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Mission Green organization springs up and grows rapidly

As fall semester ends, Florida Atlantic University students are still fighting to keep our world green with Mission Green.

“Mission Green Student Association is a club at the Boca Raton campus that looks to educate and inspire students on environmental protection and advocacy,” said Alexander Van Mecl, president and founder of group.

Van Mecl started the organization this past spring, and already has recruited more than 650 members.

“Recycling in the residence halls and on the rest of campus, water conservation with the sprinkling systems, healthy food choices in our food courts, and habitat conservation,” Van Mecl said, are issues the organization tries to monitor.

“We are always open to suggestions on how to make the culture of FAU and the students, faculty, and staff greener,” he said.

The association has lofty plans, too.

“We have habitat conversation, recycling, energy conservation, tree planting, rallies and protesting projects that were are about to start planning for this coming spring 2010, as well as fall 2010,” Van Mecl said.

One big event the organization is looking forward to is a co-sponsored dance competition called The Take Over: Making It Green. “It is an event that emulates the passion for a green future,” Van Mecl said. It is to be held in February.

Mecl said the the organization has received strong feedback, and the events draw large crowds and often new members often.

"Students have taken a sincere passion in reporting to Mission Green issues that they feel should be immediately addressed," he said. "These issues pertain to instances on campus in which students feel we are not operating green. Thus we are pushed and often excited to advocate for students and to defend their cases.”

Josef Newman, vice president of the organization, said, “I think it is very beneficial, foremost for raising awareness on campus about prominent environmental issues – not only global warming, but other issues like endangered species conservation, the benefits of organic food, and other problems we face as a society.”

He said he joined because the organization provides a great way to be actively involved in the environmental movement. Since being a member, he has taken part in many activities such as beach clean-ups and volunteering for Al Gore, who recently spoke at Boca Raton's Mizner Park.

Mission Green not only educates student on ways to go green, but it also advocates better recycling awareness.

Peter Tatro III, a member, has been active since the beginning.

“I originally joined Mission Green because I was friends with Alex and he asked me if I would be interested," Tatro said. "He told me about the group when it was fairly new to students at the time, and it seemed like it would be interesting. Since then, I have learned a lot about going green and how it is important to the environment.”

The organization is financed through the student government, and additional money comes from fund-raising events. There are no membership dues.

Meetings for the club are held once a month on different days, depending on the semester scheduling. Dates are usually posted on the main Web page, www.fau/edu.mgsa or on the organization’s Facebook page.




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