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May 13, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Environment Week

Last week’s Environment Week suffered from its own personal drought, with students scarce and events “dry as hell” according to some.

The 2013 edition of VUWSA’s annual Environment Week featured a presentation on sustainable transport initiatives, a native-plant-restoration event, a community-garden workshop, a forum on the Fairer Fares campaign, a climate-change seminar, and a Fair Trade Fair.

However, the week has been criticised as most students were unaware, uninformed and uninterested. Some blamed VUWSA for the lack of advertising and information provided to promote Environment Week.

VUWSA President Rory McCourt said they could have been better organised with their communications, and will strive to be better for further events throughout the year.

“Organisers need to be running around the campus with green T-shirts or some shit, so people know it’s Environment Week, ‘cause I had no idea,” one student told Salient.

VUWSA’s Wellbeing and Sustainability Officer, Rick Zwaan, defended what was overall a “successful week”.

“A number of events were well attended, and well organised. It’s good to expose campus environmental groups.”

Salient attended last Tuesday’s event at the Kumutoto restoration site, by the squash courts. A mixture of undergraduate and PhD students were planting natives and monitoring the survival rates of plants put in place last year. The aim of this project was to help restore a native ecosystem right in the heart of our city; however, students spoken to on campus were ambivalent towards the restoration.

“To be honest, giving up my time to plant a plant is not something I would do without a direct reward,” they said.

Zwaan stated the range of events provided a broad base for students to engage with, and that ongoing events throughout the year will provide further opportunities to engage students with environmental activism.

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