Student heads of 20 city colleges resolved to take up the cause of the environment seriously.

The Loyola Students' Union, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industries and the American Consulate, organised the E20 leadership summit on November 22. The E20 summit, the first of its kind among universities in Chennai was the launch-pad of the signing of the Crossroads declaration, the signatories being the presidents of the 20 city colleges gathered under one roof, each heading their respective delegation. The Crossroads declaration served as a call to all colleges to work towards greater environmental sustainability and to ensure that all their campuses were eco-friendly. The chief guest for the evening was Andrew Simkin, Consul General of the American Consulate, Chennai.

Appreciative efforts

The keynote speaker for the event Sriram Panchu, senior advocate, emphasised on the need for the signatories of the Crossroads declaration to ensure that their peers at college and their management stick to eco-friendly practices in his keynote speech.

Andrew Simkin gave a brief and interesting account of how the Consul developed techniques to measure their carbon footprints, and thereby determine the energy consumed by them which would then result in control measures with regard to the same. “The voice of the students is extremely powerful” he said. Mr. Simkin ended his account by encouraging the audience to make ample use of organic waste for gardening, which would go a long way in ensuring reuse of natural resources. Also present at the event was T. T. Ashok, Chairman of CII's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Sub-Committee who said that the CII would set up a review committee to take not of the measures taken by the colleges and the best college will be invited to host next year's summit.

The signing of the Crossroads declaration by the student presidents was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Bernard D. Sami, Professor, Loyola College. The panel boasted of some of the most renowned heads of various departments involving themselves in environmental sustainability. The panel discussion concluded, with all members unanimously agreeing to the fact that the environment is in dire need of revival and the Student Community unarguably the strongest organisation can help in the cause.

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