Anders Hanhan, president of the Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC), has long been a champion of sustainability efforts on campus and in the wider community.
That continues to be a focus as he takes on a larger leadership role on Lawrence’s shared governance council. He was elected LUCC president during Winter Term.
A junior from St. Paul, Minnesota, with a double major in environmental studies and government, Hanhan said he’s enjoying the opportunity to channel his activism into incremental changes.
The LUCC has been the university’s shared governance council since 1968. It includes a student president, a vice president, 16 student representatives, faculty representatives, and committee chairs. LUCC’s functions include recognizing and supporting student organizations, allocating funds from the student activities fee, and creating and revising LUCC legislation on non-curricular issues.
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Hanhan and LUCC worked to create a lineup of Earth Week activities in April, hosted by student organizations and featuring topics ranging from recycling to native planting to stargazing. It concluded with Earth Fest, a celebration of sustainability-focused food, fun, and tabling.
Hanhan is particularly proud of Earth Week’s focus on experiential learning: students didn’t just discuss environmental solutions, they tried them out, too.
“We’re not just going to sit here and say, this is good, this is bad,” Hanhan said. “We want to then take that and use our skills and resources to show [other communities] that these programs are important and possible.”
Hanhan’s passion for sustainability policy is nothing new. As co-chair on the Sustainability Committee since its founding, he has worked on first-year kits and sustainable menstruation programs. The first-year kits are sustainability kits that include reusable silverware, a water bottle, and a dish towel. The sustainable menstruation program is a growing initiative to give Lawrentians sustainable options. In addition to providing pads and tampons in campus bathrooms, the program distributed reusable menstrual products this year to nearly 200 students.
“The way that we change the way our campus impacts the environment is by making institutional decisions and creating resources that make sustainable decisions accessible to students,” Hanhan said.
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Hanhan’s style of activism is to be hands-on. He hopes that approach will keep students engaged with LUCC. Recognizing that he alone doesn’t have the expertise to solve every problem, he is working to create a strong organizational structure within LUCC that will smoothly connect students with experts who can help.
Hanhan said LUCC loves to hear from students. They can contact LUCC at their website (https://blogs.lawrence.edu/lucc/) and submit comments anonymously online or in-person on the fourth floor of Warch Campus Center.
Despite Hanhan’s hard-nosed activism, he has learned to work within a system that changes incrementally, he said.
“It’s that liberal arts problem-solving,” Hanhan said.