Enviro Club Leadership Shifts

Madeleine Singh, Opinion Editor

With decreasing assistance from the Global Student Embassy (GSE), a Berkeley-based organization that specializes in environmental education, the Environmental Club is undergoing major changes as its students begin to take charge of projects and fundraising.

“My understanding is that [GSE has] pulled back just a little bit because they are trying to reevaluate their financial situation,” said AP Environmental Science teacher and club adviser Tren Kauzer, who explained that 1 of GSE’s representatives, Kelsey Ring, would no longer be helping out with the club.

“[GSE] never told us that she will never come back, but they said that we can’t count on her being here every Thursday,” said Kauzer.

Although student members have always had an active role in the club, GSE’s absence has forced increased student initiative in meetings and with projects. According to senior Kelsey Levante, now that “we’re finally done with [GSE] because they’ve just completely dipped out,” the club will have meetings on Mondays for planning their activities.

“I think that we have always been pretty independent on doing our own projects and planning events, so being cut off is not as major as it may seem,” said senior club member Sydney Bagley. “The only change would be how the [annual club service trip] would work, but I think that if GSE falls through that we can find another company to fill that void.”

Kauzer said he has seen a positive increase in club leaders stepping up to take responsibility. “They’re like, ‘Alright, so we don’t have her leading us, or her helping us, so we need to take on that role,’ and they’ve given themselves new jobs, and they’re trying to find a way to basically enrich the club in the absence of GSE,” he said.

The club is now looking toward future projects, which may include a “food forest” and continuing introduction of aquaponics into the Living Earth classes. “I think I speak for all of us when I say it’s a little stressful, but we love this club and the work we get to do to do our parts in helping mitigate negative effects on the environment, so we’re excited for what the future holds,” added senior member Claire Sebree.

According to Levante, the club’s main focus is now on fundraising due to the fact that GSE is no longer available to provide monetary support. Members will be selling t-shirts in the quad on during Winter Week in order to “fill the funding problem,” keeping half the proceeds and donating the other half to local environmental organizations like the John Muir land trust.