The Rice EcoRep Program is a student-led peer-to-peer environmental outreach network based in our university's eleven residential colleges. Each residential college is served by one EcoRep whose job it is to lead a series of college-focused sustainability initiatives, including utility conservation, recycling and environmental education.¬†
The EcoReps are employed by the Office of Sustainability, and the program is further supported through "green funds" provided by Housing and Dining. For more information about the program, please contact Director of Sustainability Richard Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact individual EcoReps, please consult the Rice Directory.
At their individual colleges Eco-Reps complete a variety of projects. Examples include:¬†
- Ordering Greenware for their college and lending it out for college events¬†
- Creating an Herb Garden to support their serveries‚Äô kitchen¬†
- Installing hand dryers in common bathrooms
- Ordering motion sensing lights for common spaces
- Creating E-Waste and Special Recycling Stations in the Colleges
- DIY Environmental Events¬†
In addition to individual college projects, Eco-Reps also collaborate on campus wide projects. For example, they have created a Green Events Guide to promote making sustainable choices for events across colleges, and work together to help hold the Green Dorm Initiative in the Spring.¬†¬†
In the fall of 2006, the department of Facilities Engineering and Planning teamed with Housing and Dining to launch a pilot EcoRep project at Martel College. Ben Stevenson served as Rice's first EcoRep. In the fall of 2007, undergraduates Jeremy Caves, Jessica Coe, Lauren Laustsen, Alex Tseng, and Niki vonHedemann drafted a grant proposal for a start-up Envision Grant to support project costs for fully implementing an EcoRep program at all of Rice's residential colleges. They were awarded the grant in January 2008. The Office of Sustainability provided further support by covering student salaries, and Housing and Dining allocated "green funds" for each residential college to use (via application) for sustainability-focused projects.
The EcoRep program was fully staffed for each residential college beginning in the spring semester of 2008. Lauren Laustsen served as the first head EcoRep, working with the Director of Sustainability to provide strategic, organizational, and logistical oversight for the program. Jeremy Caves followed as the program leader during the 2008-2009 academic year, succeeded by Rebecca Sagastegui for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, Christina Hughes for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, Brian Strasters for 2013-2014, Zach Bielak for 2014-2015, Chynna Foucek for the Fall 2015 semester, and Lindsy Pang as a co-Head for the Spring 2016 semester. Conrado Asenjo was Head Eco-Rep for the 2016-2017 year, Travis Kwee for the 2017-2018 year, and Allison Yelvington and Sarah Silberman are co-heads for the 2018-2019 year.