As environmental issues become more serious around the world, Wheaton’s students and administration are taking action to help make the Wheaton community a more sustainable environment. This nationwide emphasis on sustainability and the acknowledgment of environmental issues are what prompted the founding of one of Wheaton’s newest clubs, SEGA (Students Engaged in Green Activism).
SEGA was started just over a year ago by Wheaton alum Randy Frazer ’13. Frazer combined two pre-existing Wheaton committees: a SEA Board committee for green activism with a student committee called Green Initiatives Committee. Combining the efforts into a student-run club allowed Wheaton students to consolidate their efforts towards a more green future on campus. Current SEGA co-president, Antonio Sosa ’15, says the ultimate goal of SEGA is to promote sustainability and ecological awareness on campus.
Although SEGA has not been around for long, the club of about a dozen students has already made a contribution to a green future at Wheaton by implementing a program called TerraCycle on campus. TerraCycle is an organization that converts a large variety of different recyclable products into new products that can be used again. “You can give them empty toothpaste tubes and they can actually turn that into a bag,” Sosa says. Not only does TerraCycle convert used materials into useful products, but the organization also gives SEGA points for each item they donate. These points can be used to donate to other non-profit environmental organizations. Currently, Stanton and Everett are the only dorms on campus with TerraCycle boxes. SEGA hopes to expand the TerraCycle effort throughout the campus and include TerraCycles boxes in more dorms and facilities.
SEGA has big plans for the future of sustainability at Wheaton, as well. SEGA vice president, Ethan FitzGerald ’16, came up with the idea to implement a windmill on the Wheaton campus. The windmill that SEGA hopes to assemble (through parts they would order) would only cost $300 and would produce enough energy to power a motor home. Although the windmill is only a potential idea, SEGA hopes that they will be able to turn it into a reality at some point. Ideally, Sosa says, if the windmill idea were to become a reality, the club would like to display the windmill prominently in front of the Mars Science Center as a statement of the sustainability that SEGA hopes Wheaton will come to embody.
Although Sosa humbly notes, “Right now we’re just trying to get our footing because we’re fairly new”, SEGA’s current and prospective projects seem to promise a positive future for sustainability at Wheaton.
SEGA meets every Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Hood Café in Balfour.