As British students studying here at UCSB, we have obviously had many new experiences. UCSB has introduced us to such delights as sunshine, Woodstock’s pizza and a multitude of highly motivated student organizations.
Our home university is well known for its environmental department. However, since coming to UCSB, we have learned that it takes more than a campus’ academic merit to have an environmentally driven university: It takes the aforementioned motivated student groups fighting for improvement. Back home we have student groups, but they are nowhere near as active as the groups that your campus is lucky to have.
One group that we have had the pleasure of being involved with here is the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board (EAB). The EAB works on many environmental and social issues – though probably it is wrong to bifurcate the two. In the short time we have shared with the group its projects have included work to improve the sustainability of UCSB by transforming building, transportation and dining commons policies. We have also campaigned for the Broida bike path construction, organized the annual Earth Day celebration, conducted weekly environmental education at I.V. Elementary School and hosted the accredited Education for Sustainable Living lecture series.
It is amazing the amount of dedication, time and energy that so many EAB members put into these projects – projects that are going to make the world a better place for us all.
EAB is not just a group of hippie, environmentalist tree huggers. They are implementing policies that will preserve resources for us and for the future generations, and they are teaching us the importance of these resources. Your children will thank you if there are fish left in the sea for them to eat, they can live on unpolluted land and they have energy to power their homes. We do not have the right to deny them these things.
EAB has another accomplishment to add to their list. It has inspired a small group of British kids to head home across the Atlantic and attempt to emulate the work of EAB by setting up their own group. If we are only a fraction as successful as EAB is here, it will still be an enormous achievement. So here’s to EAB world domination! Not bad for a group that according to the Nexus “does nothing” (A.S. Election Endorsements, Daily Nexus, April 19, 2004).
Emily Howgate, Will Routh and Thomas Rumble are all University of East Anglia students who are attending UCSB this year.