USG’s Sustainability Committee Hosts Bi-annual Sustainability Week


Fordham had Sustainability Week from Nov. 1 to Nov. 7, including a Fordham Flea pop-up thrift event. (Courtesy of Instagram)

Monday, Nov. 7 marked the end of Sustainability Week at Fordham University.

This week-long event was held by the United Student Government (USG) Sustainability Committee and featured activities including guest speakers, a flea market and a bake sale.

On Tuesday Nov. 1, guest speaker JD Lewis, Ph.D., discussed their research with climate change, urbanization and invasive pathogens. The following day featured a “Plant a Seed” event and a sustainability-themed game of Jeopardy. Thursday included a pop-up flea market, a movie screening and a guest speaker from the Hong Kong Shark Foundation. On Friday Nov. 4, programs consisted of  a Louis Calder Center Project and Tour, a “Paint a Tote Bag” event and a bake sale fundraiser. Sustainability Week concluded with a “Paint a Mini-Pumpkin” event.

The week’s organizers encouraged all members of the Fordham community to attend.

Aside from undergraduate students, students, professors, deans, administrators and prospective students touring the campus participated in Sustainability Week. Sustainability Week is a collaborative effort between the Sustainability Committee, the Climate Impact Initiative, Students for Environmental Action and Justice (SEAJ) and Lincoln Center Environmental. Each club plans their own events independently and comes together to combine them for the week of programming.

The Vice President of the USG Sustainability Committee, Liz Shim, FCRH ’23, said that sustainability is incredibly important on a campus like Fordham.

“Fordham University is a member of two important categories within the higher academic world — a New York City university and a Jesuit institution. Living in one of the leading cities of the world, we have to be role models for other universities,” said Shim.

She further said that Fordham’s location is in a city of innovation, where students have access to a multitude of services and resources  to create a more sustainable campus. Shim points out that New York City offers lots of opportunities for funding sustainable projects and urban greening that Fordham students should take advantage of.

“There are more benefits to becoming a sustainable institution than remaining static in development,” said Shim.
Shim drew attention to the university’s  Jesuit mission, which aims to care for creation and provide for the health and growth of our neighbors and planet.

According to Shim, the USG Sustainability Committee tries to place value on a society that promotes the survival of humanity and the earth over capital gain. The committee aims to advocate for marginalized communities, pointing out that many issues brought about by climate change disproportionately affect those neighborhoods, even though they contribute least to the problem. The committee said it is their goal to look out and offer help towards the most vulnerable.

Shim’s favorite event in Sustainability Week is “Paint a Tote Bag.”

“It allows everyone to have a personal experience with choosing a sustainable alternative,” said Shim. “As many people have said to me, the Sustainability Committee is the hippie mom of USG, which I eagerly take as a compliment, and I love that we can inspire people to express their individuality.”

In regards to the Fordham Flea pop-up, Shim said that “because I was the Fordham Flea subcommittee head in my sophomore year, I do have a bias towards our Fordham Flea pop-up thrift store event, and if I’m being honest, it would be my favorite event only if it wasn’t for the intense physical labor required to collect clothes and set up the event.”

To join the committee, students can find the application in the bio of the Sustainability Committee’s Instagram account, @usgsustainability.