By Tatyana Graham
Pace Sustainability Initiative (PSI) is a student organization that is spearheading sustainable changes on Pace University’s NYC campus. The club was formed in the Fall of 2017 through a merging of Sustainability Network at Pace (SNAP), created by Carly Sheinberg ’19, Environmental Studies, and PSI, created by Thomas Carpenito ’21, Biology. PSI’s other current e-board members are Christina Thomas ’19, Environmental Studies & Economics, Joáo Paulo Mauger ’21, Economics, and Tyler Raciti ’21, Political Science & Economics, all of whom have worked tirelessly since PSI’s inception. With 107 OrgSync members to date, each PSI meeting draws a hoard of students from various majors and schools. Recently, the club decided to divide and conquer their mission statement by forming several committees and allowing members to choose which ones they wanted to join. The committees are as follows:
In just one year, Pace Sustainability Initiative has made great strides in improving sustainability at Pace. Their most recent win was convincing the university to attach aerators to all dorm faucets, which will save the University an average of 2,688,781 gallons of water and $35,479 annually. Clearly, the club has successfully captured the attention of university officials, some of whom regularly attend meetings and take heed of student suggestions. PSI has even managed to get Nadine Kruzcowy, the Outreach Associate for Curbside Recycling, to attend and present at a club meeting. She offered a wealth of information, including how New York City’s organics program currently operates, its future trajectory, and how private institutions, such as Pace, can advocate for inclusion in the program.
This semester, PSI also planned and hosted several successful events. Their first event was a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx. The second was a tree stewardship event on Spruce Street, where students were given the opportunity to maintain tree pits and “spruce up Spruce Street” through a small planting initiative. Their third was a trip to the Bronx Zoo, where President Thomas Carpenito was able to showcase his biology expertise by offering fun facts about wildlife. The club was able to provide free tickets for the trips to the Bronx Zoo and the NY Botanical Gardens. Their last event to date was a “Stop N’ Swap event.” It was hosted in Pace’s Bianco Room in partnership with GrowNYC. The event was open to both Pace students and the public, and was extremely successful. There, participants were given the opportunity to donate clothing and other items and/or take items that other participants donated.
(from left: Tree stewardship event on Spruce Street, New York Botanical Gardens)
Currently, PSI is working with the Environmental Studies and Science Department and Senior Taylor Crawford ’19, Philosophy and Religious Studies, to organize a massive recycling event during move-out season. At this event, planned for the 20th of December, clothing, e-waste, and paper will be recycled to further reduce clutter in the dorms and promote sustainable practices.
PSI’s next major project will involve tackling the cafeteria. In the future, they hope to expand Pace University’s composting initiatives by allowing students to compost their post-consumer scraps directly. If successful, this would be a major victory for the Pace community, and would set the university up to follow New York City’s Zero Waste Initiative. It is clear from this club’s current trajectory that it will become a long-awaited powerhouse for sustainability on the New York City campus. To get involved and make a difference, join Pace Sustainability Initiative Club on OrgSync.
Tatyana Graham is pursuing a BS in Environmental Science at Pace University and is a student assistant in the Department of Environmental Studies and Science.