Hello! This post is addressed at UBC students who have a passion for sustainability. I am writing to encourage any readers to apply to join the Common Energy Steering Committee for the coming year. By reading the blog post, you are already on Common Energy’s sweet website! Navigate to literally anywhere else (or stay on the blog) to learn more about what we do. In short, Common Energy is UBC’s largest and most active sustainability organization. Our mandate is to bring sustainability into every aspect of the student campus experience. In practice, that means we run campaigns, events, and projects aimed at igniting student sustainability action and university wide policy change.
I joined Common Energy in my first month of UBC. One of my first memories is settling into those fun Global Lounge chairs and listening to former Director Veronika Bylicki’s welcome to kick off the new year. It was exciting. She was inspiring (that could be you!).
Later in the month I helped out at a booth CE was running off Main Mall for the Tap That campaign to reduce plastic bottle water usage. It was raining I think, typical. It was Steering Committee member Umaima Baig’s birthday! I watched her come over to the booth, and observed her interactions with the other Steering Committee people there. She got a hug, they enjoyed some Sprouts vegan brownies, talked about Common Energy stuff, talked about non-Common Energy stuff, and chill out! Somehow the interaction had a deep impression on me. It was like “wow these people are super inspiring sustainability leaders but they’re also clearly such awesome friends. I want to have that.” Reader: you could have that.
Umaima ended up being my coordinator in first year — she and co-coordinator Niklas Agarwal led a fantastic Campaigns Team. They pushed me to apply to the Steering Committee the following year, and I am so glad I did! Being on the Steering Committee for the past two years has been DOPE.
Reasons you should apply for the Steering Committee:
- It’s fun
- You might not have had a leadership experience quite like being a team Co-Coordinator. Though you run a team, you are not the head decision maker of the team. Yes, you approve stuff, and ultimately the stuff that happens is stuff you liked. But Common Energy is setup to emphasize the individual members’ ideas, voices and action, meaning the Coordinators primarily job is to facilitate, not dictate, discussion and planning. That said, creating the ideal team dynamic and helping ideas turn into tangible solutions is actually very challenging! That’s probably something you could put on a resume and use later in life???
- It’s good for our planet, the Earth.
Community is actually a real thing here. It’s something Common Energy really focuses on, and does well. The Steering Committee does an awesome retreat in September to get to know each other and establish common goals. We focus on team building within the six teams, and throughout the entire organization. The biweekly steering Committee meetings have serious content, but honestly they’re a biweekly blast. The monthly Big Team meetings (open to members too) are like the most feel-good monthly events ever. The community is so warm and welcoming, I promise it’ll make your life at least 3% nicer.
- You’ll eat a healthy (surprisingly large) amount quality vegetarian/vegan food.
- The friendships you make working with people, seeing your ideas come into real life as events, campaigns and projects, are not like any other friendships. They have a more serious, perhaps deeper character. “We like each other, but we also did something together.” Part of what makes these friendships profound is that you have to work, and deal with real challenges. Common Energy, I think, compared to other organizations, particularly fosters friendships across all levels (members, Coordinators, Directors) because it is genuinely a community!
APPLICATIONS EXTENDED TO FEBRUARY 26TH AT 11:59PM!
Common Energy member since 2014. Campaigns Co-Coordinator 2015 Term 1. Zero-Waste Co-Coordinator and Blog Coordinator 2017 Term 2.