How it all Started at Jinnah University for Women

MobilizeU Guest Blog

By Amna Hasan

MobilizeU School Coordinator

Jinnah University for Women; Karachi, Pakistan

It all started with panic during exams.

Last semester, there was a girl behind me who was a quiet sort of girl. One day, only half an hour after our exam had started, she demanded a "B" copy, as in an extra answering sheet. Our “A” copy that we are given is usually pretty big, and one almost never needs the “B” copy no matter how long the exam is. So when she asked for it, almost all heads looked up from their exams in surprise.

This continued for the next three hours. Every 15 to 20 minutes, she asked for more papers. I was in a panic. I turned around and quickly peeked at her paper just to see what she was writing that was so long and just how was she able to write it so fast.

I felt sick after I saw her notebook. No, it wasn’t because of the quality of her material or her apparent speed or anything of that sort. Her answering sheet had nothing but ENORMOUS headings with five lines skipped between them and a very short description of whatever she was writing. No wonder she was consuming so much paper.

I was so distracted that I couldn’t concentrate on my exam. I was staring at the large pile of papers. “Trees,” I thought, horrified. That girl probably used up a whole tree on this petty exam. I was so upset about this idea that I don’t even remember what I wrote on my answering sheet. All I remember is that I was trying to finish my exam so that I could catch that girl and talk to her, but I couldn’t. She finished her exam before me and disappeared.

I was devastated. I tried looking for her all over the place but failed. I have no words to express how frustrated I felt that day. I had witnessed a crime committed against the environment, and there was nothing I could do about it. But I had to do something about it. I just couldn’t sit and watch that happen.

Then, I found out about MobilizeU, and it was exactly what I wanted. I got a platform to do something for the environment without being the typical “preacher.” Within weeks, I had random students approaching me asking to work with me and for the cause. I feel positive now with all the enthusiasm that surrounds me. This paper-wasting ideology during exams would soon find its way out of my university, and even if this is the only thing I could achieve during this MobilizeU movement, I think its worthy enough.