Online from: 2000
Subject Area: Education
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|Title:||Student-led campus climate change initiatives in Canada|
|Author(s):||Anjali Helferty, (Sierra Youth Coalition, Ottawa, Canada), Amelia Clarke, (Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)|
|Citation:||Anjali Helferty, Amelia Clarke, (2009) "Student-led campus climate change initiatives in Canada", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 10 Iss: 3, pp.287 - 300|
|Keywords:||Canada, Energy management, Global warming, Students, Universities|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/14676370910972594 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive list of student-led, campus-based climate change initiatives, and offers details on many specific cases. The paper also documents the roles students have played and considers the larger youth engagement implications. Many of these initiatives can be replicated elsewhere, thereby providing a starting point for students wanting to begin an initiative or providing ideas for other campus stakeholders wanting to engage students in initiatives.
Design/methodology/approach – Campus reports were collected by the Sierra Youth Coalition from 65 Canadian Universities and Colleges. This qualitative information was coded for student-led climate-related initiatives, and for the roles students played in those initiatives. The patterns were identified and clustered, and are presented in this paper.
Findings – Students were found to be successfully leading eight different types of campus climate change-related initiatives, both with the support of other campus stakeholders and without this support. Students were also found to be able to successfully take on a variety of types of leadership roles in these initiatives. Youth engagement ranged from socialization to influence to power, depending on the type of initiative.
Research limitations/implications – A limitation of this research is that only 65 of the approximately 227 colleges and universities in Canada participated. Also, it is possible that some schools may not have reported all student-led initiatives, or all the student roles. In addition, the data were limited to the 2007/2008 academic year, so is limited to the initiatives which occurred in that year.
Originality/value – This paper presents different types of student-led climate change initiatives, the roles students have played in these initiatives, and the implications for youth engagement in creating climate change solutions. It contributes to the climate change, the campus sustainability, and the social movements literatures.
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