Ryan Greff, a sophomore Finance major, has exemplified strong leadership within different areas on campus, including Ramapo’s commitment to sustainability.
Ryan is a member of the Student Government Association and serves as a Senator-at-Large, where he serves on the Student Activities Allocation Committee, Philanthropy Committee, and Academic Affairs Committee. In addition, he is the Commuter Student Representative on the RCNJ Student Leaders Council. Previously, he was the Chairman of the SGA Commuter Affairs Committee, where he connected students with 32 private scholarship opportunities and helped lead the creation of the Commuter Overnight Housing Program. Currently, he is also a part of the Library Learning Commons Task Force, which oversees the development of the Potter Library renovation.
When it comes to sustainability, Ryan has devoted time and effort to see the success of new legislation that boosts sustainability initiatives on campus. This legislation includes improved recycling procedures and limited styrofoam usage.
What made you want to push for sustainable change on campus?
“Prior to coming to Ramapo College, I had been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout within the Boy Scouts of America. As an Eagle Scout, I recognized the importance of protecting the environment. But, I had my first exposure to the sustainability movement on campus when I was appointed the Student Government Liaison to the Sustainability Center. It was in this role, that I really understood what young people could do to protect the planet.”
What have been some of your sustainability accomplishments at Ramapo?
“My SGA Legislation on recycling, which was passed in the fall, works to use the SGA’s monetary leverage over clubs to prompt our co-sponsors to make sure that all their waste is disposed of in the most environmentally proper way. If a club or organization fails to do so, the group runs the risk of being denied future funds for the remainder of the academic year. Based on the principles of economics, which suggest that people respond to incentives (such as not losing their co-sponsorship funding), I believe that this legislation will effectively produce the desired results.
In the spring, my SGA Legislation on Styrofoam serves to severely limit the purchase and usage of Styrofoam within the SGA. Due to the negative impacts of Styrofoam, such as taking about 500 years to decompose, it is my belief that the material has no place at RCNJ. With such a massive budget, divesting SGA funds from Styrofoam allows the organization’s transactions to be much more environmentally friendly. To put things in perspective, the SGA spends around $90,000 during each academic year. Now, next to none of those funds will be used on Styrofoam products.
As a member of the President’s Committee on Campus Sustainability, I worked with the Facilities Department to secure the funding to purchase recycling bins for the Grove area. A person will, on average, walk 12 paces before littering. It is my hope that the added connivance of recycling bins in the grove will increase the recycling rate on campus and allow for less littering at Ramapo College.”
What do you hope to see happen on campus in the future?
“I hope to see the sustainability movement on campus continue to gain momentum. The works of many student leaders have allowed Ramapo College to increase its environmental consciousness. Hopefully, all members of the Ramapo community will one day lend a hand to protect the planet.”