Sustainability Panel

The panelists were introduced by Chantel Portes, who led the event and conducted the panel. 

Not all college students get the chance to travel to another country or speak about their home country, let alone comment on their sustainability experiences with the Creighton community. 

From Ecuador to the Dominican Republic, to Tunisia, to India, to Australia, to the Netherlands, Creighton students, whether global scholars or international students, were given the opportunity to share their findings at the Global Perspectives on Sustainability forum on April 5. 

An event put on by Sustainability Creighton and led by senior environmental sciences major Chantal Portes, the forum welcomed faculty and students to enjoy a completely compostable and sustainable array of snacks while learning from a panel about sustainability and how it has affected their perspectives.  

“This is the first event that I’ve been [to] that includes international students as well as global scholars, so hearing people’s perspective of their experience about sustainability in another country is pretty interesting,” Portes said. 

Throughout the forum, the panelists addressed various steps taken in countries to address sustainability. For instance, among many other examples, senior global scholar Anna Cloonan said that “24% of the Dutch population cycle every day,” and junior Nupur Dhoot, an international student from India, said the Mumbai government has begun to use the materials from illegal buildings being torn down to build legal establishments. 

The panelists also relayed their findings about the immense privilege that citizens in the United States have compared to where they studied or lived. 

“That privilege [of clean water in the United States] has opened my eyes... to how good we have it here,” said Dan Kooima, who studied in Australia his freshman year. “We have access to clean water. I can turn on any tap on campus and have clear water. That’s a huge privilege...something that a majority of people in the world don’t have access to.” 

Kooima’s thoughts on water sustainability were reciprocated by the other panelists, including freshman Shams Astro, an international student from Tunisia. Astro said that Tunisia’s usage of water is extremely unsustainable and has caused immense shortage and hardship for the country in the past year. 

“There are some problems that we can’t solve alone, like global warming... [but] small temperature changes make the difference between water and no water, so life and no life,” Astro said. 

Along with addressing pros and cons of sustainability in other countries, the panel also addressed the need for reshaping and becoming more sustainable for individuals, as people must reevaluate how sustainable they are in their own lives and adjust accordingly.  

“Taking those ideas about sustainability and affecting those changes in their own life [is really important],” said freshman Logan Yogi, an audience member at the forum. 

Kooima also said that there is something everyone can do to become more sustainable, whether that be refraining from buying new clothes and wearing the same clothes for a little bit longer, or only taking one shower a day.  

“I think that as students we have a responsibility to use our private do the tangible work to get stuff done,” Cloonan said about making a positive and sustainable impact on Creighton’s campus. 

The panel consisted of global scholars Cloonan, Kooima, Jose Antonio and Nick Zeh, accompanied by international students Astro and Dhoot.  

To learn more about Sustainable Creighton, visit

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.