April 27, 2023
Over the course of the 2022-23 academic year, the Old Gold & Black expanded the paper’s environmental coverage from a beat in the features section, to its own one-page section to a fully-fledged three-page section. In its inaugural year, the Environment section has featured articles on sustainability initiatives both on and off campus, environmental justice issues and various ecological labs on campus.
In Winston-Salem and North Carolina, we highlighted environmental justice initiatives past, present and ongoing. On Feb. 1, we marked the one-year anniversary of the Weaver Fire with a retrospective discussing the university’s response to the fire, Winston-Salem’s community fund set-up for victims and the forthcoming Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist study on its impacts. In March, staff writer Anna Beim recounted the environmental justice movement’s roots in Warren County, N.C..
We featured small businesses and non-profit nature preserves like Earth Sage, Gateway Nature Preserve and Reynolda Gardens which work to provide sustainable outlets for Winston-Salem. The profiles not only increased awareness of and engagement with opportunities outside of campus but provided the organizations an opportunity to be highlighted to the Wake Forest community.
On campus, our writers spent time chronicling Wake Forest’s waste and resource usage. Writers examined the efficacy and journey of composting and recycling systems on campus in articles about North Pit’s Composting Methods, NCA Composting Initiatives, the journey of Wake Forest’s trash and the ecology of trees on campus. We covered these stories to show how Wake Forest is working toward increasing their waste-reduction efforts and how they may change in the future.
With more room for stories, our writers and staff have worked effortlessly to highlight students, staff and alumni who are aiding the environment. We featured Dr. Brian Tague’s mycology lab, Dr. Stephen Smith’s rock tour on campus, a coral reef biology spring break trip and Dr. Lauren Lowman’s engineering lab at Wake Downtown. We featured Wake Forest alumni and students like Meredith Mulhearn (‘01), Peter Schlachte (‘19) and Gretchen Castelloe (‘23), who are using their influence to promote sustainability initiatives in the arts and business. Outside the Forest, we tackled topics like the environmental impact of bitcoin, tropical islands, Peruvian environment and the sustainability of fake snow.
In all of our articles, we’ve worked to show a balance of perspectives on the environment. We chose to feature a variety of topics that not only promote sustainability but show the varied efforts students, faculty and the world are making to improve our planet, environment and future.
We’ve enjoyed seeing our section and writers grow this semester. We’re proud of our stories and journalists who have worked to promote the voices of environmentalists and sustainability initiatives on campus and look forward to covering new stories and sustainability efforts in the fall of 2023.