Natalia Gutierrez | Staff Writer
Assistant teaching professor Jessica Bolson has been the advisor for the group since 2019. She works in the department of Earth and Environment.
Therefore, the club’s mission resonates strongly with Bolson.
“I feel very proud of our students who are taking initiative. This cause is near and dear to my heart and research,” said Bolson. “I think it’s important to connect like-minded students around this cause. People are hungry to connect with students and other residents of Miami who have similar interests in improving the environment.”
President Stephanie Uviovo is a senior and international relations major. Much like Bolson, she is passionate about environmental conservation, which can be traced back to her childhood in Nigeria.
“This is an organization that focuses on sustainability and promoting more eco-friendly practices on campus. South Florida is known for its environment but every day we see that it’s not being treated properly,” said Uviovo.
“Society for Sustainable Souls is not just a club to me. It’s an amazing avenue to carry out my passions.”
Additionally, the club has hosted sustainability-focused events that encourage environmentally friendly practices and the protection of the planet. This demonstrates another one of the club’s overarching goals: to boost civic engagement.
“My students have been self-directed. They have been real leaders in planning these events and administering them. Again, these events are a great way to raise awareness for sustainable lifestyles,” said Bolson.
The club participated in the Spring 2023 Sustainability Fair along with other sustainability-minded organizations like the Garden Club and the Green Campus Initiative. The theme was “Invest In Our Planet.”
Activities that took place included games, thrifting, and upcycled art projects.
“We mostly focused on upcycling and thrifting. We had a clothing swap and we always have such an amazing turnout. Students come in and donate clothes and, in return, they are allowed to thrift swap. It’s always such an amazing and joyful experience. I love making these deep connections with students as well,” said Uviovo.
Society for Sustainable Souls has also arranged clean-ups.
Last year, in collaboration with Surfrider at FIU, members cleaned the Nature Preserve at the Modesto Maidique Campus. They pulled out noxious weeds, put down mulch, and removed litter.
“We need to make sure that our community members get active. You can feel disheartened when you think about environmental problems, but we focus on solutions and ways to reduce our impact,” said Bolson.
The club wants to provide solutions to environmental problems by discouraging over-consumption and other harmful behaviors.
“I am excited about greater membership and getting the word out. I really think we need to bring in more people who share these interests,” said Bolson.
Uviovo believes that taking action now will help preserve the planet for current and future generations.
“We’re not just looking for passionate people. We look for students who are curious and have an interest in Florida. If anyone wants to learn more about the environment, this is the right place for them,” said Uviovo.