Tuesday, 1 July 2008

2,700 New Undergraduates Pledge to Go Green at USM

This maybe what you see when you are in a hall with 2,700 fresh young faces in front of you.
How do you get personal to get them involved with your message?
How do you touch them to stimulate their imagination?

It was the first time in my entire academic career talking to almost 3,000 undergraduates in a huge hall.

Even when you speak to a small audience, you may find it hard to keep some of them awake.
Not this crowd. They are all energised to take on a brave new world.
All eager to see what USM has to offer.

Above and below : The student leaders in USM who made it all happen yesterday night.
It was all about going green. About sustainable lifestyles. About global warming.
About taking small steps for a sustainable future. Syabas!

I was asked to speak for 15 to 20 minutes to the new undergraduates in my capacity as coordinator of Kampus Sejahtera (or Healthy Campus). But I had about 100 slides with me! Well, some of the slides were just flashed on the screen - a sort of subtle effort to reach the audience's subconscious.

I spoke mainly on the effort at USM to go green including our now famous The White Coffin effort and our next push this coming semester to ban certain kinds of plastic bags and to discourage others. I expected some to just fall asleep because orientation is always very tiring. Well I was wrong. Maybe it was the promise of a surprise gift. But I would like to think that I was in my element last night. I think I moved the crowd. They were energised. Abe (USM senior) told me that he can feel their energy. A new female student told me after my talk that she love it. So I am pleased. If we can mobilise these 2,700 students to support our ban on plastic bags on campus, I am very sure we can succeed.

So what was the surprise gift? Tupperware (yes, the real one, not those "tipuware") offered USM a deal we could not refuse and USM ALO (Alumni Liaisons Office) sponsored a tupperware (GoFlex) food container for each of the new students. There will be no excuse for not having a reusable container for "TauPau" (takeaway). The new students were quite shocked and very pleased. I told a few of the students "See how precious you are to USM?"

And they also signed The Green Pledge (pledge for a sustainable world). I told them they don't have to sign it if they don't want to. That pledge is a very personal thing. I think they all bought the idea, especially after they got the surprise gift.

Congratulations all round to MPP (Student Council), the student affairs division (HEPP), ALO, VC's Office, student volunteers, Tupperware, Kampus Sejahtera and everyone who made it a night to remember.


Abe said...

great job..
thanks for the wonderful night
it was a great presentation..
short, simple, impactful


DL said...

I have an Idea. Kindly refer to this website, a report by the UN food and agriculture panel : Live Stock's Long Shadow >
The Great Impact of Live Stock on Global Warming.

You know, 80% of Global Warming can be STOPPED by being a vegetarian!Or at least being a vegetarian few days in a week! That's the easiest thing every individual can do! Far easier than banning all other non-environmental friendly materials and the application of new suistanable energy which requires large funds and effort at this critical moment.

DL said...

Live Stock's Long Shadow:

GoVeg.com provides lots of info about importance of our ecological footprint.

As we all know, Scientist now predicts that all ice in the Artic will melt in September of 2008, this end of summer! That's whole faster than as predicted before! First they say 50, then 20, 10,year 2012-2013, NOW, 2 monthss!! We Don't Have Any More Time!

As the polar ice caps gone, extreme weathers, methane gas release from ocean of the entire world, particularly the tropical area, are capable of killing all living beings on earth. Why Hesitate?

DL said...

USMers LEAD.. So shall we lead and be the pioneers for planet saving effort, at least in Malaysia, we are!

Thanks a lot! Great job! For the effort of raising the conciousness by pledging students to be green! But there's much more wonderful things than that that you can do! Please do consider, pledging students and lecturers to go green, by eating less meat, even better, if become vegetarian!

Anonymous said...

hi! wunderbar! i looked at all the photos. great job. syabas!


jessieloi said...

Hie, i'm a usm new student. I was wondering how can I be involved in this environmental campaign. My friend and I are pretty interested in this campaign and would like to help.

i am the girl in the blue sweater (third last picture) by the way. Haha.

Lik Meng said...

Jessie, contact me at likmeng@gmail.com or Pauline at paulinechin81@gmail.com. We need all the help we can get.

Anonymous said...

it was a good presentation at that night..i am new student in school of hbp and be proud that usm has it green environment.

kamz said...

hello, sir.congrates for being able to organize such a beneficial prog. me n my frens are planning to do a kind of go-green campaign as well in our uni. it will be so meanigful if could share with us some tips on strategy/planning i.e. how to begin & approach the staff n students?thank you..

ahyad arif said...

Sir, I'm Ahyad Arif as Exco Hubungan Luar MPP from Kolej Mara Kuala Nerang really need your help to launch your Go Green Campaign in our campus. its not total go green campaign actually. it also has something about technology and multimedia. its like the combination of campaigns which is stated as "Hari Kelastarian Alam dan Teknologi" So please email me at apek_stylo117@yahoo.com if you want a more detail about this.