Nathan Bodger, a third-year Religious Studies major and Environmental Science minor at Stetson University, is a committed campus and community leader in the issues of environmental sustainability and public policy. As a first-year student, Nathan served as a campus Environmental Fellow, through which he coordinated recycling and food waste reductions programs while educating local youth on environmental sustainability. During his second and third years at Stetson, Nathan helped create a community garden in a local food desert, led environmental policy lobbying efforts through campus and community campaigns, and initiated the Stetson Revolving Green Fund (RGF), a fund for sustainability projects that is student-funded through a $5/semester "Green Fee" - the first of it's kind at a college or university. Nathan has also completed environmental fieldwork across the world, including reforestation and agriculture education efforts in rural Guatemala. Upon graduation, Nathan intends to pursue a J.D., as well as a doctorate in political philosophy, through which he will focus on international human rights and environmental law.
Through the Environmental Fellowship, I have been afforded the incredible opportunity to carry out many community engagement projects over the past two and a half years. One of my goals has been to make Stetson and DeLand more sustainable. Sustainability initiatives cost money, so I have been advocating for the creation of a Revolving Green Fund. Through campus-wide polling and lobbying efforts, the RGF was supported and passed by our Student Government Association and Board of Trustees, making Stetson the first college to create a student-initiated and student-funded fund for large-scale sustainability projects. With approximately $30,000 generated in our first year, we are looking to fund a solar photovoltaic array on land owned jointly by Stetson University and the City of DeLand. Leading this project has helped me realize the importance of laws and policies in institutionalizing change and promoting justice; as Hobbes explains, justice only exists through the institution of laws, which uphold rights, so I intend to focus my career in environmental law and politics.