JOSEPH GARDNER | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE
ASWSU passed a bylaw that will adopt the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG) to promote awareness for global challenges.
This bylaw applies for Committee Squared, which is the coalition of all ASWSU committee leaders.
Trevor Alkire, president of ASWSU’s Environmental Sustainability Alliance (ESA), said some of the specific goals that ESA included in the bylaw are reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action.
“It ties together a lot of the stuff that’s happening on campus right now,” Alkire said. “What we are doing already fits under the goals.”
Alkire said all of the different ASWSU committees are actively working on what the goals outline already. Passing the bylaw provides a larger platform to demonstrate what sustainability can do for WSU and the student body in an efficient way.
“It’s hard to tie together what any one of the other programming committees is doing at any given time,” he said. “Rather than [having] people working on all of the same objectives, but not really talk about it in the same way … this takes what we are doing on campus and highlights it in a different way across different platforms.”
Alkire said specific problems that groups on campus try to solve are interrelated with other problems and cannot be solved by a single group.
“By having a platform that highlights how connected all of these different problems are,” he said, “it allows the work that’s being done to be presented in a … clean and concise way.”
He said there has always been progress toward the goals done on campus, but UNSDG presented it in a new way.
Alkire said the UNSDG provides WSU with the opportunity to bring together groups from Panhellenic to Registered Student Organizations (RSO) to expand sustainable development on campus.
“We have a really cool opportunity to have a united front on problem-solving,” he said. “Which opens up huge cross-collaborative platforms between research projects that grad students are doing [and] undergraduate students have never heard about.”
He said adopting the UNSDG can take a problem such as ending hunger, take the agricultural side of increasing crop yields and tie it with the social aspect of distributing the food. These goals can bring together people working on the same project from different perspectives and bring them into the same narrative.
Alkire said his goal before he graduates in May is to present the importance of the UNSDG to WSU faculty and staff and the Pullman City Council and encourage them to adopt the rules.
He said that while we are not necessarily in a position to solve these problems in other countries, we can work to solve them in our local community. In order for the goals to be adopted as a framework, they have to be used by everyone.