Student Spotlight: Bridget Gustafson
We are THRILLED to see Herbicide-Free Cal’s Bridget Gustafson featured in Berkley’s SERC (Student Environmental Resource Center) Blog, The Leaflet. Read all about it here.
When asked about the most important thing for students to know when trying to start their own organization or movement, Gustafson reflects that the biggest lesson she and Feldman have learned is that change must begin with open dialogue, specifically dialogue with the folks you’re requesting change from.
I cannot stress the importance of recognizing your positionality when advocating for change. In our experience, this looked like recognizing the privilege of our position as students, the gift of our able bodies, and the education that allowed us to learn about the dangers of herbicides. This allowed us to approach the grounds crew in a way that did not put any of the blame of using these herbicides on them, and instead, recognized that they were and are incredibly understaffed and overburdened. This perspective led us to offering student labor, so that we could work elbow-to-elbow with them to diminish the health risk to students, groundskeepers, and all else that utilize our campus.