Taking Hands-On Action to Create Lasting Change

Dalia Tarazi and Massimo D’Aloia Thomspon with some E.C.S. promotional materials.

SAC graduates Dalia Tarazi & Massimo D’Aloia Thompson formed a hands-on environmentally conscious society and were awarded two outstanding awards: ‘Most Improved Group 2020’ and ‘Society of the Year 2020’ in the first year of their formation. They tell us how they did it!

‘When first joining the university, we both wanted to get involved in an environmentally active and conscious society. We wanted to meet like-minded people through “hands-on” activities and take environmental action aside from simply learning about it on our course. We wanted to see concrete environmental change happening on campus. A lack of environmental action and consciousness across university students, triggered our motivation to form our own society. After spending 6 months being members of the Conservation society, we decided it was time that our environmental knowledge and awareness be put to good use. In March 2019, we had the pleasure of welcoming along our dear friend – Nina Cristiano to complete the team, and soon, with Kent Union’s permission, E.C.S (Environmental. Conservation. Sustainability) Society’ was founded.’


The E.C.S. team (from left to right): Dalia Tarazi (Vice President), Massimo D’Aloia Thomspon (President), Nina Cristiano (Secretary).

‘I remember how tough it was starting a new society. We were faced with many challenges, bringing along members and widening our society took time, energy and hard work. We wanted to make sure we provided our members with the best and most engaging university experience, and in order to do so we took our time forming the best committee team we could, making sure every committee member was going to treat E.C.S as if it were a 30 credit module!

‘We wanted to encourage students, whether they were part of the School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) like us, or not, to join E.C.S and learn more about the pristine and valuable planet we depend on and the climate and ecological crisis we all face.’

‘We weren’t afraid to speak of `taboo topics’ such as the realities of the climate crisis and our human impacts on the planet as our main aim was to make sure we spread knowledge, awareness and hope to make our campus a more eco-friendly and environmentally conscious one. We wanted our events to be engaging and eyebrow-raising.’

We wanted to give students hope that every little action makes a difference.

‘We organised each month of the academic year by environmental theme and hosted events. For example, in October of our first year, the theme we chose was ‘Water Pollution’. The event we hosted then was a ‘Beach Clean Up’ in Whitstable. Later in December, our theme was ‘Deforestation’ and our event then was a ‘Tree planting workshop’ which we held with the help of the Estates Team.
The Whitstable Beach Clean Up


This event was the highlight of our first year of formation, as more than 80 students and professors joined us at the bottom of the Elliot footpath to plant 50 trees on campus!’ Since our formation, we have held more than 40 live and virtual events.

In less than a year of our formation, we were awarded two outstanding awards: ‘Most Improved Group 2020’ and ‘Society of the Year 2020’.


Being hands-on at The Waste Workshop
The Waste Workshop, a collaboration with the SAC working group and other SAC societies.

‘Within months of our establishment, we became a key society in the formation of the SAC Working Group and were present at each group meeting. In September of that same year, on the day of the ‘SAC Climate and Ecological Emergency Declaration’, we were chosen on the panel to represent the youth and had a stand during the event.’

In less than a year of our formation, we were awarded two outstanding awards: ‘Most Improved Group 2020’ and ‘Society of the Year 2020’.

‘The following year, the President (Dalia Tarazi) was chosen as the Youth Speaker on FWOC World Earth Day online workshop in collaboration with the ‘Female Wave of Change’ (FWOC), our media representative’s (Ben Mott) article was chosen on the front page of the Inquire Newspaper, the President (Dalia Tarazi) was interviewed by journalism student Elena Martyn and shared her thoughts about the current controversy surrounding the treatment of animals and release of non-native species on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, and the President (Dalia Tarazi) and Vice President (Louise Jones) were interviewed by KMTV. Finishing our second year strong, E.C.S Society was awarded one of the Kent Union Spotlight Awards 2021.’

The 2021 Spotlight Award is a permanent reminder on the Parkwood Path of the E.C.S. legacy on campus.

‘Today, we leave university feeling proud. As two passionate students eager to raise environmental awareness and action on the University Campus, creating E.C.S was evidently the society the school and campus needed to increase environmental consciousness and action and tackle the climate crisis effectively. We are proud of our many accomplishments and achievements over our time at university and we are pleased to have had such a vital and positive difference on our campus and school. The recently awarded signpost in a Parkwood pathway solidifies and marks our significant impact on campus, and reassures us that our hard work has finally been recognised. We hope to see the E.C.S Family grow whilst being alumni of SAC.’


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