During the month of November, the Texas A&M Residential Housing Association
(RHA) Vice President of Sustainability, Kyle Gauge, aided in bringing a new push
towards sustainability to Texas A&M University. Kyle, who is serving in an executive
role that was established in May 2017, has shown determination in increasing the level
of sustainability through advocacy and discussion with the ten thousand students he
represents. His passion for making the Texas A&M on-campus experience the best it
can be, has allowed him to develop a leadership skill set as refined as the senior
members on the RHA Executive Team. |
Kyle has kicked started his role through bridging the gap between RHA and the Aggie
Eco-Representatives (Eco-Reps). He dedicated his free time during the month to
meeting with the leaders and members of the Eco-Reps to work towards building the
bridge between the two organizations. One of the building blocks for the bridge was
the knowledge Kyle brought back from the 2017 SWACURH Regional Leadership
Conference (RLC). Kyle combined information from programming and speaking to
representatives from other Universities into ideas that could be applied through the
combined effort of RHA and Eco-Reps.
Kyle was approached by several constituents with the idea of bringing pollinator
gardens to campus. Seeing that this need was not an ordinary one, Kyle took it upon
himself to work with the residents to see the benefits of building one or more gardens.
His research found that Texas A&M sits along the migration path of four butterfly
species that have been driven away from campus due to the environment changes
that results from the continuous construction. Kyle took this information and met with
a larger range of constituents to find areas on campus where these gardens could be
built. Two locations that are currently at an unsatisfactory level of landscaping were
picked and Kyle brought the research and locations to administration. He met with
representatives of Texas A&M’s facilities service provider SSC on the topic. SSC
immediately hopped on the initiative and advised Kyle to apply for the Aggie Green
Fund Grant in order to fund the project.
Kyle has also been working with the Department of Residence Life’s South Area Office
(SAO) to decrease the amount of wasted paper use. Kyle worked with staff to collect
numerical data showing the exact amount of paper that is being used on a daily basis.
Upon analysis of the data, Kyle proposed to the SAO a switch in paper sources to one
that provides recycled paper. The SAO representatives and Kyle have organized a
test run of the recycled paper source for the Resident Advisor Application process
that will occur in the first months of the Spring 2018 semester. Should this trial
proceed, Kyle’s efforts this month will institute a change in paper resources to a more
Kyle’s effort to making a sustainable campus reached a new high with the creation of
a Sustainability Guide that could be used around campus. This guide’s aim is to
promote the social, environmental, and economic forces of sustainability on Texas
A&M’s campus. This guide, which promotes and commends the current efforts of
groups around campus, was co-written by Kyle and the Graduate Assistant
Sustainability Coordinator, Kristianna Bowles. It is currently being prepared to be sent
to the Texas A&M Division of Student Affairs to be adopted as the official
Sustainability Guide for use on campus.
Kyle has truly become an advocate of sustainability this month. He has empowered
not only himself, but also the on-campus residents of Texas A&M to take a stand and
work to make our campus sustainable.
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