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Environmental Science and Policy
In helping students form a sense of place, a connection with the community and environment where they live, colleges can help encourage a sense of stewardship. This sense of responsibility can lead to a reduction in the ecological footprint of a college both through student resource use and through increased efforts by students to make the college a more sustainable institution. I attempted to add to and rework programs on the Smith campus to help foster a sense of place in the first year class. By meeting with faculty and staff who organize the programs, I assessed the programs Smith has in place and offered recommendations for the future. I suggested additions to the pre-orientation and orientation programs for incoming students, suggested a book for the incoming students to read that has a local environmental theme, and designed a first year seminar that investigates the reciprocal relationship between Smith and its surrounding environment. I hope that these programs will help Smith students become more aware of their social and ecological impacts on the surrounding areas, and subsequently act to reduce their resource use and become positive members of the Northampton community. In addition, I hope this sense of place will provide the impetus for students to become involved with environmental movements on campus and beyond.
© 2003; Jocelyn Brown-Saracino
Brown-Saracino, Jocelyn, "Place" (2003). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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