Emerson#039;s Cafe goes green with coffee

by Beacon Staff • April 15, 2009

Emerson's Cafe will knock off 20 cents from the price of a cup of joe for anyone who brings in reusable mugs, according to Student Government Association Senator Samantha Coulson, who proposed the idea to SGA. This new initiative, set to take affect on April 22-Earth Day-came through a combined desire from students and the administration to make environmentally friendly changes in the cafeacute;'s operation.

"We want to work on ways Emerson and students can cut down on our environmental impact," said Coulson, a junior communication studies major and iBeacon/i copy editor. Coulson, who was recently reelected as senator for the class of 2010, took the initiative on as an independent senate project after the idea was suggested to her from Collin Gately, who is the Vice President of the Emerson Democrats.

Gately, a junior Political Communication major, approached Coulson, who is also a member of the Emerson Democrats, about the idea because of her connections with the SGA.

The idea was inspired by campaigns started by other colleges, like the University of Vermont's program "One Less Cup," that began in 2007 and aims to reduce waste and save money by encouraging faculty and students to bring their own cups for beverages.

"I haven't seen a whole lot of emphasis put on sustainability at Emerson, so I'm pleased about the policy," Gately said, referring to the discount newly implemented at the cafeacute;.

Coulson approached Business Services about the idea. Director of Business Services, said her office began to consider a similar plan after receiving feedback from foodservice and cafeacute; customers that encouraged the idea.

"The initiative is for the cafeacute; to become more environmentally friendly and food service was very receptive to the idea," said Dickinson in an e-mail.

Coulson said she has asked Dickinson to make sure the Emerson bookstore has travel mugs in stock so they are easily accessible for students to purchase. Also, Coulson is working with the SGA and Emerson Democrats to provide free travel mugs to students during next fall's Organization Fair.

Despite its good intentions, the environmentally friendly initiative may not be enough to hook Emersonians.

"The coffee isn't that good, and whenever I go there between classes there are always huge lines," said senior communication sciences and disorders major Rachael Levy, pointing out that it is often easier to go to one the multiple coffee establishments surrounding campus.

However, Coulson is optimistic about initiatives take off and the possibility for more ways to improve sustainability at Emerson.

"We want to find ways to promote a green campus," Coulson said.