Latest Event Updates
As part of the ECOS Environmental and Social Responsibility Committee, it is in our best interest as a committee body to improve the ecological health on our campus. Last year, I observed how much wildlife lived the pond near a dorm called Zeta. Many of my friends who like to go fishing have caught some unique fish species. I have enjoyed viewing all types of species from Great Egrets to playful otters. At the Campus Master Plan meeting last spring, I addressed my concerns for the health of the pond since it is technically a retention pond and wanted to know if we, the students, could plant more native species as a way to help filter the nutrients and harmful bacterias that kept entering the pond.
This past Fall, the ECOS Environmental & Social Responsibility Committee was granted approval by the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Campus Master Plan Committee to purchase native plants and place them around the pond. A student, Alex Mezentsev, and I created the proposal for the various plants we wanted to plant around the pond. Our Environmental Committee then picked a Saturday in mid April to get volunteers to come out and plant the new native vegetation we ordered.
At first, we were afraid that the planting was not going to happen since we did not know where the plants we ordered were! Luckily the local nursery, Wilcox Nursery, had dropped them off that morning and once we located them we had all the volunteers dig small holes to plant them. I was surprised by the number of volunteers we recruited for a Saturday afternoon planting session. There were 23 students total and we managed to get everything planted within an hour!
Although there were a few mistakes or mishaps that occurred (for example: the Spartina that was delivered was not the right size and was smaller than we wanted), the event went smoothly overall, especially since it was the first time the ECOS Environmental and Responsibility Committee organized a planting session such as this one. I’m hoping next year there will be more planting initiatives taken around campus to improve the health and quality of our natural areas around campus.
In the Service Learning department at Eckerd College, the office invites the students to host conversations about topical and controversial issues over dinner. The free meal is the main incentive for students to come and learn about the issue and how to get more involved. EC Divest is a group of students that are trying to get Eckerd College to detangle its endowment from fossil fuel investments. The mission of the EC Divest group is for Eckerd College to become a frontrunner in the nationwide movement to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Last Monday, EC Divest held a Dine & Discuss called “Put Your Money Where Your Values Are.” The topic was on divestment and where Eckerd College is in the national movement.
Being one out of seven members in the group, I helped with ordering the food and advertising the event. We decided over a group meeting at Chipotle that we would have the environmental and health conscious company cater our Dine & Discuss. I called the order in on the day of the event and was luckily promised that it would be completed. I asked for an order of black beans and white rice, enough to feed 30 people. I also ordered chips, salsa, guacamole, and tortillas.
The turn out for the event was excellent since 25 students attended to learn more about the group, the divestment movement in general, and to hear what professors and other student leaders had to say about the initiative and whether Eckerd College should divest. We came to the conclusion that divestment is an important discussion to have because taking the endowment’s money out of one of the most lucrative sectors, fossil fuels, strongly implies that the college does not accept how we produce and obtain our energy resources and the college is staying true to its word in being a leader in sustainability.
The total for three trays of black beans, three trays of white rice, and 5 bags of Chips (with salsa and guacamole that they forgot to put in the order, ah!) was $78.92 with tax. I was able to return to the store and they took the charges for the salsa and guac off my credit card so the total was $65.01. Not too bad considering that amount of food fed 25 students, the 7 students on EC Divest, and the 5 faculty/staff participants. Chipotle is a quality food company that not only practices being sustainable, local, and healthy, but it is also guaranteed to bring in an interested crowd. I will keep their catering services in mind for future events!
In the Office of Career Services at Eckerd College, where I work, our department organizes and sets up events that explore career choices, give opportunities to students, and provide networking socials. The Academic Senior Professionals of Eckerd College (ASPEC) are a fantastic group of senior professionals, many of them who are retired, who still want to learn, teach, and grow in a scholarly community. Although they have their own get-togethers, speakers, and workshops, they also try to reach out to the student community on Eckerd’s campus.
On Wednesday, April 9th, Career Services hosted the very first Wine & Wisdom networking event with ASPEC members encouraging students to mix and mingle with people who were once in their shoes and to learn how these professionals picked their career path and how they can assist students in finding opportunities or just providing them helpful tips.
The huge incentive for students to attend the event was yet again, free wine (this time there was also great hors d’oeuvres!) Soft drinks were available for students who were under 21 so they could still participate. Tables were separated into different sectors (Business, Government, Digital Media, Non-Profit, Medicine, Science, etc) with at least one ASPEC member present that was knowledgeable in that field. It was great to see the connections being made and the career conscious conversations taking place!
The turnout was around 15-20 students, smaller than the Catalina Wine Mixer yet the students that did come for a bit were grateful to have a quick study break and a nice chat with a community on campus they generally don’t hear about. I think the success of the Catalina Wine Mixer was the day of the week and the timing. Wednesdays are still considered a hectic weekday for most students and it felt as though this particular week was crammed with essays, papers, and final exams, yikes! Themes are also a fun incentive to motivate students to dress up and I found that very effective about the Wine Mixer.
We hope that Career Services can partner with ASPEC again for another Wine & Wisdom event because we felt it was a productive, relative, and enjoyable networking event. It also gave students experience in attending a networking social and preparation in speaking with adult professionals. The bartenders, and also the wonderful Career Services associates, clearly agree!
From the popular comedy, Step Brothers, the Catalina Wine Mixer has been a reminded joke of the hilarious attempt Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly have at organizing an exquisite party. It was also an event recently thrown on by The Cheesy Dog Club at Eckerd College. My friend and President of the Club, Brian Bizub, led the group to host the infamous event on the patio outside of the Library.
I didn’t believe for a second that this event could be pulled off, but luckily Eckerd College is a wet campus so as long as students are 21 and over, they are allowed to drink when there is a full beverage service. After a week’s worth of promoting the event throughout campus and on Facebook, over 30 students came out for the free event!
A couple student performers played during the classy gathering. It was pretty unique that a majority of people who attended the event were dressed up and looking snazzy. Who would have thought that free wine could be a good incentive?
The parody event was a great way to get the student community together to have a good time and celebrate the end of mid terms on a typical thirsty Thursday. I snagged pictures of different groups dressed in fancy attire while I mingled with friends and sipped boxed wine!
The Catalina Wine Mixer has now become a club tradition and the new club leaders are determined to carry it on and host another one next year. It was exciting to see a fun idea for a party become a hit success!