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Saint Mary’s dining hall introduces new composting initiative

first_imgSaint Mary’s students may have noticed new yellow bins next to the tray return area in the dining hall. These bins are part of a new composting initiative that encourages students to dump their biodegradable waste in them so it can be composted rather than thrown in the trash.Senior and composting coordinator Katie Frego said this is not the first time composting has been tried on campus.“We have had composting in the past, but very [briefly],” she said. “Someone had made a compost bin last year, but the bin filled up so fast and there was nowhere else to put the compost.”When the College purchased an acre of farmland from the Sisters of the Holy Cross this past spring, however, Frego said she saw an opportunity to bring back composting.“That was the turning point for composting to truly begin,” she said. “Because we finally had an area where we could dump the compost and not have to worry about running out of space or the smell or anything like that.”The composting initiative is student driven. Sodexo, the College’s dining service, just gives the space for the composting bins, general manager of dining services Ken Acosta said.“We promote it and say let’s go, let’s do it as long as it is student-driven,” he said.Frego said she became involved with the project because of her passion for sustainability and her connections across campus.“I’ve always been very passionate about the environment, and I’ve been working in the dining hall since freshman year,” she said. “And through that, I’ve been able to see the amount of waste that is generated by the dining hall just in one day. As a biology major, having connections with professors in the biology department and also knowing the managers in the dining hall, it was no brainer for me. I hate seeing all this waste that could be composted and used for making new soil just thrown in the trash.”Frego believes that composting is important so that Earth is preserved for future generations, she said.“It is beneficial because we know that climate change does exist, our responsibility as students in college nowadays — and especially living in a country like the United States where we are so thankful for the blessings it gives us — that I think it is our responsibility to do our part in helping the Earth and making it more sustainable for future generations,” she said. “We are able to enjoy the beauty of this Earth, but if we don’t respect it and take care it, then generations down the road may not have the same opportunity that we do.”The composting system has only been implemented for a couple of weeks, but Frego said the results so far have been great.“In the first week we saved over 500 pounds of waste,” she said. “After the second week we were over 500 pounds again. The student body has been really receptive to it. Everyone has been really impressed with how smooth this process is going so far.”Even with the great results, however, there still have been some challenges in educating the student body, Frego said.“The toughest challenge is still educating the students on what can be thrown in the bins and what can’t be thrown in the bins,” she said. “Even spreading awareness that composting is now happening on [the] Saint Mary’s campus. The toughest challenge is how to communicate to the students that we are composting and this is a daily thing that will be happening for the rest of the year.” Ultimately, Frego just wants to get the message across that the small action of composting can have an impact.“I really want to get this message across to Saint Mary’s students that throwing away those three watermelon rinds that you would have put in the trash really, actually, truly makes a difference,” she said.Tags: composting, dining, Saint Mary’s dining hall, sustainabilitylast_img read more


Corcoran, Ogden elected as leaders of Saint Mary’s Student Government

first_imgSaint Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) announced the incoming student body president and vice president, juniors Madeleine Corcoran and Kathy Ogden, on Friday afternoon. Chris Collins Juniors Madeleine Corcoran, left, and Kathy Ogden, right, were elected student body president and vice president, respectively, for Saint Mary’s on Friday.Corcoran said her election is especially significant to her because she was chosen by the students to be their representative. “It’s such a special role and such an honor and humbling role just to be chosen by the Saint Mary’s student body to represent them and be their voice,” Corcoran said. “So I think to me it just means so much respect for who we try to be as people and continue to be.”During the campaign, Ogden said she felt that whether or not she was elected, it was important that the College selected leaders that reflected what they desired. “If we weren’t to be elected, my overall thought would’ve been, ‘Well, that’s not what the students want, and we are a representation of the school so if that’s the case then okay,’” Ogden said. “But now it’s cool that since we are elected the student body do want us as their role models. So it’s an honor that we were elected by the student body to be their representatives.”Ogden said she felt the election experience was positive for her because the other candidates were all supportive of each other, she said. “[The other candidates] have just been really friendly and nice and they also campaigned really well,” Ogden said. “Everything was very civil. I just feel like this [election] has been really friendly and supportive.” Corcoran said the fact that the campaign went over smoothly speaks to the community at Saint Mary’s. “I think the campaign overall represents kind of what Saint Mary’s stands for and just that friendly environment that it is,” Corcoran said. “It really encompasses that students are kind and working together.”The pair hopes to emphasize the importance of community, Corcoran said. “The community topic in general is something I am really passionate about, and think is really important at Saint Mary’s,” Corcoran said. The pair said they hope by the end of their term, they will leave Saint Mary’s ‘enhanced’ from years before.“Saint Mary’s is already I think such a wonderful place but from our platform, and just being leaders, I think just making it even better than how it is now,” Ogden said. Corcoran said she hopes to improve upon some of the common complaints by students over the course of the next year. “There is always going to be something to complain about, but a lot of those things that students commonly complain about now, hopefully in a year from now they won’t be,” Corcoran said. Ogden’s time at Saint Mary’s was what gave her the confidence to take on this new role, she said. “I feel like Saint Mary’s has just knocked me out of my shell,” Ogden said. “Not that I was super introverted in high school, but I think I just wouldn’t do a lot of the things that I have done here and I have become more confident so I think that helps. I just have been here for three years but I think with the friends I’ve made and the clubs I’ve been in and my relationships with professors I’ve been able to become more confident and more involved.”Corcoran said she also feels Saint Mary’s provided her the opportunities to develop her passion. “Every time I take on a new role I just fall in love more with Saint Mary’s and what Saint Mary’s has for all of its students, and I think that is such a unique experience that you get at a smaller school,” Corcoran said. Corcoran went into the week hoping just to enjoy the experience, regardless of the result, she said. “I said to Kathy — Sunday, when we went out at midnight to put up the posters — I said, ‘You know what, regardless of how this week goes, as long as we are smiling and laughing throughout the whole thing that’s what’s most important,’” Corcoran said. “Because if you don’t smile and enjoy those moments, it wouldn’t have mattered whatever the outcome was it would’ve been not worth it.”Although the week involved a lot of work, Ogden said she enjoyed being able to communicate with students about their desires as well as her platform. “I thought it was fun,” Ogden said. “It was a lot, but it was fun. Each thing we made and each thing we hung up I think we were really proud of.”The two said they feel the campaign process was a way to get a feel for what the students are looking for during the next year, Corcoran said. “That’s what our goal is, to try and be really open and listen to students and what they need,” Corcoran said. “I think just even the campaigning process we learned more about what students need or want.” Tags: elections, saint mary’s, Student governmentlast_img read more


EGEB A solar system that delivers electricity at night solar panels in

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