Founded in 2013, Phoenix Sustainability Initiative is currently being led by fourth-years Mercer Winer, Terra Baer and Shannon Davis (left to right). With more than 70 members, student-run organization is filled with “go-getters who see a problem and fix it with a ‘sky’s the limit’ mentality,” said Davis, PSI’s co-president.
Phoenix Sustainability Initiative promotes environmental awareness across campus life
If you encounter an environmental issue on the University of Chicago campus, chances are Phoenix Sustainability Initiative (PSI) is already working to improve it. From art installations, to on-campus composting, to a pop-up thrift shop to keep clothing out of landfills, the student organization is leading creative efforts to help build a better world.
“We want to get people who don’t already care about environmentalism to start caring,” said fourth-year Mercer Winer, PSI’s co-president.
Winer is one of the students who lead Phoenix Sustainability Initiative, which now brings together more than 70 members to spread awareness about the imminent threat of climate change and environmental degradation—and the dire consequences of inaction. Founded as a UChicago registered student organization in 2013, PSI has evolved into a “one-stop shop” for sustainability efforts, said Shannon Davis, fourth-year and co-president. Their goal is to make sure that sustainability is prioritized across campus and student daily life, not left as a separate, niche interest.
“UChicago students come from all over the country and the world,” said fourth-year Terra Baer, PSI’s vice president. “Composting, recycling and other habit-forming practices are conventions our global community is going to take with them when they leave. Our advocacy and dedication around these issues will radiate out into the world.”
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