GUEST COLUMN: Central Sustainability expands

Courtesy of Eric Urbaniak

In 2020, Central Sustainability (CS) was founded with the goal of becoming a campus and community hub for sustainability outreach, education and collaboration.

Today, through project, policy and programming, CS functions as the office of sustainability at Central Michigan University, making the campus and community more holistically sustainable.

From establishing an on-campus garden to hosting sustainability tours and conferences, the CS team works to promote environmental consciousness and sustainable practices throughout the CMU community. In a broader sense, CS pursues projects that are beneficial from not only an environmental lens, but also a social, cultural, human and economic lens in the hopes of producing long-term outcomes which build community. 

Now, with help from the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Science and Engineering, Facilities Management and the Office for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Central Sustainability is excited to announce that it has an expanded six-student team and office space – Dow 275 – to facilitate projects and collaborate with partners.

Through the leadership of students Ava Brewer, Claire DeBlanc, Lauren Dey, Tiffany Jurge, Eric Urbaniak and Meghan VanDamme, CS plans to continue growing while advocating for change. This unprecedented growth is one of a kind, and serves as a testament to the years of commitment from current and former students dedicated to sustainable growth.  

This change was in part made possible through the efforts of faculty member Dr. Matthew Liesch. Dr. Liesch is the chairperson for the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, and was eager to help Central Sustainability ensure long-term organizational stability and the chance to scale up efforts this year. According to Dr. Liesch, “Students have the power to make a difference. The students in Central Sustainability are leaders at the forefront of problem-solving for sustainability and resilience across campus.” 

Additionally, as Central Sustainability has grown, it has recently worked with CMU graphics to develop a new “spirit mark” logo. This will be seen on CS emails, posters, and presentations, and will mark projects which play multiple roles in community building. Nearly all projects pursued by Central Sustainability have multiple benefits for people and the planet, so it is important that these can be recognized through this new logo.

This year, Central Sustainability looks forward to continued collaboration with organizations and partners, such as Central Civics, Take Back the Tap, an array of RSOs and CMU academics and administration to influence the sustainability of our community. Additionally, students can expect to see more programming for Campus Sustainability Month in October, Earth Week in April and year-round educational events and sustainability walking tours.  

Want to know more about us or share your ideas on how to make CMU more sustainable? Stop by the new Central Sustainability office located in Dow Science Building Room 275.  

To engage and learn more today, take the CMU Sustainability Pledge, and sign up for a fall Sustainability Walking Tour

You can also check out our website or email us at