Environmental audit

Proulx’s students get a taste of what the college does to be sustainable

by Brian Lapuz

For the first time at Dawson College, students in the Natural Environment class with Geography teacher Penny Proulx are conducting an environmental audit of the establishment as a class assignment.

Working in teams of three or four, the students are meant determine the college’s performance in terms of sustainability. Each team is doing research on a specific topic.

“Once the different components are collected, the report will be given to Sustainable Dawson,” said Proulx. “I think that it’s a benefit for students, because it’s a practical learning experience related to our course work.”

The students are assessing the CEGEP on various fronts, ranging from water quality to garbage and recycling.

For Emilie Godin, a fourth semester Social Science student, the assignment made her aware about how fortunate students are to be studying in a chemical free environment.

“We became aware of how Dawson handled pesticides and hazardous materials,” Godin said.”We learned that the college uses products from Innu-Science, which are completely biodegradable in a short amount of time, with or without water.”

Other students feel like they are given a chance to learn and to contribute to the Dawson community.

“The school will be getting our opinion on whether things are advancing or not,” said Karine David, a second semesterEnvironmental Studies student. “It helps us learn about our school and gives us a bigger view of how everything functions.”

Craig Richard, a second semester Environmental Studies student, and his teammates are working on assessing the means of transportation people used to get to the college every day.

“[Our research] gave us an idea of the magnitude of how many people come to school and their means of transportation,” Richard said.

Richard already has suggestions in mind for his audit.

“We could ask the school to lobby the STM for lower fairs for teachers and staff,” Richard said. “It should encourage them to use a more sustainable way to get to work.”

Proulx stressed the importance of the students giving their opinion to the administration.

“The college has to recognize who their ‘clients’ are and it’s the students,” Proulx said.

She also mentioned how it’s important for students to realize that Dawson College is taking measures to be sustainable for a reason and that everyone should follow the same example.

“This is something students can also take with them in order to change their way of life,” Proulx said.

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