“I came up for the idea of starting this community last November, fall 2011. I thought it was time that Georgetown develop a space where students can endeavor together to live sustainably,” said founder of Greenhouse Megan Griffin (COL ’14). “A lot of other universities have had that for a long time. But then my idea expanded to include programming, outreach, trips, and I realized this community could help to influence Georgetown as a whole.”
The Greenhouse is meant to create a living space for discussion, learning, and sharing on the environmental issues important to members, as well as engaging community leaders. The community also aims to reduce the amount of waste it generates.
Griffin hopes that the members of the Greenhouse will come from across the environmentalist community. The Greenhouse is a space “where anyone should feel comfortable and where everyone has a new perspective to share”, Griffin said. The community would welcome die-hard environmentalists, environmental biology majors, and students who are new to the environmentalist movement alike.
The Greenhouse community will draft a constitution at the beginning of the year, setting forth the level of daily commitment. “Besides this daily commitment the students will participate in activities and initiatives on campus and in D.C., and create programming,” Griffin said.
Griffin also intends for each member of the Greenhouse to pursue and advocate for environmental initiatives in whatever way they can.
“I would love to see members of the Greenhouse embrace roles as environmental advocates and leaders,” Griffin said. “As a Georgetown organization, the Greenhouse will work within the system to resolve any problems and advocate for positive changes. Luckily, Georgetown is relatively open to such change.”
Like all Living and Learning Communities, the Greenhouse must maintain a connection to Georgetown’s Jesuit and Catholic identity. To this end, Griffin thinks it would be worthwhile for the Greenhouse community to take the St. Francis Pledge, which is to live your faith by protecting God’s Creation and advocating on behalf of people in poverty who face the harshest impacts of global climate change according to the Catholic Climate Covenant.
The location of the Greenhouse is undetermined at this time. “My advice to interested students is to apply and not worry about the location,” Griffin said.
Despite having to start the Greenhouse from scratch, Griffin found the process quite manageable.
“ResLife was very supportive. I approached my floor director with my idea, who directed me to Katie Heather [Assistant Director for Residence Life]. From there I wrote a proposal, found a faculty adviser and compiled a tentative budget. Some other pieces have included formulating parts of the application and getting the word out,” she said.
“We will continue to expand our Living Learning Community program as long as there is student and faculty interest,” Heather said. “The majority of our LLCs were created when a group of students came together around a common interest and wanted to pursue this option.”