Friday, April 4, 2008

Welcome President Alexander

Today, Lasell College will be celebrating the inauguration of Michael Alexander as our ninth president. There is a lot of energy and excitement on campus as students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends gather to celebrate. An academic colloquium, an installation ceremony, and a gala are all planned. It is great to finally have the opportunity to formally welcome President Alexander to our community.

Events that bring together large numbers of people to a college campus are great. They encourage discussion, provide opportunities for networking, and invigorate the campus. However, typically there is also an environmental cost to such events. Food and drink are provided at receptions throughout the day and a large amount of waste may be generated. It is great to see that planners of the inauguration have taken steps to reduce the environmental impact of the event. For example, during the luncheon they will be using washable cups, plates, and silverware. Certainly, disposable products would be much easier to manage given the large number of people. I'm sure there will still be plenty of waste generated today but I am glad to see that the planning committee has taken steps to reduce the environmental impact.

I hope by next time Lasell College has an inauguration, planning an event that is completely green will be simple. I think the tide is starting to turn as companies are beginning to respond to the demand. Soon costs of green products will fall and they will become mainstream. I also think it is important that event planners are educated on how to produce green events. Lasell College has a Hospitality and Event Management major. I would love to see students in this major taking environmental studies courses. I think a student with a major in Hospitality and Event Management and a minor in Environmental Studies would be in a great position as they enter the job market. The trend towards green is going to continue and students should position themselves to compete.

President Alexander has been very supportive of environmental initiatives on campus. He initiated the Green Campus Task Force and I look forward to seeing how he responds to the groups recommendations. I think a leader with interest and concern for the environment comes at the right time. Congratulations President Alexander!

1 comment:

Mary Barbara said...

The first thing I did as "First Lady" was ban disposable items from events at the President's House. I made it clear that I wanted the college to be more circumspect in using materials and to avoid disposables whenever possible, as well as using recycled materials. I think we have made some good progress and I thank Linda Davey at Sodexho for her efforts to make campus events greener.
Mary Barbara Alexander