NC State Student Government Approves Social Innovation Fellows Bill to Require Waste Sorting Training for Incoming Students

This article has been reposted from the NC State Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship website.

Social innovation is a marathon and a sprint.

The 2020-21 Compost Facility and Research Cooperative team learned this lesson when their project met a major milestone almost a year after they left the Social Innovation Fellows (SIF) program. The team, comprised of Eden Millan, Julia O’Brien, Skye Pham, Stephanie Gongora, and Senior Fellow Haley Hall, recently learned that NC State’s Student Government approved their bill to implement mandatory waste sorting training for incoming students.

Skye Pham, a member of the 2020-21 Social Innovation Fellows cohort and a Senior Fellow for the 2021-22 cohort, described the bill as requiring “incoming students to take online courses that detail how to properly sort waste into landfill, recycling, and compost. We hope that the implementation of waste sorting reporter training for all incoming students will help to reduce compost contamination on campus and help NC State reach its waste diversion goal.”

All incoming students will be required to take a REPORTER training similar to the University’s data security training. This legislation passed with unanimous support from NC State Student Government. 

The team was mentored by Raj Narayan, associate director of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science and Tara Spivey, university program associate for the Kenan Institute, who helped the members implement tools that SIF instilled in its Fellows including stakeholder mapping, systems-level thinking, and voice of the stakeholder analysis, as well as SIF’s Discover, Design, and Do Good framework. 

“The framework provides the team with an iterative process that enables their inquiry and decision making towards achieving a goal,” Narayan said. “This provides the team with a foundational understanding of how to identify and address enduring problems in our society.”