Sustaining more work for students

The environment is a big deal – especially at UVM.So when the SGA passed a resolution supporting the creation of a sustainability course requirement, it did not come as much of a surprise to The Cynic.Similar to the diversity requirements, the new six-credit requirement would mean that students would have to take classes concerning the environment to graduate. In polls conducted by the SGA, 43.5 percent of students completely supported the requirement.What The Cynic is concerned about is the other  56.5 percent of students — and what about the students that weren’t polled?At UVM, there is a stigma surrounding the environment. There is the potential to receive “death” stares if one passes up the recycle bin on campus.Of course, we aren’t saying the environment is not worth our time. The environment is important. We are going to have to live on this planet for a long time.We applaud the innovative steps UVM has taken to make our campus more sustainable such as the water bottle refill stations and composting in residential halls.However, six credits is a significant addition to the extensive course requirement list UVM has already established. While many students value the environment and want to learn about sustainability, not all students should be forced to take the two additional courses.Adding two more courses to the requirement list means that student either have two less course slots to dedicate to their personal interests or they have two more courses for which they have to pay.There are other ways to promote sustainability without placing so much of an extra credit burden — and an expensive credit burden at that — on students. Have an alternate option available to students, such as being able to substitute sustainability classes for another course requirement. Even making it so that students could choose to take one diversity requirement and one sustainability requirement would make students more aware of sustainability while not cutting down on the classes they can choose to take on their own.Sustainability is already at the front of most students’ minds whether it is out of personal concern or fear of peers’ reaction to a wasted piece of paper. The Cynic wants an active student interest in the environment to continue, but a less burdening route can and should be found.