An idea stemming from Geography professor Dr. Crystal LoVetere, the Go Green Committee seeks to create jobs for students, promote environmentalist initiatives, such as recycling, and give back to Cerritos College.
Associated Students of Cerritos College president Juan Ramirez and vice president Aldemar Sanchez, will enact the program on campus, as soon as February.
Recycling initiatives had been attempted in the past, namely by Dr. LoVetere, however, she found it difficult to get off the ground.
Sanchez said, “Much wasn’t happening with that (recycling programs) since students would not pay attention and continue to throw regular trash into the recycling bins. It just wasn’t going anywhere and died out.”
What refused to die were Dr. LoVetere’s aspirations for a recycling initiative.
“She wanted to expand on it, but the campus wasn’t really going with it, and that is when she came to ASCC,” Ramirez said.
It was with that partnership that the Go Green Committee was conceived, with Ramirez stating, “It was implemented further this year by Lance (Makinano) and Aldo (Lopez), and working with Dr. LoVetere, while we (Sanchez and Ramirez) decided to get students and make them involved.”
The Go Green Committee’s approach toward its rise is a precautious one, as it is understood that action must be taken, but at a certain pace, as to not just throw everything out there at once and have it wither away.
The committee has closely followed Orange Coast College’s recycling program, as it has been successful in not only recycling, but its finances, as Dr. LoVetere had reported to the Committee that the college made about $350,000 in profit.
It is that success that the Go Green Committee strives for, and it’s that type of success that Ramirez and Sanchez hope to continue on in the future on campus, and ultimately benefit from in the present day.
“Anything that trickles down will come back to us,” Ramirez said. “And we’ll use that to give back to the students through events, welcome back days, Spring Festival, the Falcon Games (etc.) .”
A change that would immediately be recognizable is the presence of recycling bins next to every trash can on campus.
The recycling bins, known as slant-top stations, are made out of 100% recyclable material. The stations would be outside and available for students, where they can drop off plastic and aluminum cans.
“We want to put these trash cans out as soon as possible, but they have to be accepted by the Board (of Trustees), which will be determined Feb. 5,” Sanchez said. “So hopefully the beginning of February, we’re going to start putting them out there.”
With all the material set, Ramirez recalls pondering about how the committee would spread the word about its intentions to students.
“When we started the committee, we already gathered all the recyclable material that was required; the trash bins, the tilt truck that gathers all the recycled material from the different departments. What we needed was an application to send this out to the students.
“From the beginning we wanted to create jobs for the Go Green Committee.”
Those employed by the committee will receive payment of $12.50 an hour. The committee does not accept individuals on volunteer basis, as Ramirez describes it as a “liability issue.”
“There will be people working with material that can possibly injure them, stuff’s really heavy, and we don’t want to run into that controversy.
“We’d rather treat the people involved as actual workers. It’s demanding.”
The committee seeks a maximum of 15 members, and anybody interested in joining, would have to attend a Go Green Committee meeting, which is held Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in rooms BK 111 and 112.
Borrowing the methods the ASCC uses to recruit students, the Go Green Committee has a certain criteria when it comes to students being accepted into its ranks.
Students must have a 2.25 GPA, no D’s in the previous semester, at least 5 units enrolled at Cerritos College, availability on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and availability during the Go Green Committee meetings.
As of now, three student employees have been hired, Lance Makinano from the Board of Trustees, Anthony Guerrero, who was previously an ASCC senator, and German Sanchez, who is commissioner of day-time activities.
These individuals have been hired, but not approved by the Board of Trustees. If for whatever reason they are not accepted, the interview process would have to be repeated.
Makinano noted how great it was to finally have a recycling initiative on campus after failed attempts on campus.
“It’s good to bring awareness and just keep in mind that trees are not unlimited and we can’t grow them in two seconds. It’s things like that, water, for another example, that are important to think about and address the concerns.”
Ramirez said, “We (Sanchez and I) came into office in hopes of creating jobs, and that’s what we’re hoping to do.”
For more information visit the student activities office or go online at www.cerritos.edu/activities