SMU’s E-Reps start student residents on green pathway


September 17, 2012

DALLAS (SMU) – Students at SMU have a variety of ways to study and support sustainability, but they don’t have to leave their residence halls for what they can learn from the E-Reps.

SMU’s Environmental Representatives – E-Reps, for short – are 10 students who

provide peer role modeling, serve as a resource on sustainability questions and promote environmentally conscious behavior within their assigned residential communities.  E-Reps are sponsored by the SMU Sustainability Committee and supervised by staff from the Office of Residence Life and Student Housing.

Each year, the E-Reps mount a series of sustainability initiatives ranging from simple campaigns that encourage energy and resource conservation, to the elaborate eco-fashion show that the group produces each spring.  They also assist in other campuswide initiatives such as Recyclemania, the Energy and Water Conservation Contest, and Barefoot on the Boulevard – an Earth Day music festival.

The move to college is a transitional time for students, said E-Rep Jewell Lipps, and having to share living space in residence halls involves thinking about the needs of others.  “This gives me the opportunity to help them make sustainability the norm,” Lipps said. “As they're making it a habit to share a room and bathroom, respecting quiet hours, etc., they can also make it a habit to recycle and use less water and energy.”

Nick Saulnier is beginning his second year as an E-Rep.  He says getting to connect with other people and sharing information is the best part of the job. And he thinks this year’s E-reps have already made a difference: “We began our first project long before this school year started,” Saulnier said. “Throughout the summer, we worked to create new, up-to-date, user-friendly recycling signs for the residence halls.  Those signs have officially been installed in every hall as of this week!”

“I was very involved with the Environmental Society last year and am now vice president of that group, so sustainability had become my mission on campus,” Lipps said. “Ultimately, I applied (to be an E-rep) because I realized I may be able to help two things I love, our environment and our community. “

E-reps for 2012-13 and the residence communities they represent are:

  • Aden Abiye, Boaz Hall
  • Emily Steinke, Cockrell-McIntosh Halls
  • Michael Wilburn, Fine Arts Community ( Mary-Hay and Payton Halls)
  • Nicholas Saulnier, Hawk, Martin and Moore Halls
  • Lucy Yu, Hilltop Scholars Program (Smith and Perkins Halls)
  • Gwen Carris, McElvaney Hall
  • Quyen Tong, Morrison McGinnis Hall
  • Jingjing Yang, Shuttles Hall
  • Marissa Elena Ocampo, SMU Service House
  • Jewel Lipps, Virginia-Snider Hall