For the month of April, the SUNY Cortland campus community annually doffs its classic red and white school colors and dons green to share with everyone its pride in environmental conservation.
April marks Green Days 2015, a month-long campus and community celebration of environmental awareness and earth-friendly practices. Formerly known as Sustainability Month, this series of events explores the many diverse ways SUNY Cortland plays a leading role in reducing carbon emissions, improving how resources are used, researching new environmental practices and educating students and the community about climate change.
The series events began Wednesday, April 1, with a noon sandwich seminar on “How Green is the Green Republic.” It will conclude at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, with “The Big Event” in the Park Center Alumni Arena.
In between will be guest lectures, community cleanups, group discussions, educational tours and hands-on learning activities. Most events carry an open invitation to all members of the Cortland community.
The series features as a highlight a Tuesday, April 21 talk by Dominic Frongillo, internationally recognized for his work in clean energy and sustainability. A five-time delegate to the United Nations, he will discuss “Sustainability and Social Change” at 7 p.m. in the Corey Union Fireplace Lounge.
For the full schedule of Green Days events, browse the event’s website, which can be accessed by visiting cortland.edu/GreenDays and selecting the “Get Involved” link on the left side of the page. For more information on any of the events, contact Katherine Ingraham, the Green Days committee chair and the College’s assistant director of residence life and housing, at 607-753-5508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
These events will continue the series:
- Saturday, April 11: FesTREEval! Join the SUNY Cortland Green Reps in the Student Life Center from 1 to 4 p.m., learning about sustainability on campus and how to live a more sustainable life. Prizes and giveaways are in store.
- Tuesday, April 14: Campus tobacco cleanup, from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., meeting at the Corey Union steps. No ifs, ands or buts, everyone is invited to join faculty, staff and students as they make a difference by ridding the beautiful spring campus grounds of cigarette litter.
- Tuesday, April 14: The multiple award-winning documentary film “Bag It” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 104. Directed by Suzan Beraza, “Bag It” was filmed in the Bahamas, England, Germany, Ireland, Midway Atoll and many locations across the U.S. “Bag It” follows “average American" Jeb Berrier as he navigates our crazy, plastic world, where Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes. “Bag It” shows what people can do about it right now.
- Thursday, April 16: Students enrolled in this semester’s Writing Studies class will offer poster presentations on the topics of “Resources, Distribution and Food Scarcity,” from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. and on “Repurposing Waste and Auto Trip-tally Survey” from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Both sessions are in Neubig Hall.
- Tuesday, April 21: The College’s Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC) will host a “Local Sustainability Lunch” at Bistro Off Broadway in the Student Life Center.
- Wednesday, April 22: Campus energy manager Matthew Brubaker, from the College’s Facilities Planning, Design and Construction Office, will present a sandwich seminar on “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification at SUNY Cortland” at 12:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge. This is the building industry’s highest measurement of environmental sustainability for new facilities and is administered through the U.S. Green Building Council. Brubaker will share the many ways sustainability has been designed into all new and renovated structures across the campus. These residential facilities and lecture halls now provide a living laboratory for students in how humans can achieve a smaller footprint on the environment.
- Wednesday, April 22: The Student Affairs Sustainability Committee will host a plant fair at 11 a.m. on the Memorial Library plaza.
- Wednesday, April 22: The New York Public Interest Research Group's (NYPIRG) project manager at SUNY Cortland, Gabriel Recchio, will host a two-hour talk on “NYPIRG to Climate Change and Reforming the Energy Vision” at 7 p.m. in Sperry Center, Room 105.
- Thursday, April 23: The College’s ASC will host a “Local Sustainability Lunch” at the Neubig Hall dining facility.
- Monday, April 27: A Local Food Panel will address “What’s In It for You?” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Corey Union Fireplace Lounge. Participants are invited to come learn about why one should buy local foods, where one can find local foods, how to support local food production and how to start one’s own local food business. Panelists will include Chastity Mydlenski from the Local Food Market in Cortland; Matt Gross from the Wholeheart Cafe in the Local Food Market; Allan Gandelman from Main Street Farms and Local Agricultural Promotions Committee in Homer, N.Y.; Christine Applegate of Applegate Farm and the Virgil (N.Y.) Farmers Market, a recognized local food expert; and Carly Arnold Dougherty from Food and Ferments of Truxton, N.Y.
- Saturday, May 2: The Big Event, a one-day volunteer project that aims to round up the efforts of SUNY Cortland students, employees and alumni, begins at 9 a.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena. The mission is to simply say “thanks” to our neighbors in the Cortland Community. It also exemplifies how much students care about the environment in which they live and builds positive relationships between the campus and the larger Cortland Community. The Big Event is to be held on the same day as the Cortland Downtown Partnership’s annual community clean-up.
- Thursday, May 7: A trail ribbon cutting ceremony and tour celebrating the completion of Operation Greenspace! will take place in the Cortland Rural Cemetery from 3 to 4:30 p.m. The town-gown event marks the opening of the cemetery to public, educational visits with an informational kiosk, interpretive signs and tree identification plates. The project teamed the Cortland Rural Cemetery board of trustees and employees with the College’s art and art history, biological sciences, geography, geology and recreation, parks and leisure studies department faculty and their student interns.
Frongillo was the former deputy town supervisor and councilor of Caroline, N.Y., Tompkins County, who made history at age 22 by becoming the youngest person ever to serve on the council. Elected to a second term in 2010, he was as one of the youngest deputy town supervisors in New York state.
Frongillo has traveled to climate negotiations in Indonesia, Denmark, Mexico and South Africa. In Copenhagen, he coordinated and delivered a statement from over 100 young elected officials from 30 U.S. states calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to renew America’s leadership in clean energy.
In 2012, Frongillo founded Elected Officials to Protect New York, a bipartisan initiative of over 825 elected officials from all 62 counties calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue the moratorium on fracking until the drilling method is proven safe for all New Yorkers.
He served under Governor David Paterson on the advisory panel for New York state’s far-reaching 2050 Climate Action Plan, is trained by Vice President Al Gore as a climate presenter for the Climate Reality Project, is a published author, and is a trainer for the national Young Elected Officials Network and Front Line Leaders Academy.
A graduate with honors from Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology in 2005, Frongillo earned an independent degree in Sustainable Community Development. He co-founded and led Energy Independent Caroline, coordinating three “Lighten Up!” campaigns which delivered an energy-saving light bulb to a total of 20,000 households in three hours, the largest campaigns of their kind in the Northeast and inspiring similar campaigns across the country.
In 2012, Jeff Thigpen, author of On Point: Voices and Values of the Young Elected Officials, profiled Frongillo as one of America’s 16 most notable young elected leaders. Liz Walker, in her book Creating Sustainable Communities: Ideas and Inspiration from Ithaca, New York, profiled him as of the region’s foremost champions for the clean economy. Frongillo appears in the documentary “Dear Governor Cuomo: the Concert Protest Film.”
He currently resides in Freiburg, Germany, where he leads international business development for Thomas Daily, a leading market intelligence provider for the commercial property industry with a focus on sustainable development.