

Other programs the Sustainability Office plans to run this year include an array of DIY activities that include succulent planting, pot design, and upcycling.

One of Refaei’s goals is to get students out of their dorms and outside. Refaei says, “I think appreciating the landscape at Linfield is a first step for people. You could promote wellness in that way and people create a connection actually to the campus rather than to Netflix.”

Refaei said he hopes that through the Sustainability Office’s efforts, Linfield’s students body might feel an eco-friendly trend more than ever this year.

Sophomore Megan Angier is Refaei’s right hand. With the official title of sustainability specialist, she helps the office by ensuring the voice of the students is represented in decisions.

Long-term sustainability is extremely important to Angier, an environmental studies major, and she constantly looks for opportunities to improve eco-friendly attitudes on campus.

This year, the Sustainability Office is going to be closely working with RHA, to create monthly topics for Green Chairs. Angier is also the Cozine Creek Conservation Core president. The restoration project started in 2016 with the aspiration to clean the invasive species out of and conserve Cozine Creek. She encourages anyone to come to meetings and get involved with the restoration project.

Angier brings attention to the value of community sustainability and says “if you know you could bring a [reusable] cup to starbucks, bring a cup to starbucks. Everyone needs to pull their own weight in order to make sustainability happen.”