Authors: Beshoy Eskarous, Mayra Sierra-Rivera, Andrew Mauzy, and Nico Ray Benito
“The waste-management company was dumping the Compost into Landfill, so the university switched companies,” our professor, Nick Leither told us. Was this true? Did Santa Clara University change companies because they cared that compost wasn’t properly disposed of, or was it due to the bad publicity they would receive?
We wanted to find out: Does Santa Clara University actually care about sustainability? Or are they simply doing the right thing – but for the wrong reasons?
Sustainability is the ability to maintain a specific set of operations for an indefinite amount of time without harming the environment. It is a continuous mission that requires vigilance from those who pursue it, and yet it may never be fully achieved. Today, Santa Clara University prides itself on its journey towards sustainability, specifically its mission of becoming waste free by the year 2020, focusing its resources on recycling, composting and food recovery. It has become a key attraction in the University’s advertisement to alumni and prospective students. The school has worked hard to create this image – founded on its Jesuit values – and the community works each day to reinforce it. In the past few years, Santa Clara University has begun a process similar to many movements across the country. But does this process stem from a place of good intention, or are there ulterior motivations for this movement, such as marketing the school. Continue reading Doing Right By Doing Wrong?
Authors: Robert Ota, Caley Falcocchia, Melody Nouri, Robin Johnson
While recently attending one of the Santa Clara University’s tours, I relived my first experience of stepping foot onto the campus. I remember the beautiful surroundings striking my attention; the green grass, colorful flowers, and amazing architecture. Walking among the peach colored buildings and listening to the wonderful qualities SCU contains sparked my excitement and hopefulness to attend my soon to be college. SCU holds a strong pride for their beautiful campus shown during the recent tour I went on. Allison, my tour guide, led us around the campus with a large, welcoming smile, occasionally stopping at the more attractive and iconic parts on campus to describe certain aspects of SCU.
Continue reading False Perception of Reality
By: Aidan Fromm, Rohan Nair, Daniel Deglane, Robert Arnold, Michael Blach
With only a few days left to decide on a college after senior year, Santa Clara reached out to me. I was barraged by emails asking, “Daniel, have you heard about our most recent steps towards sustainability?” “Washing machines using thirty percent less water.” “Recycled water makes up forty percent of campus-wide water use.” “SCU Dining Services buys from local farmers.” “Designated recycle and compost bins.” Sure, a lot of schools claim they are sustainable, but after a simple Google search, I was astounded to find that Santa Clara is actually ranked the 11th most sustainable school in the nation according Best Colleges. Santa Clara’s commitment to sustainability finally drew me in. Wanting to be at an institution that claimed to value the environment not only out of necessity, but also of a fundamental belief in social justice, I chose Santa Clara University. Continue reading Sustaining a Facade
Authors: Joseph Nichols, Garrett Nelson, Matthew Placide,
Quinn Gonzales, Griffin McComb
What makes Santa Clara University different? For me, as I took my first tour of the campus, it was the school’s drive towards sustainability, for I continuously heard and saw how environmentally friendly the campus was. Everywhere I looked there were examples of the University’s commitment towards sustainability. Fountains were turned off in response to the critical California drought; there was a tent outside of the library, informing students about the importance of energy conservation; and compost and recycling bins at almost every corner. However, the symbol of Santa Clara University’s drive for sustainability is its efforts put forth to building tiny houses. The tour guide informed us of the abundance of awards Refract house has won and went into further detail about its innovative features, such as its solar panels, salt water batteries (which are rechargeable and completely recyclable), dry-flush toilets, wet bathrooms, structural insulated panels, and energy rated appliances, and the meticulous consideration that went into every single detail of the house. Additionally, she lauded the achievement of rEvolve house, the newest champion of the SMUD Tiny House Competition. Wow, what an inspiring effort. (Joseph Nichols) Continue reading Tiny House, Big Questions
Tess, Jenny, Tim, and Enrique
Flawed logic. Sometimes spotting it is easy, like finding Waldo in a nudist camp, but sometimes, it’s a bit harder than that. Depending on one’s perspective, illogical ideas, statements and actions can be harder or easier to spot. Here’s an example of flawed logic at its finest:
I knew a man, who we shall name Jeff. Jeff lived a simple life. He didn’t stress himself out over global politics, and in turn, the world didn’t interfere with his life too much. He was slightly overweight, and one day at McDonald’s while ordering his lunch, he said to the pimply faced 17 year old cashier “I’ll have a double cheeseburger, large fries and a diet coke ‘cause I’m trying to lose weight.” Continue reading Water They Doing?
Jim, Ryan, Olivia, Ethan and Cara
Every week high school students from around the country come to visit Santa Clara, and get a tour from one of the universities cheery, and bright-eyed tour guides who show the prospective students the beautiful and blooming campus, while highlighting the assets of California’s first higher education institution. Along the tour the timid high-schoolers and their parents get to see some of the main stops on campus, and usually end their visit with a meal in Benson. Santa Clara is a University that pride’s itself on its environmental practices, so when you go into places like the cafeteria you see options to throw your leftovers into not solely landfill, but compost and recycling too. So, when you have the option to throw away your trash into something other than solely the landfill, you feel good about yourself and your participation in the green movement, and contribution to a more “sustainable world.” Continue reading Talking Trash
By Felicia Kuan, Kennedy Murphy, Rachel Napolitan, Elena Wagner-Bagues, Sened Haddad | April 25, 2017 | Updated: April 25, 2017
I am staring at my plate, and I can hear my father’s voice in my head, “we don’t waste food in this house.” My plate is still halfway full, but I am completely full. As a final attempt to not have the chicken on my plate die in vain, I ask if any of the people sitting with me would like some of my food, but they all decline as they still have food on their plates as well. I am in the dining hall in the Benson Memorial Center at Santa Clara University. I walk over to the compost bin and guiltily scrape perfectly edible food into a compost bin that’s almost overflowing with other people’s food waste. I convince myself that it is not my fault, that they serve us too much food, and the food is not being wasted, it is being composted. But I still can not help but feel bad.
Continue reading One Size Feeds All