By Emily Rosman, ’17
“Be the tradition” is a phrase often heard around St. Bonaventure’s campus, usually pertaining to the athletic program. However, all members of the University are encouraged to embrace the “be the tradition” mantra during Recyclemania 2015.
Recyclemania is a competition with other universities across the nation to promote recycling while encouraging members of each campus to make recycling habitual. The 2015 Recyclemania competition, which started Feb. 2, runs through March 28. Sr. Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F., director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern on campus, has aspirations of maintaining the recycling habits of students and faculty year-round.
Her goal for this year is not only to have 27 percent of all campus refuse recycled, but also to “build momentum, so hopefully when we conclude Recyclemania … we continue to change the culture here on campus.”
As a part of this goal, Sr. Suzanne has worked with others involved in the recycling efforts, such as Sean Conklin, assistant curator at The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, Azure Collins-Anderson, sophomore president of Tread Lightly, and twelve other committee members. Their collective aspiration is to create a multitude of fun, educational events. She has collaborated with Conklin to create an events calendar, which will help maintain awareness of the importance of recycling.
Having attended Rochester Institute of Technology, Conklin is well versed in sustainability. His goal for this year at St. Bonaventure is to promote that “Francis is the Saint of Ecology and that we are a green campus … we want to establish the fact that recycling is our tradition, it’s in our blood.”
Simultaneously, Collins-Anderson has been working to communicate with students, faculty and staff through various forms of social media about the environmental issues that impact the campus. As president of Tread Lightly, the environmental awareness club on campus, she has facilitated the creation of posters on recycled newspaper to promote the Recyclemania events on campus.
Collins-Anderson said the posters bear another slogan that will be used during Recyclemania, “green is the new black … because black is a color everyone associates with.” She hopes that this will reinforce their goal of maintaining sustainability on campus.
Additionally she and Conklin will be hosting events where students can create their own recyclable projects to further help raise awareness. These specific events are listed below.
Rob Hurlburt, associate director of facilities for maintenance, collaborates with Beichner Waste Service each week to weigh the recycled materials collected on campus.
According to Hurlburt, “We are entered again this year in the per capita commingled division of this national competition.” Last year, the university finished 102 out of 332 other universities in this division.
To get involved, students are encouraged to attend meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in the Thomas Merton Center, and to also attend the events during this time. Conklin states that he would “love to see a bunch of people show up and [he] will make it as fun as possible.”
Through social media, educational events, and various other ways of spreading information, these community members hope students and faculty alike can be the tradition by helping them reach their goal of recycling 27 percent of all refuse collected.
The events are:
Chopped Trashy Tree Edition
Date: Tuesday, Feb. 10 Time: 7 p.m. Place: Thomas Merton Center
Description: Form a team and get creative as you build a Trashy Tree using only mystery items from SBU’s blue recycle bins! Each team will have 1 hour to construct a tree out of the materials provided. The catch is you won’t know what those materials are until you select a recycle bin.
Why a tree? The average American uses 700 pounds of paper per year or 465 trees.
Prizes will be awarded for the best design and designs will be displayed around campus.
Film: "Green Fire"
Date: Feb. 24
Time: 7 p.m.
Place: Walsh Amphitheater
Description: Green Fire explores the life and legacy of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold and the many ways his land ethic philosophy lives on in the work of people and organizations all over the country today.
Polar Bear Purge
Date: Thursday, March 5 Time: All Day Place: Plassmann Quad
Description: Throughout the day students will have the opportunity to build a gigantic polar bear in the snow. The purpose of this activity is to create awareness that the Arctic Ice Cap, home of the polar bear, is being destroyed due to our failure to recycle.
Think Green: Hostage Negotiations
Date: Last week of February and first week of March Time: Any Time Place: Campus
Description: Are you recycling the way you should be or are you being thoughtless? We'll find out when Tread Lightly takes your trash bins hostage for an in-depth interrogation. Remember...we're always watching!
Date: Feb. 26 Time: 7:30 p.m. Place: Thomas Merton Center
Description: If you enjoy crafts, you’ll love this upcycling project with old shirts. Participants need to bring an old shirt and we will make will make a new item out of it.
Date: Week of March 18 Time: Any time Place: Campus
Description: Need materials in your office shredded? Contact Azure Collins-Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a member of Tread Lightly to shred your documents.
Trashion Fashion Show
Date: April 21 Time: 7 p.m. Place: Quick Center for the Arts, Rigas Theater
Description: The Trashion Fashion Show is a design competition combining high fashion with environmental awareness in an effort to construct works that are both eco-friendly and eco-couture. It is a fun and creative way to live a more sustainable life beyond simply sorting recyclables into buckets or bins.
For more information, visit www.sbu.edu/Recyclemania.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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