Baylor SEWP hold discussion on current state of the environment

Photo courtesy of Baylor Students for Environmental and Wildlife Protection

By Vivian Roach | Staff Writer

The Baylor Students for Environmental and Wildlife Protection (SEWP) held their “Discuss with Us” series Tuesday night in the Baylor Sciences Building. The group tackled questions of trophy hunting and endangered species in a neoclassical society.

The group is not exclusive to environmental studies majors, but welcome to anyone with an interest in sharing their voice.

Joint Base Lewis McChord, Wash. sophomore Kelbie Pogoncheff, Baylor SEWP advocacy chair, said she encouraged attendees to participate throughout the presentation with questions, comments and concerns.

Pogoncheff presented three different viewpoints on trophy hunting used to justify the sport, and argued her opinion on why they are not substantial support for trophy hunting.

The group discussed ethics of animal trapping and presented other methods to be considered. Pogoncheff asked the attendees to consider the prolonged suffering of the animal by trapping, their vulnerability, but on the other hand, it is the most effective and least costly method.

“There is never really a right answer in environmental rights, everyone has a different say,” Pogoncheff said.

Exploitation of marine species and the “tragedy of the commons” across the world’s oceans. Questions for traditional vs contemporary hunting methods and communities were considered.

An anthropological perspective and conservationist perspective were taken on whether or not it is ethical for idigenous communities to hunt endangered species. Pogoncheff said how traditional hunting methods are more conservative and respectful of the animal as all parts of the animal are used for survival.

Audience members were asked to consider if this justifies indigenous communities to continue to hunt for endangered species.

Pogoncheff hoped to bring in guest speakers to the discussion group and try a debate panel when the group has more of a following. She wanted to expand her position as advocacy chair on SEWP, so she started the discussion group.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., junior Brianna Jones explained how she didn’t know about the environmental studies program before this school year.

“I had no idea that the major even existed before my friend said she would be studying it. I definitely think it’s presence around campus could be better,” Jones said.

Pogoncheff’s interest in environmental studies was sparked when she moved to Washington, where she inspired to preserve the state’s landscape. She compared environmental relevance at her home in Washington to here at Baylor.

“In Washington, the environment is always relevant, but here it is not perceived to be as relevant. If we could generate a bigger group of members we could really change a whole lot around campus,” Pogoncheff said.