Washburn environmentalists hoping for greener, more efficient campus

Kyle Almond

A new student organization dedicated to protecting the environment has formed at Washburn. The name hasn’t been finalized yet, but the group that will be the Washburn Tree Huggers or Eco-Bods drafted a constitution Thursday, Oct. 18.

The organization started when Kellis Bayless, Washburn biology lecturer, sent a blanket e-mail to biology students asking if any of them would be interested in an organization dedicated to environmental education and activism. Of the 30 or so interested respondents, sophomore Alyssa Morse stepped up to lead the formation of the organization.

The yet-to-be-named club is dedicated to education and activism on environmental issues, especially, but not exclusively, energy issues. The club is not meant to be a group of students speaking from one viewpoint but a hodgepodge that will promote discussion of a common interest, the welfare of the planet.

“I want to work with people,” said Bayless. “I don’t just want to throw things in people’s faces.”

Some of the programs the organization is planning include a look at Washburn’s electrical consumption and possible ways to make the campus more energy-efficient, educational programs on mountain top removal coal mining, a possible collaboration with Washburn Student Government Association’s “Washburn All Green” committee and participation in a “Focus The Nation” week.

“Focus The Nation” is ordinarily a national event taking place Jan. 31. The club would like to make it a week-long event to raise awareness and knowledge of environmental issues, particularly global warming. Planning is already underway for the event, which is sure to prove one of the more ambitious projects of the organization.

For more information or to sign up for the organization, contact Bayless at [email protected]