SMUS students have access to a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities that interest them. We offer more than 100 fun and rewarding clubs or councils that provide students of all ages with leadership experience, skill development and a chance to contribute to life on campus and in our greater community. The SMUS Review is currently highlighting these extracurricular activities and the passionate students who get involved.
Today, the SMUS Review sits down with Grade 12 student Uma Hallea, who participates in SMUS’s Sustainability and Outdoor Council, the group that organized the school’s Earth Week initiatives this week.
What is the Sustainability and Outdoor Council?
It’s a council where we do outdoor activities, like white water kayak trips or surf trips, or we plan events like we did this week for Earth Week. We also do beach clean-ups and we’re trying to do some trail-building. It’s mostly just getting outside with other people who are interested in doing activities outside and helping the environment.
Why did you join Sustainability and Outdoor Council?
I really like getting outside and trying new activities, but I don’t often find people to do it with or I don’t have the equipment or knowledge. I like getting to do the sustainability stuff, like Earth Week; getting out
there and helping people and the Earth.
What’s the time commitment like?
We meet Wednesdays at lunch and it’s really not a stressful place to be.
What did Sustainability and Outdoor Council do for Earth Week?
On Tuesday we had an organic/green/local lunch, so all the products are grown in B.C., most are organic and a lot are grown right in our community. On Wednesday we did the same thing, but it was for dinner. Thursday we had a lights off and paperless day. It’d be really hard to be completely paperless and completely lights out, so getting people aware of it was the priority. We put sticky notes on light switches asking, “Do you really need to turn this on?” On Friday we gave out prizes rewarding people who walk or bike or carpool or take the bus to school… basically anything other than one person in one car. And on Saturday we’re hoping to do a beach clean-up somewhere.
Why was Earth Week and sustainability a priority for the council?
Because right now, the way people are living, the Earth’s not going to last much longer. We have to care for it because we have no where else to go. It’s quickly deteriorating and now it’s getting to the point where if we keep going like this, the damage isn’t going to be reversible.
What do you enjoy most about being in the Sustainability and Outdoor Council?
I really like the activities that we do. In January we went to a roll clinic where we learned how to flip our kayaks, and we did a climbing trip out to Stelly’s. It’s fun to hang out with people who share common interests with you.
What do you gain from being a part of it?
There’s always people telling you to get out of your comfort zone, and you get to do that! It’s sometimes scary at first, but it’s a fun thing to do. You feel a sense of accomplishment when you roll your kayak by yourself for the first time or get to the top of a climbing wall or help organize something for Earth Week. You feel like you’re helping people and helping the earth.
Would you recommend other students join Sustainability and Outdoor Council?
Yes! You get to go out and try new things that you might not get the chance to do otherwise.