August 08, 2018
When a group of UNE students saw the plans for a new student commons building that included a front façade made of glass, they immediately thought about what they were learning in their Avian Ecology and Conservation class about preventing bird-strike. They made the decision to start a petition, and successfully lobbied the university for bird-safe glass to be incorporated into the construction plans.
Nearly two years later, the Danielle N. Ripich Commons building, complete with bird-safe glass covering the entire front façade of the building, is complete and being enjoyed by students and the UNE community. The students’ story is featured in an August 2018 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Department of Environmental Studies Associate Professor Noah Perlut, Ph.D., who teaches Avian Ecology and Conservation, told the Chronicle that he is proud of the whole system, especially the students who channeled their passion into action that shaped the center of the UNE campus. He said it’s important for institutions to think about the long-term, real-world lessons they send with students, beyond the classroom.
“Especially from a university standpoint, showing leadership in how we can live sustainably and work sustainably is such a critical role that we as educators have."