Student organization receives university sponsorship

After being denied status as a recognized university organization last fall, the Society of Sustainability did not give up and is now being rewarded for its efforts.

Now an officially recognized university organization, SOS can use university facilities and will have weekly meetings on campus.

To be considered a recognized organization, the group had to more clearly define the goals they had, because the original definition was considered too broad, said Sarah Warner, a senior sociology major and one of the founding members of the group.

The university hesitated to give SOS recognition because it was deemed too similar to the Environmental Club, Frogs for Fair Trade and the Living Wage Club, said Forrest Lane, an assistant director of student Student Development Services.

The goal of SOS is to educate students about the term sustainability so they will be educated in that area when they enter the workplace, Warner said.

Lane said the group did not make any major changes, but rather clarified what their purpose was.

“Because the university has a non-duplicate clause, we needed the Society of Sustainability to clarify what their plans were so we were not creating two similar organizations that would be competing for funds,” Lane said.

Keith Whitworth, professor of sociology, said he expects between 15 to 25 people to attend the group’s first meeting, a number he also expects to rise.

“There is a change occurring on the TCU campus – the culture is changing in regard to the awareness of sustainability issues, and from my perspective, once students understand what sustainability is, they respond to the issues involved,” Whitworth said. “Therefore, the more awareness that is raised, the more students will be involved.”

The sustainability group will have different levels of membership, one that will pay dues and have responsibilities such as event planning, and another that will receive e-mails about the group and attend meetings. With different levels of membership, Whitworth said, students who are busy with other activities or work will not be penalized for not being as involved.

The group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays in Student Center room 211, according to the Student Development Services Web site. All students are welcome.