New org for sustainability

Founder 'appalled' by poor grade

By on April 27, 2011

Going green may be an option for some, but for Ilya Spektor, it’s a way of life. It didn’t take long for the sophomore to see a void on Quinnipiac’s campus, which he plans to fill with a new club focused on making the university more sustainable.

“When I came into Quinnipiac I was just appalled,” Spektor said.

Spektor amassed a great amount of knowledge in the sustainability field working for Environment New Jersey, an environmental advocacy organization, and from his study of advanced placement environmental science in high school during 2007. That summer, Spektor went door-to-door to prevent an environmental bill from getting signed which would have only benefited energy companies.

Although Spektor has an understanding of the subject, he believes most of the Quinnipiac student body does not.

“I understand that people come here from different backgrounds and they all have different levels of education on the subject, but the vast majority is completely not conscious about the proper way to act towards the planet,” Spektor said.

Not only is Spektor upset over the student body’s lack of knowledge on the subject, but also Quinnipiac’s most recent sustainability report card, which received a D. According to the non-profit organization The College Sustainability Report Card, Quinnipiac has been graded with a D- for the past several years.

Spektor’s new club will look to solve the campus’s “apathetic” image with its mission statement “to create an environmentally conscious and sustainable community at Quinnipiac.”

His main idea is to raise student support and get the administration to act with the organization.

“If there’s this growing sense in the Quinnipiac community that we need to do something that needs to be changed, I think that’s going to change the mentality of the students,” Spektor said.

It is Spektor’s hope that if the club’s initiatives and motives are run by the students, Quinnipiac’s sustainability practices will change for the better.

“The administration here isn’t going to push for change unless the students themselves are asking for it,” said Kristen Richardson, the faculty advisor for the club and laboratory instructor for biological sciences at Quinnipiac.

One interested student is freshman Joseph Ugalde, secretary for the RHC Area Council of Irma/Dana.

“I have been trying to get some awareness about recycling because what I noticed around here is that people don’t recycle enough,” said Ugalde.

Spektor’s next step is to build up the club’s constitution and come up with a name. It will take about a month for the club to gain official recognition and a charter for the fall semester.



About Katherine Rojas

Twitter: @Kathyreds
Year: 2014
Major: Print journalism

One Comment

  1. Elise Houghton

    April 28, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Bravo to Ilya Spektor for taking on sustainability at Quinnipiac (from on old New Haven native). One informed passionate person is often the spark that sets in motion what many people realize needs to happen. In consumer societies with a lack of leadership (particularly political leadership) on the vitally urgent issue of a sustainable future, it is responsible citizens (and students!) who must create the climate for a new consciousness in education and in society. Green campuses and sustainability courses and programs, as well as new educational policies at the institutional level, are now emerging everywhere as the grassroots demand for them grows.
    Organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) and University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF) reflect the evolution of formal support for the shift in post-secondary education towards a new kind of responsible ecological wisdom.
    All the best with Quinnipiac’s new green movement!