Sustainability in action: The story of UVision
In my third year at UVic (2012), I decided to get involved on campus. On a wintery January evening, I headed down to the basement of the Student Union Building to join a meeting focused on student environmental initiatives. I sat quietly as students pitched ideas for an upcoming campaign and had to smile at the way everyone was eager to contribute or dispute ideas. My curiosity and interest kept me coming back each week and slowly but surely I started pitching my ideas too.
That semester, a new project emerged. The group learned that the 2003 UVic Campus Plan would soon be under review. This was the very start of a project that has grown into a 92 page report with recommendations for the UVic campus plan.
We call it UVision.
There are three things to understand about UVision
- The campus plan at UVic is only reviewed every 10 years, so it’s a critical window of time.
- Students pushed for changes to improve the 2003 Campus Plan and camped out in Cunningham Woods to ensure it stayed protected. So we know student voices can make a difference.
- The campus plan affects students: Some examples are: campus forests protection, the future of the campus community garden, the availability of bike racks & storage on campus and the future of campus bus infrastructure.
Over a period of two years, volunteers spent countless hours conducting research, hosting events and working with groups such as UVic Pride, the Ecological Restoration Club and many more to get ideas, feedback and input for what students want to see in the campus plan. In January 2015, the UVic Student Society (UVSS) voted to endorse the report.
So, what’s next? The consultation process for the 2016 Campus Plan has begun. We are asking students, staff and faculty to read our report, spread the word and participate in the consultation process.
This is an opportunity for the whole campus community to give feedback, ideas and insights on the changes we want to see over the next 10 years.
Until next week,