Baylor Sustainability adjusts for largest freshman class

Sustainability practices are adjusted to meet the demands of more students while also keeping the campus healthy. Grace Fortier | Photographer

By April Oddo | Reporter

With the largest freshman class in the school’s history, adjustments need to be made on campus to meet the demands of more students. When it comes to sustainability, energy and water usage have shifted to higher rates this semester.

According to Baylor Sustainability, the university strives to fulfill its calling of being good stewards of God’s creation, and as the student body continues to grow, Baylor seems to be making sustainability efforts a top priority. Smith Getterman, director of sustainability and special projects, talked about how the number of students on campus has affected sustainability.

“We are continually reviewing energy and water usage and curtailing when and where necessary,” Getterman said. “The size of each class only impacts our expenditures, not our continued pursuit of best practices. So whether it is a class of 300 or 30,000, we are constantly striving to be judicious stewards of our resources.”

Getterman said Recycling, which is made to be an easy practice for the Baylor community, is also an important sustainability act.

“We have over 700 recycling bins available in our buildings on campus — plus make recycling available at the School of Social Work, the Louise Herrington School of Nursing and our athletics facilities,” Getterman said. “Although students have access to recycling, the question lies in whether or not they actually use it. So recycling opportunities are commonly available. But is recycling as a practice common among users? It could be better. We hope with continued education and awareness, that more of our campus community will take advantage of our recycling opportunities.”

Some students on campus claim that recycling is a common part of their daily routine. Dallas senior Emily Blackwell said she practices sustainability in her home and on campus.

“I think it’s super important to keep our environment and campus healthy,” Blackwell said. “Recycling is something we start teaching in elementary school and practice because it is so helpful in keeping our environment clean.”

Other students also agreed that recycling is not only better for our campus but also beneficial for the economy.

“I do recycle because I believe that it helps the conservation of trees and that the recycling of aluminum is economically more efficient and beneficial to the environment,” Houston junior Conor Doris said.

Although class sizes are expanding, Getterman said Baylor is aware of how this could impact the environment and has plans and goals to continue being environment-friendly in the future.

“As the campus expands, we will continue to examine opportunities to implement best practices for new buildings and spaces and explore services and initiatives that will further Baylor’s mission to care for creation, while being good stewards of the resources given to us,” Getterman said.