Phillip Haberman acknowledges he’s stretched pretty thin, but he’d have it no other way.
After earning his degree at Metro State in 2005, he returned to earn his teacher licensure in special education. Already busy with all that licensure entails, he recently attended the Clinton Global Initiative University annual meeting, which was held March 30-April 1 at George Washington University in Washington, D. C.
Haberman is also president of the Student Service Club, a leader in the alternative spring break project, a member of the Compact Service Corps, treasurer of the Metro State chapter of the Colorado Education Association and vice chairman of the Sustainable Campus Program. He will co-lead a summer education program on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation in southwest Colorado, and, fittingly, intends to join the Peace Corps.
Haberman, 29, received a Compact Service Corps scholarship that paid for all travel and training-related expenses to the Clinton conference, which included lectures and break-out discussions on education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation and public health.
To qualify for the conference, Haberman and other delegates had to develop what the CGIU calls a “commitment to action,” a plan that addresses “a pressing challenge on their campus, in their community or in a different part of the world.”
Haberman’s plan calls for an ambitious expansion of the campus sustainability effort to further reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill and increase the amount that’s diverted to recycling and composting. The plan is based, in part, on Haberman’s practice-what-you-preach effort to reduce his own waste footprint.
For three months, he collected all of his trash and put it into bins for recycling, composting and landfill disposal. The result: a mere 7 percent of his castoffs over the period ended up in the landfill; the overall percentage for the Auraria campus, he says, is 65 percent.
So, among other things, his plan calls for placing three-bin sites at waste-heavy locations on campus, beginning in the fall semester. It is to be carried out in close collaboration with the sustainable campus program, which is funded by student fees.
Haberman is wrapping up his time at Metro State—he starts his student teaching in August— but he’s intent on leaving his mark on the campus.
“I just really wanted to take advantage of the opportunities that were presented to me…and really make a change in some of the areas that are close to my heart.”
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