Student involvement is crucial for the operation of higher education institutions as it represents a significant learning process to students, who will develop a sense of belonging and identity in our university. Student members of our organizations share the same call-to-action interests, motivation, and objectives; they are skilled activists in designing and implementing innovative plans for the university from social, cultural, political, and environmental approaches. Moreover, students experience positive social, academic, and personal changes when joining an organization since they gain capabilities such as teamwork, leadership, problem-solving skills, critical thinking, responsibility, and allegiance. This can be perceived through better academic performance in the classroom, which eventually strengthens their professional development.
As part of its major commitments, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon educates professionals with a broad meaning of life and dedication to sustainable development because it considers necessary to support its students by promoting organizational integration and providing spaces for extracurricular activities about culture, the environment, sports, politics, social life, and leisure, which are essential in quality education.
UANL is home to 89 registered student organizations that work within the social, economic, and environmental approaches of sustainable development, of which 38 are independent organizations, 25 are university organizations, and 26 are student government boards. University organizations and student government boards are constituted by a director, a secretary general, and a group of young leaders who help collaboratively accomplish projects from an annual work plan to improve their communities and society at large.
UNIVERDE is the main university environmental organization, whose objective is to promote a culture of environmental sustainability. It is currently comprised of students from different UANL undergraduate schools.
Furthermore, several student organizations seek to implement specific programs for the academic, extracurricular, and social integration not only of its members, but also of all students. Such programs aim at pursuing the encouragement of health, nutrition, human rights, and cultural diversity by means of workshops, conferences, seminars, and brigades: Youth for Health, University Students Against Cancer, BideSida, Nutre, FEM, and research groups such as DIA, DIME, GERONTE, PAYPA, GRECCA, GIPSIDA, ISA, and SUOPAD.
For more than six years, the UANL Sustainability Secretariat, through the Project Development Directorate, has been promoting linkage activities between student associations, civil society organizations, university dependencies and public institutions, with the objective of create collaboration networks focused on promoting actions in favor of sustainability. Among these activities, the celebration of international days marked by the United Nations Organization, such as World Water Day, Earth Day, Environment Day, Ocean Day, Animal Day, among others, is worth mentioning. that magisterial conferences are carried out by specialists in which the causes of the problems presented in each of these topics are addressed and the possible ways of dealing with them, as well as exhibitions, knowledge fairs, forums for the exchange of proposals and other activities recreational activities promoted and operated by student associations supported by university authorities.
During 2017, various academic activities were held, such as the “Water Days”, in the framework of the celebration of the “World Water Day” with the keynote address “Use of agro-industrial waste for the production of activated carbon as an adsorbent of pollutants in wastewater “dictated Dr. Eduardo Soto Regalado, director of the Faculty of Chemical Sciences (FCQ), on March 22, 2017 in the auditorium” Mario González Garza “of the FCQ with the participation of 172 students and academic staff of schools and faculties of the university.
In order to promote the recovery of public spaces with great ecological importance and to make the community aware of the importance of the environmental services they provide and the biological diversity that they inhabit, from 2016 periodical Recovery of Natural Environments are held in Urban Areas.
The first activity in 2017 related to Recovery Days, took place on the river “La Silla” on March 25, 2017, more than 200 volunteers carried out cleaning activities on the channel and river banks, as well as personnel from the National Commission of Protected Areas taught the workshop on invasive alien species. The Association Pro Ecological Defense of the La Silla River, operational and administrative staff of the Department of Urban Development and Ecology and the Directorate of Public Services of the Municipality of Monterrey, the Undersecretary for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Government of the State of Nuevo Leon, The Directorate of the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, dependent on the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas, volunteers and the university community made it possible to carry out this activity.
Within the framework of World Environment Day, on June 7, 2017, the Day of Recovery of Natural Environments in Parque Lago located in the Municipality of Monterrey, about 75 members of the university community were present to carry out Tree planting activities, exotic flora recollection inside the lake and placement of technical sheets of birds that inhabit that natural space, as well as an environmental fair, exhibitions and environmental education workshops by the “Sons of the Mother” Earth “volunteers of the World Embassy of Peace.
On August 11, 2017, a conference on the recovery of natural environments was held at the UANL campuses, in conjunction with the Faculty of Communication Sciences and the government of the municipality of Monterrey; the objective of the day was to carry out actions to recover public spaces to improve the environmental quality of the Metropolitan Area of Monterrey, the activities that were carried out were the removal of solid waste and the exhibition of two conferences “The care of the American Black Bear” given by staff from PROFEPA and the second “Invasive Exotic Species” by personnel from the Cumbres de Monterrey National Park, in addition to the exhibition of an environmental fair and the black bear conservation campaign.
In October 2017, the celebration of the “World Animal Day” was held with the holding of the “Conference on Animal Welfare”, having as headquarters the Faculties of Communication Sciences, Nutrition and Public Accounting and Administration, within of the activities developed in the Conference, the members of the Student Federation “Animalia” provided information to the participants about the rights of the animals, besides promoting the adoption of companion animals and the collection of funds to continue carrying out actions in favor of the animal welfare, the central activity of the Conference was the presentation of the lecture “One Health”, delivered by Dr. Juan José Zarate Ramos, Professor of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry, which was attended by more than 200 members of the student community.
In addition to carrying out the aforementioned activities, the coordination of Institutional Liaison of the Project Development Directorate promotes the realization of courses, workshops, seminars and other types of academic events in order to train students as promoters of various issues linked to sustainability, in addition to promoting photography and art workshops linked to sustainability issues, which have a broad and enthusiastic participation by members of the student community.
The electronic and audiovisual media is another communication strategy used to promote sustainability inside and outside the university environment, impacting positively through audiovisual capsules, gifts and digital days conformed by a series of posters alluding to celebrations of important dates marked by national organizations and by the United Nations Organization. In 2017, 17 digital student conferences were held through which 226 posters were created and published on the official UANL-Sustainable facebook wall. Student organizations contributed ideas and creativity, sharing relevant information to carry out these conferences. in subjects on: adequate use of natural resources, promotion of human rights, animal welfare, Nutrition among others.
In order to disseminate the important work carried out by student organizations in favor of sustainability in the university environment, as well as to encourage the exchange of experiences and initiatives, between the same organizations and others that work in the state of Nuevo León, the Mexican Republic and the world, below is the following directory of student organizations: