Friday, Aug 22, 2014 07:35 pm est

Emily Genser: the renewer

Posted on December 13, 2012 | by Tatiana Baez

Live Blog
It was hard to keep up with CAS senior Emily Genser between her fast-paced talk, overwhelming enthusiasm and the bagel she kept munching. Even without her rapidity and the food interrupting her sentences, it would probably still be diffic

viagra overnight

ult to keep pace with Genser’s busy life. A leader in what seems to be every environment-related activity on campus, Genser has dedicated her time at NYU to creating a greener and more sustainable community.

It is difficult to believe that when Genser entered college, she didn’t realize global warming was a serious issue until her first-semester Climate Change professor “calmly scared the shit out of [her].” The professor alerted Genser to new problems that demanded immediate attention. Although Genser’s passion for the environment came at a later stage in her academic career, it arrived in full force as she gravitated toward every opportunity she found, both at NYU and in New York City.

Students and faculty pass by Genser’s contributions everyday, whether it is in the form of a compost bin in one of seven dining halls, a recycling center around campus or the technoscrap collections awaiting pickup in the basement of Palladium residence hall. But Genser refuses to take full credit for any of these accomplishments, emphasizing the roles of her peers and NYU.

“Nobody builds anything alone,” Genser said. “I just happen to connect people in a way that gets things done.”

Still, it is impossible not to praise Genser when she is at the forefront of these initiatives. Dividing her time between her jobs as the Recycling and Composting program coordinator and Sustainability Task Force member, Genser could be called a real-life environmental superwoman. Her latest project involves measuring the climate change footprint of NYU’s waste stream and creating ways to reduce it. Double majoring in environmental studies and history, Genser tackles environmental issues from several perspectives.

“Having a history background helps a lot and gives me resources I wouldn’t normally have to address certain problems,” Genser said. “You can’t solve present problems without looking to the past.”

Genser seeks ways to alter communities outside of NYU, too. Her previous positions with Democracy Now! and Do Something extend from her passion for the environment into other avenues of activism.

“You can’t just care about what immediately affects you,” she said. “How are you going to say, ‘Not in my backyard?’ You have to say, ‘Not on my planet.’”

What makes Genser even more of a superwoman is how her life is a skillful balancing act — fun and downtime are necessary parts of her schedule. Her love of posting world maps on Tumblr, watching raunchy comedies like “Step Brothers” and planning the perfect dance party, as she did for three housewarming parties when she moved to Brooklyn, all add to her quirky yet grounded character.

With graduation looming, Genser has bigger and even better plans for the future. While she does admit it would be easier if she could decide on where she wants to reside after receiving her diploma, no matter where she goes, Genser’s passion will continue to inspire people to care about the environment, just as it has at NYU.

“There’s hope for the future,” she said.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Dec. 13 print edition. Tatiana Baez is a deputy university editor. Email her at


profile portrait
Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

  • How to join:

    The Washington Square News holds open weekly budget meetings at its office located at 838 Broadway every Sunday. All are welcome to attend, no matter your background in journalism, writing, or reporting. Specific times for meetings by desk are listed below. If you wish to talk to an editor before you attend, feel free to check out the Staff page.

    5 P.M. 6 P.M. 6 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 6:30 P.M. 7 P.M.

    Applying for an editor position: Applications for editor positions during the fall or spring semesters are available twice each academic year and can be found here when posted. Applications for the Fall 2012 semester are closed, but check back for Spring 2013. Those who wish to apply are urged to publish pieces in the newspaper and contact current editors for shadowing.

    History of the Washington Square News:

    The Washington Square News is the official daily student newspaper of New York University and serves the NYU, Greenwich Village, and East Village communities. Founded as an independent newspaper in 1973, the WSN allows its undergraduate writers and photographers to cover campus and city news and continues to grow its strong body of award-winning journalists and photographers.

  • The WSN has a circulation of about 60,000 and can be found in over a hundred purple bins distributed throughout campus. It is published Monday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters and online on Friday, with additional special issues published in the summer. The newspaper recently revamped its website during the Fall 2012 semester.

    Like few campus newspapers in the country, the paper is editorially and financially independent from the university and is solely responsible for selling advertisements to fund its production. The WSN, including its senior staff, is run solely by current undergraduate students and the business-division is largely student-operated as well.

    A Board of Directors comprised of alumni, NYU professors and working news media professionals serves as advisors to the paper. Board members have no control in the WSN's editorial policy or newsroom operations. Alumni of the newspaper are established and leading journalists in such news organizations as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC news, ABC news, Fox News, and USA Today.