Composting in the cafeteria

By Sadie Pass

Recently, a group of Southwestern students have joined together to make a difference on campus; they have instated a plan to make the University a composting friendly place. In the Commons students areencouraged to scrape their raw fruits and vegetables into a green container to be composted, and in the Garden students work with composting gear to reduce waste and fertilize the campus.

“So we’re really working now to spark a fire and spark some interest, so that we can have a large number of volunteers who are willing and excited about diminishing waste a little bit. With both this composting initiative and single stream recycling, 70% to 90 % [of waste] could be diverted from a landfill which is pretty remarkable,” said Joey Kyle.

Kyle and SEAK, Southwestern University’s environmental club, are taking charge of the composting situation and outlining a plan to reduce waste. Part of this plan takes place in the Commons with the addition of a bucket that students can put their compostable leftovers into.

“So this is kind of a trial run with this green bucket which will be a permanent thing, but right now we have to definitely emphasize the educational aspect because people put burritos and napkins [in the bucket], napkins decompose pretty well but we’re trying to keep it as straight forward as possible – just raw fruits and vegetables,” said Kyle.

In order to use the compost made at Southwestern, it must be balanced and full of nurturance, which explains the limitations on what can be put into the bucket in the Commons.

“Right now we’re really focusing on getting the right composition of greens and browns because it’s a question of nitrogen and carbon sources…that’s one of the reasons we are now collecting in the commons where we’re only taking raw fruits and vegetables. Some people have salads with dressing on them and we’re keeping away from that because [the compost] is so sensitive,” said Kyle.

Once your scraps are taken out of the Commons by student workers, they are dumped into the composting machine in the Garden called the “Earth Tub” which is very sensitive about the materials put in it.

“Here at our school, our compost runs out of a single device; a pretty huge vat at the garden called the “Earth Tub.” It can take some meat and it can take some grains but we like to keep that to as little aspossible because it is quite sensitive, and we have had some literally rotten yields,” said Kyle.

In order to add more greens to the Earth Tub, SEAK’s composting committee found funding through a grant and set up a plan to make composting easy and accessible for the whole campus.

“We applied for and received what’s called a SEED grant, which is an environmental studies grant for five thousand dollars,” said Kyle.

This money will be used to by a bike with a pedicab to pick up the compost all over campus, which will be everywhere from the first year residency halls to the upper classmen apartments. The apartments with kitchens are expected to produce the largest amount of compostable materials.

“[The apartments] have their own kitchens, so that is a bigger yield we imagine and it is hard to envisionhow we would make it easy for them to compost but also make it manageable for us. Right now, what’son the books is that we would have compost collection bins for upper classmen to apply to so that noteveryone would compost if they didn’t want to. Maybe like a hundred suites could apply, which wouldcover like two hundred people,” said Kyle.

Members of the SEAK compost committee, such as Nasir Shujan, are dedicated to the idea of individuals making a difference.

“I realize that composting might not seem like it’s “changing the world,” but…composting is a great way to begin the process of sustainable integration on an individual scale,” said Shujan.

With the composting bucket in the Commons and similar buckets all around campus residence halls, composting becomes an easy way for individual students to help in the collective composting goal. If you want to do more than just put your food scraps in composting reciprocals, there are many ways to help out.

“First of all, participating in the Commons process is a good start, and stopping people that are doing wrong things, that’s one easy way to help. Visit the Earth Tub, visit the garden, there are [volunteers]who pick up the compost, and you can contact me, or…SEAK,” said Kyle.


Back to the Foodture

By Brooke Chatterton &  Joana Moreno

The Brown Symposium kicked off with the lecture “Eating the Future: Why Changing your Diet is Not Enough” by Richard Wilk, Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University.

He began with a history of the American diet. From the Great Blanding as immigrant cultures homogenized into American culture and adopted what came to become to be known as the American diet. By 1950 food become focused on bland staples, meat, vegetables, and starch.

He discussed how after 1950 food became not just sustenance but “nutritainment,” takingaway the idea that there was “someone picking it.” He highlighted that over the last couple ofdecades that food has undergone a Great Awakening saying “a real revolution is going on infood production,” but kept his lecture realistic. He brought up American obesity trends, butoptimistically cited the leveling off of obesity in the last two years and the increase in consumption of fruits and vegetables. He also discussed that there a lot of challenges to thefood movement including: the class gap between consumers and farmers, the price gapbetween what consumers can afford and farmers can produce, the lack of economies of scalesof small farmers who cannot compete with agribusiness, and how to afford to feed the growing population.
This was followed by the lecture “Indigenous and Green Economies for the Seventh Generation” by Winona LaDuke from the White Earth Reservation in Northern Minnesota, 2007 National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee. She imparted her Anishinaabeg teachings and related them to food.

Ms. LaDuke singled out climate change, materials based economies,peak oil, and tar sands as contributing factors to an unsustainable future. She brought up the idea a utilitarian and single species world view has caused us to consume more than our share of the biosphere, that our normal world perspective is short term and not durable andsustainable. She warned about the dangers of the reduction in biodiversity due toindustrialized agriculture. In biodiversity, such as cultivating indigenous corn and squash, shesees an enormous benefit.
After a lunch break the symposium continued with the lecture “On Being and Not Beingthe Wretched of the Earth: A Critical Race Feminist Analysis of Vegan Consciousness” by doctoral candidate and creator of the book Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food,Identity Health, and Society, Amie Breeze Harper of University of California-Davis.

She began the lecture in a unique way, with songs from the soundtrack of Panther (1996) and a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock. Breeze Harper continued the lecture with narratives of her life and of other black vegans like herself which demonstrated how our availability to food isaffected by race and class. This idea was upheld by her Sistah Vegan project which showed that not all people have access to vegan foods.

“A lot of the black women wanted to transition into veganism [but their]socioeconomic class was a problem ,a lower socioeconomic class, or geographical restrictions didn’t allow them to get the foods that they wanted and if you look at the literature on who has access to the healthiest food it’s white middle-class America ” Breeze Harper said.

With that the lecture was transitioned into one of not just vegan‘s access to healthy food but to everyone’s access to food and how it is different for those not of the white-middle class. As she mentioned, minorities livingin the in the inner city have less access to healthy foods as they are often expensive and far away inwhite suburbs.

The lecture was then ended with Breeze Harper reminding the audience that whenthinking foward about our food and sustainability to be mindful of how it is promoted, to have bothrace-consciousness and class consciousness.
The symposium then continued with the lecture “Industrialized Agriculture and the Rupture ofthe Human-Animal Bond” by Wayne Pacelle , President and CEO of the Humane Society of the UnitedStates and author of The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.

Pacelle explored different subjects that deal with animals in our society, primarily those animals that are used for food,ranging from euthinzation to federals for the protections of animals. He then transitioned intodescribing how the Humane Society has changed about the treatment of the animals we eat and howthey continue to do so.

“I feel strongly that we have got to treat animals right, and the gestation stallshave got to go,” Pacelle said as he referred to the current changes to be made.
Shortly after Pacelle’s lecture began the “Culinary Culture: A Ceramics Perspective” Exhibition inwhich Dr. Patrick Veerkamp introduced the connection between ceramics and Foodture as well asintroduce various pieces to the audience. At approximately the same time the Food Festival, an event with an array of student organizations and local business such as SEAK, the SU Community Garden, BostBee’s and Lockhart Farms, took place in the Bishops Lounge.
Monday night was then capped off with “River of Words” performed by David Asburyand Bruce Cain, featuring the premier of two new musical compositions. The night began withLike a String of Jade Jewels, progressed through River of Words, and ended with SleepingFlowers.
The lectures continued the next day with Jo Luck, former President of HeiferInternational, and her lecture “Global Hunger is More Personal Than You Think” in which sheexplored the idea that the spread of common grounds and values can helps societies interactpositively as well as sustain themselves adequately.

“We will never feed this planet in 2050 if we’re not coming together as a team” Luck said.

She continued her lecture with narratives of her past involvement in areas of Africa such as Rwanda and how her idea of cooperation did in fact help each society prosper in its own way. She mentioned that she respected the customs of where she resided as asign of respect and helped them with her ideas proving that cooperation works with the right amount ofinput.

With that the Brown Symposium lectures ended.

Afterwards a panel consisting of all the speakers , except Winona LaDuke, and students VanessaToro, Sarah Puffer and Joey Kyle continued the discussion of Foodture through a Question and Answer session in which the students mentioned asked the speakers questions in regards to various aspects ofFoodture. This panel brought up comments that proved to have an impact as people nodded inagreement.

“Eating more local means eating less foreign,” Wilks said shortly after beginning the panel
The Brown Symposium finally came to an end with the Empty Bowls Project Lunch in whichpeople bought bowls that would then be filled with soup. These bowls were created and donated by theSouthwestern Ceramics Program and were filled with soups from local restaurants Pei Wei andMonument Café, to name a few. The lunch was largely possible through the efforts of the Arts in Action Paideia and Dr. Asbury. The proceeds of the event were donated to The Caring Place and Meals onWheels.

Clusterfest Ping Pong Drop

By Arianna Haradon

On March 2, Southwestern students gathered in the Bishops Lounge to await the announcement of the 2012 Clusterfest lineup. Accompanying the lineup announcement was the seventh annual Ping Pong Drop.


Clusterfest is Southwestern’s spring music festival. Clusterfest will take place on April 20. This year’s lineup includes Dream Shake, The Staylyns, Jasmine Saygan, Sarah Cook, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, Mother Falcon, The Frontier Brothers, Sleigh Bells, Future Islands, Suzanna Choffel, and Whiskey Shivers.

Members of the University Pr

ogram Council unfurled banners revealing the lineup and then threw individually numbered ping pong balls off the third story of the McCombs Campus Center. Students attempted to catch the ping pong balls in special Clusterfest 2012 cups given away by the University Program Council. The numbers on the ping pong balls corresponded to prizes promoting Clusterfest 2012, such as band merchandise. The prizes were given away by the University Program Council.



For more information visit:







By Brooke Chatterton

Recently, tensions in the Middle East have skyrocketed when Israel blamed Iran for two separate attacks on February the 13th and 14th. The first was a join attack perpetrated against the capitals of India and Georgia against Israeli Embassy personal, the second in a residential neighborhood in Bangkok, Thailand. While it is impossible to be 100 percent certain that Iran was behind the attacks, rumors are just as powerful as truth when it comes to matters of international diplomacy.

This escalation of tension comes at a time when Iran has pushed forward on its nuclear program despite fresh rounds of sanctions and international condemnation. Iran in one word is unpredictable. They engage in talks to stop nuclear talks when beneficial, threaten to cut off oil production when beneficial, and then turn around and trumpet their nuclear progress at every opportunity.

Due to the rising tensions between Iran and the United States’ ally Israel and due to Iran’s game of nuclear chicken, the debate of how the United States should proceed in relation to Iran has become a more and more contentious topic. If Israel were to retaliate and precipitate a game of murderous one-ups-man-ship with Iran, the United States could be dragged into another war. Some say that the Iran threat is overblown, but in a post 9/11 United States, any threat is magnified to the American people, and the American government should act according to the interests of the people.

Some advocate outright war or covert action. To an America that is finally managing to disentangle itself from previous engagements, that solution to the problem is overblown to a war weary country. Covert action faces the problem that while the action may be covert, the results are very public. It is hard to disguise a burnt out building or a murdered diplomat, and with the current state of relations, no matter how covert the action, the United States, or Israel, would be blamed by Iran. War would soon follow.

The optimal solution lies somewhere in the center. Not lying down and taking it as Iran manipulates oil prices and pushes forward on its nuclear program, but short of hostile action.

The action taken should be suitable to cause Iran to deviate from its current path of bold defiance.

The naturally solution is comprehensive sanctions by the majority of the countries that Iran exports to. The problem with that is that the last round of sanctions, so far, has not caused
Iran to back down. But these sanctions were not comprehensive enough. Russia, India, China,
and Turkey have not signed on, leaving Iran with willing consumers of its main export, oil.

Japan and South Korea has indicated willingness to impose more sanctions, on the condition that the economic repercussions are further investigated.

The first step of action is for the United States to convince Japan and South Korea to sign on and then for the United States to evaluate the impact of the sanctions after they have
had a few months to affect the Iranian economy. If Iran has not acquiesced to the nuclear
restrictions imposed on it and halted its actions against Israel, other options, including UN co-
sponsored action against Iranian nuclear facilities should be considered.

Woman’s Soccer to travel to England


By Arianna Haradon

Over Spring Break 2012, Southwestern’s women’s soccer players will travel to England as a team.

“We will be doing a number of things… from touring, to watching professional soccer, to working with the trainers in the [English Premier League], and actually playing professional women’s teams ourselves. It’s going to be an amazing way to explore and bond with the team!” captain Lyndsey Resnik said.



The majority of the team, as well as Head Coach Jene Baclawski, Assistant Coaches Amanda Garrison and Jessica Kim, and Assistant Athletic Trainer Shawna Loberg, will go on the trip.

“I really think that this is an experience none of us will ever forget, myself included. It’s exciting that we will be going while they are preparing for the Olympics,” Head Coach Jene Baclawski said.

As a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) team, the women’s soccer team at Southwestern is allowed to go on a foreign trip every four years. However, they haven’t participated in a trip since the 1990s.

“In our country, not a lot of girls grow up watching high level soccer, so we are trying to get the players here to appreciate the game outside of their own bubble of personal experience,” Baclawski said.

The players raised money themselves to go on the trip.

“People are paying in different ways. Everyone is responsible for their own way whether that’s through their parents or providing the money themselves,” Resnik said.

This trip will likely be an unforgettable experience for both the players and the coaches.

“An abroad trip is good for cultural experience. Soccer in England is the best in the world and we want to do a trip for team bonding. While we are there we are going to see [the English Soccer teams] Manchester United and Arsenal. Those are two of the best teams in the world right now. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Baclawski said.

While in England, the team will have a chance to improve their skills.

“The fact that we get to play professional women’s teams is intimidating but super exciting! I feel that it will help us as a team to identify with our strengths and weaknesses and be able to work through them together. It’s always a benefit to play a team that challenges you, that’s what defines you as a team and makes you a better and a more well rounded team. I know that all of us are very excited for what’s to come and plan on taking advantage of all the opportunities that this trip offers!” Resnik said.

During the trip the players will keep a blog at and will tweet about their experiences at




“It will be neat for them to see how they compare to English soccer players. I hope that




they will make lasting friendships and gain an appreciation for the international side of the game,” Baclawski said.



Smith Library Center adds classes

By Areli Gutierrez

The Smith Library Center recently started offering a small series of classes in a series titles “The Librarian is IN”.

These 20-30 minute classes focus on a variety of different librarytopics designed to teach students how to properly distinguish different types of sources and how to use the various library resources as efficiently as they can.Theresa Zelasko, one of the librarians in the Smith Center, organizes these library classes.

“The library classes are a new series of brief classes designed to instruct students (and any interested staff or faculty) on library topics such as citations, certain databases, internet information sources, source credibility, and more,” Theresa said.

These courses are designed in with the students in mind, held in short sessions multiple times accommodating the many different schedules that students keep. Currently all these classes are headed by the librarians- Gina Bastone, Sarah Morris, and Theresa herself.

“So far, turn out has been decent and faculty have sent students for class credit,” she said.

The most recent class, titled “Scholarly vs Popular”, focused on how to differentiate between peer-reviewed sources and other publications. It was held three times-one time at the Library’s Coffee Bar and twice at the Commons.

“People, students especially, should attend these classes to get a “leg-up” on getting the most out of the library for their papers and projects…We realize students are very busy, so we wanted to provide short sessions where they can learn how to be more efficient researches and more discrimination consumers of information,” Theresa said.

The library classes aim to feel casual, providing a place where students can spend 20minutes learning how best to utilize all the information the library has to offer.

“So 20 minutes now could save them hours of time when researching. As always, we like to tell students if they can’t find something in 20 minutes, to ask a librarian for help.” she said.

The topics are based upon what students are interested in and range from Internet resources, such as Google Scholar and RefWorks, to citations.

“The classes are small and informal so students will feel comfortable learning libraryskills and information literacy in an open and welcoming environment,” Theresa said.

These classes are going to be continued, with more being held in the following months of March and April.

“We are indeed planning on continuing these classes. Look for more in March and April. The library’s Facebook page and our Twitter feed is an excellent way to keep up with the many happenings in the library. Classes are also listed in Campus Notices and on the library’s webpagenews-feed,” Theresa said.

Keep an eye out for flyers posted around the library and on the Campus newsletters for the new library classes.

Empty Bowls Project Lunch

By Joana Moreno

This year’s Brown Symposium ended last Tuesday with the Empty Bowls Project Lunch, an event that not only filled stomachs with soup but helped the community in need.

The Empty Bowl Project is a movement in which “ceramic artists make these bowls and then sell the bowl, fill it with soup and people get to keep the bowl and all themoney will be donated, in this case to The Caring Place and Meals on Wheels,” said KiraMcEntire, a junior biology and environmental studies major and one of the many people involved in the event.

The lunch featured donated ceramic bowls and food. The soups were donated by Monument Café. Tony& Luigi’s, Pei Wei, and Southwestern’s own Dr. David Asbury.

“All of the bowls were created by students, faculty and staff in the SouthwesternCeramics Program” said Kira.

This year’s lunch has shown a larger attendance.

“This is the biggest oneSouthwestern has ever had. From 11:30 AM to 12PM we sold about 130 bowls. We started with 190 and we were left with three,” said Kira.

The event was brought together through the contributions of the Arts in ActionPaideia cohort and the Brown Symposium.

For more information on the Empty BowlsProject check out their webpage at