Archive for February, 2012

No Impact Jack and Eco R.A. Programs

The No Impact Jack and Eco R.A. programs are a great way to begin to learn how to live more sustainably in the Residence Halls on campus. For more information visit!

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Medicinal Plants Study Group

Medicinal PlantInterested in learning about Medicinal Plants? Check out the Medicinal Plants Study Group brought to you by the Applied Indigenous Studies and Sustainable Communities programs. This study group is for dedicated and serious students to learn and share knowledge of medicinal plants, their healing properties, and native traditional recipes and stories. Each session we will focus on a different plant. both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to join!

Where: SBS West Room 9
When: Every other Friday starting Jan. 27th from 1 – 3:30pm

For further information, please contact:
Marina Vasquez, Traditional Knowledge Scholar,
Martha James, SUS Graduate ARTs co-coordinator,
Katherine Golfinopoulos, SUS Graduate ARTs co-coordinator,

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Packing Heat on Campus

Gun on BookLast April, a bill was passed by the state legislature that would allow guns to be carried on campus. However, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the legislation after finding the bill too ambiguous. Now, SB1474 plans to accomplish what last years bill failed to do: allow guns on college campuses.

As an AZCentral article describes the bill as requiring:

…public universities and community colleges to allow anyone age 21 or older with a concealed-carry permit to carry a gun on campus. The schools can keep the guns out of buildings, stadiums and classrooms if they provide secure gun lockers.

The committee also passed a bill that would loosen restrictions on carrying guns in public buildings, including city halls, libraries or municipal swimming pools.

President John Haeger takes issue with the bill stating in Northern Arizona News that:

“I just think it gets in the way of our basic mission,” Haeger said. “There’s not a problem here. Students don’t want guns, faculty doesn’t want guns [and] administrators don’t want guns. And so this is entirely about somebody’s ideology.”

Also, those gun lockers that the university needs to provide to each building if they don’t want guns in that building come at $400 a pop. Additional funding is not being provided by the proposed legislation.

According to InsideNAU The Arizona Board of Regents and all three universities have come out against the proposed legislation.

Proponents of the bill feel that it is merely an affirmation of their second amendment rights and that they should be able to take guns where they please for their own protection. A Tempe resident is quoted in the AZCentral article as saying:

“We are dealing with the subject of a fundamental right to self-defense,” Bartow said. He took issue with suggestions that adults younger than age 25 weren’t capable of acting responsibly. “None of our other fundamental rights are infringed upon just because we’re under 25.”

What are your thoughts? Should people be able to carry concealed weapons onto campus? Let us know in the comments below!


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The Grand Canyon Bans Sales of Bottled Water

Bottled Water BanBottled water sales has been a bit of a contentious point here on campus as numerous student groups—including Net Impact NAU and the Action Group for Water Advocacy (AGWA)—have been trying to find ways to reduce consumption of bottled water. Campus dining has removed bottled water from its dining locations in the du Bois center and the University Union. However, bottled water remains in vending machines and through campus catering.

Maybe we could use a little bit of inspiration from the Grand Canyon National Park which recently banned the sale of bottled water in the National Park. The GCNP’s policy is part of a larger ban on bottled water sales in all national parks. Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga cites the need to reduce the environmental and financial costs caused by the bottles as the reason for the GCNP’s ban. You can read a full article about the National Park Service’s ban on bottled water in the Lumberjack or on Northern Arizona News.

What are your thoughts about banning bottled water on campus and elsewhere? Is it a real step forward or are we merely putting a band-aid over a much larger issue? Let us know in the comments below!

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Be Heard: Help Shape Your NAU Campus

Northern Arizona University is seeking your feedback by inviting you to take an online survey regarding energy usage. Please follow the link below to participate.

Survey Button

Those who complete the survey will be eligible for a chance at one of the following incentives redeemable at the NAU Bookstore:

  • 1 respondent will receive an iPad2
  • 4 respondents will receive a $50 NAU Bookstore Gift Card
  • 30 respondents will receive a $10 NAU Bookstore Gift Card

The survey should only take about 10 minutes to complete and your responses will be kept confidential. The survey can be taken only once and participation is voluntary.

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Creating a Full Spectrum of Sustainability

Who is participating in the switch to sustainability?  In the fall of last semester, the Student Environmental Caucus changed their identity to the “Green Jacks” in hopes of framing sustainability in a way that inspires school spirit (NAU Lumberjacks) and expands the spectrum of sustainability at NAU.  The group went to tailgates and sporting events wearing our Earth Week T-shirts while handing out sustainably produced wine and recycling literature to the student and alumni tailgaters.  Along with WACBAT (the Weatherization and Community Building Action Team), we hosted a solar panel crowd-funding event for the local Murdoc Community Center, which communicated the relationships between renewable energy and the liberty of Flagstaff as a community.  So, sustainability issues inherently relate to us all.  This semester, the Green Jacks hope to take that idea and work towards an equal representation and participation of the student body when it comes down to the topic of NAU’s commitment to carbon neutrality.

One focus right now is Earth Week 2012 — which just so happens to coincide with International Week and International Volunteer Week.  We just started hosting weekly meetings in the NAU Health and Learning Center every Friday at 2:30pm (rm 2405/7).  Everyone is invited to attend, and in the first two weeks we’ve had representatives from NAU’s Learning Communities, the City of Flagstaff, and NAU Civic Service Institute — among other diverse attendees.  But that’s not enough.  The Green Jacks are fostering relationships with NAU faculty, staff and administration which can be maintained and strengthen as the university reaches for it’s goals of carbon neutrality by 2020.

Particularly, WACBAT is organizing an event on 4/20 called “Blackout Day.”  The idea is that various buildings and dorms on campus will shut off their power for a few hours — and everyone bikes/walks/buses down to a solar-powered concert.  We want the Greek community, all the dorms, and the ASNAU student government (and more groups) to sponsor the event – in addition to other Arizona universities (ASU, UofA, and Prescott College) hosting similar events at the same date and time!  The goal is not to just host an event, but to build on the notion that engagement as a student at the university level can foster effective civic engagemnt in Flagstaff and beyond.

There is a lot to say about full-spectrum sustainability and NAU’s goals, but fostering a broader group of participation this semester will hopefully defy the stereotype of mutual exclusivity pertaining to sustainability, and all else.

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Earth Week Planning–Be a Part of it!

Earthy Day

Are you interested in being a part of the conversation for planning this year’s Earth Week? We would like you to contribute! Facilitated by the Student Environmental Caucus, these planning sessions will be every Friday from 2:30-3:00pm at HLC, room 2407. Everyone is welcome! Help us make this year’s Earth Week meaningful for everyone.

Please note: Friday, February 24th we will meet at 2:00pm instead of 3:00pm at HLC, room 2407.

If you have any questions or ideas, please contact Nolan Bade.

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Flagstaff Garden Starts CSA has shares left!

foodlinkThe Flagstaff Garden Starts CSA still has some shares left! If you sign up for a share you will get:

–20 packs of high quality vegetables starts
–onion bulbs
–7 varieties of seeds for direct sowing
This project is an initiative of Flagstaff Foodlinkand we are partnering with Native Plant and Seed. Your dollars help to support Foodlink’s mission to connect the Greater  Flagstaff area to local, regional food. More specifically, your membership to the Garden Starts CSA will help support school gardens throughout Flagstaff. You are also supporting local agriculture and will become part of the community of backyard and front yard gardeners.

Individuals who qualify for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) will be able to pay for their share with their EBT card. All they have to do is register for the Garden Starts, and then fill out the EBT member form I have attached.

If you have any questions regarding the Flagstaff Garden Starts CSA, please contact Regan Emmons.

 Happy growing in 2012!


Free Compliments Phase II

As a student ambassador of sustainability at the notoriously green Northern Arizona University, I am regularly exposed to the ideas of sustainability. This exposure and the large sustainability community involved has moved me to think in depth about the next level of campus sustainability. There is only so much that can be achieved by a core group of green students that are dedicated to sustainability. I imagine a healthy campus where there is no division between the green students and the student athletes, Greek life, ROTC students, etc. Our mission is thus to creatively include the uninvolved. Based loosely on the ideas expressed by Volkswagen’s Fun Theory we strive to find ways to “preach to the non-choir.” The first initiative currently in play is known as Free Compliments.

Free ComplimentsWhile it is, in our eyes, largely an experiment, the idea is sound. The idea, on its most basic level, is that a compliment while walking to class early in the morning might spark a better day and a healthier campus in the long run. A healthier campus, ideally might lead to a more sustainable campus. Secondarily, we have developed a space in which open conversation is encouraged and people can find out about other campus sustainability news and information.

As the project has moved on, other personal benefits have developed. For example, I’ve been told some very moving things and been involved in some very moving conversations with people I would never have otherwise conversed with. This last Wednesday, one fellow (whose name I wish I knew) waltzed up and started, “Hey man, I have dealt with anxiety and depression my entire life and…” We were thinking ‘oh no, we are making people depressed.’ To our surprise, he then finished “its stuff like what you guys are doing that help me deal with it.” Things like this, which are not uncommon, are what make it so easy to meet the sunrise every Wednesday and battle the chill of Flagstaff’s winter.

This week the project entered Phase II. Phase II means we have free hot beverages for students on their way to class who have their own reusable container. While the free beverages were not emptied this week, the word has been spread! We are hoping that there is greater public participation as the weeks progress.

See you on the University Union pedway next Wednesday from 8:15 to 9:15 AM with your reusable mug!

-Alex Gaynor


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