By: Nicole Shakhnazarova, Contributing Writer
Towson’s fresh-faced Student Environment Organization, a group devoted to maintaining an orchard and increasing the bee population on campus, was revived this semester and is working to make a positive change in the community.
Co-presidents Michael Bacon and Aliyah Russell, both of whom are seniors and environmental science majors, united their passion for the environment to form this eco-friendly organization.
“A big goal for us is to maintain the orchard that is on campus. We are working with the Baltimore Orchard to label the plants that are there and how to manage the orchard,” Bacon said. “Our second, and perhaps most important, goal is to try to get bees on campus for pollinators, and we are currently in the process of doing that.”
“Originally, the Environmental Science Club was formed on campus and then it dissolved, so [assistant professor] Christopher Salice sent an email out to all of the environmental science major students and asked if anyone was interested,” Bacon said.
A group of about ten active members, the organization accepts any interested students.
“What’s great about our organization is that we encourage everyone to join and be an active member,” Russell said. “No prior knowledge or environmental science majors are necessary. We just care that you care about the environment.”
The organization continues their work to preserve the environment by planning clean-up efforts and awareness events.
“Our big highlight was that we did a park clean up in February, and our ten core members showed up for it,” Russell said. “In addition to that, we also had an event on April 28, which was a performance of ‘Groundswell Rising’ and got a ton of literature on anti-fracking in Maryland.”
Although the spring semester is coming to a close, the SEO has many plans for the upcoming school year.
“Next week for our last meeting of the semester we plan on doing a trash pick-up in University Village to work on community service hours, which is definitely a thing that we try to focus on as it helps with funding for next semester,” Bacon said.
The organization meets Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Psychology Building, Room 205, although these times will most likely change next semester.
“Another big event we have coming up is we are planning a trip to Philadelphia on July 24,” Bacon said. “This trip is primarily planned for students to march for anti-fracking action to prevent climate catastrophe and present these demands directly to our current and future national leaders.
“We will be joined by thousands other fellow marchers on the eve of the Democratic National Convention,” Russell added.