February 2009
Group educates teachers to teach green
by Bridget Monaghan
thing has to be done about that.”
Buckland estimated 30 people, including
Sixty million plastic water bottles are
undergraduate students, graduate students,
thrown away each day in the United States,
professors and administrators are involved
and most end up in landfills or incinerators,
in the group.
according to the Container Recycling
Alexandra D’Urso, a graduate student in
Institute, a non-profit organization that pro-
the College of Education, said she joined
motes and studies the recycling of beverage
the organization to get involved in making
Last December, a newly-organized stu-
“I’ve been a proponent for environmental
dent group began protesting Penn State’s
conservation, and I’ve been waiting for the
contribution to that figure.
right opportunity to put my money where
The group is called 3E-COE for ecology,
my mouth is,” she said.
environment and education and College of
The December protest with the
Education, according to organizer Peter
Progressive Student Alliance and Eco-
Buckland, a graduate student in education
Action was to demand that Penn State elim-
theory and policy.
inate disposable plastic water bottles on
The organization is interested in develop-
ing initiatives or programs focused on sus-
Buckland said the group wrote a letter to
tainability, ecological literacy and aware-
Penn State President Graham Spanier, who
ness that can be integrated into present and
offered to have administrators meet with the
future classrooms.
group. Penn State has a goal of zero waste
Photo by Herve Nicoloff
Last December 3E-COE protested Penn State's continued use of disposable plastic water bottles.
The group juggles political issues,
on campus, Buckland said.
Buckland said, but is set apart from
That resulted in a January meeting that
Progressive Student Alliance and Eco-
left Buckland optimistic. He said employ-
and I think that one way or another we are
ly easy to not think about because it’s so
Action because it has a more narrow focus
ees handling the waste for the university see
going to see something change in the com-
convenient,” Buckland said. “It’s going to
on the particular subset of education.
any waste reduction as potentially good,
ing year — their elimination wholesale or a
become an inconvenience one day.”
“The United States is the most educated
and unnecessary waste — plastic water bot-
move to a biodegradable bottle,” he said.
country,” he said. “The most educated peo-
tles — as good to eliminate.
“People are taking a free resource and
ple are the most wasteful people, and some-
“The meeting was productive, thoughtful,
making it extremely expensive, but it’s real-
see 3E-COE , pg. 18
New mentoring program fosters inclusion
by Ivana Lee
years ago from New York. Arriving in the
nect within the community, make personal
women with different backgrounds is a way
new community, Hinds-Zaami was exposed
and social connections and become com-
to keep the organization’s mission state-
The American Association of University
to a different culture, and simple needs were
ment alive, and to provide a program for
(AAUW) and Community
hard to find.
AAUW is one of the oldest women’s
women of different cultures, backgrounds,
Diversity Group (CDG) of Centre County
“I didn’t know where the shoe repair shop
organizations, founded in 1881 by a small
and races.
have created a mentoring program, allowing
was,” Hinds-Zaami said.
“One woman
group of women to help women realize that
“It’s not how to only survive, but to enjoy
women of all ethnicities to become part of
came to State College and lost all her lug-
there are a number of issues they face once
the community with others,” said Hinds-
the broader community.
gage and didn’t know what to do. She did-
they have a degree, like pay equity and edu-
The AAUW/CDG mentoring program
n’t know where to buy her ethnic food.
cation funding.
was created to enhance the inclusion of
“Having someone to help you find a shoe
CDG was founded in 2001 by Eicher with
local women from underrepresented groups
repair shop, or where to get your hair done,
a minority woman, after discovering sever-
For more information
in Centre County by connecting them with
or finding your luggage is what the mentor-
al organizations and businesses were con-
others who can provide friendship and
ing program can offer,” Hinds-Zaami said.
cerned about recruiting minority staff mem-
advice on a variety of issues, including net-
The mentoring program started last
The CDG Web site is www.com-
working, career planning and community
January with four women who graduated
“When minority staff became employees
munitydiversitygroup.com and
from the program Jan.
2009 at the
they wouldn’t stay very long. They didn’t
the AAUW Web site is
“It’s not just about finding jobs, building
Schlow Centre Region Library.
feel comfortable in our community,” said
women’s confidence and self- esteem,” Dr.
Pat Kephart, diversity chair of AAUW,
Eicher. “There were no social connections,
Eicher can be reached at
Denise Hinds-Zaami, diversity advocate
encourages women to join the mentoring
and simple things, like finding beauty prod-
and counselor at Penn State University,
program because it is a great way to net-
ucts or ethnic food, was a concern, so we
[email protected], Kephart at
said. “But it’s to know you’re not closed
work and be involved in the community.
formed a group.”
[email protected] and Hinds-
Carol Eicher, chair of CDG, said the
AAUW and CDG in a partnership to
Zaami at [email protected]
Hinds-Zaami came to State College four
mentoring program allows people to con-
organize a mentoring program for local

February 2009
Students aim to clear-cut Kimberly-Clark products
by Maggie O’Keefe
Eco-Action wants the Office of the
Physical Plant committee at Penn State to
“A lot of kids want to know where their toilet paper
Penn State’s contract with toilet paper
sign with a more eco-friendly paper compa-
comes from, and they get really disturbed when
supplier Kimberly-Clark expires in June
and members of the student group Eco-
“They [OPP] understand they need to
they hear it comes from clear-cutting.”
Action are encouraging the university to
take sustainability into account,” said Jane
purchase from a different, more sustainable
Dahms, a member of the group. “We have
-- Tina Robinson
trust that they will.”
“We don’t want Penn State to be a part of
In January, four Penn State MBA graduate
something so destructive,” said Tina
students gave a presentation to OPP,
Robinson, spokeswoman for Eco-Action.
Kimberly-Clark representatives, Eco-Action
which uses 100 percent recycled fiber.
Eco-Action members said that they care
members, Greenpeace representatives and
Kimberly-Clark seems to be proud of this
The campaign was launched on the Penn
more about how the janitorial paper prod-
others about increasing the standards of their
fact according to one of its statements.
State campus last January when Dahms
ucts are made than the end-product quality.
recycled paper product companies.
“KLEENEX Facial Tissue is made from
returned from working with Greenpeace
“A lot of kids want to know where their
“It was an important day for our cam-
100 per cent virgin fibre and contains no
knowing that Penn State’s five-year contract
toilet paper comes from, and they get really
paign,” said Robinson after the meeting.
recycled fibre,” said Kimberly-Clark on its
with Kimberly-Clark was soon to expire.
disturbed about it when they hear it comes
One presenter explained that Kimberly-
Web site, implying recycled products are of
The organization has been reaching out to
from clear-cutting,” Robinson explains. “We
Clark would not meet the proposed sustain-
lower quality.
the campus and surrounding community
just want to get the information out there.”
ability standards because the company uses
For Eco-Action, the clear-cutting of
with petitions and demonstrations.
Eco-Action is a university funded envi-
ancient forests, it has a low percentage of
ancient boreal forests is a main concern.
Its efforts paid off when OPP announced
ronmental group whose goal is to bring
recycled content in its paper, and it clear-
“The boreal forest in Canada is one of the
at the January meeting that they liked the
Penn State up to environmental sustainabil-
cuts trees without Forest Stewardship
greatest resources protecting us from global
MBA proposed/Eco-Action affiliated score-
ity standards through diverse campaigns.
Council certification.
warming and clear-cutting these forests is
card of paper company standards.
The organization’s current project is with
According to Kleercut’s Web site, 19 per-
making it a lot easier to release carbon into
“It’s something we can manage and
the Kleercut campaign launched by
cent of Kimberly-Clark products are recy-
the atmosphere,” Robinson explained. “It’s
something that is not subjective,” said one
Greenpeace in 2004 against the largest jan-
cled, a low percentage compared to other
a very unique habitat, the second largest,
OPP representative. “I think we are meeting
itorial paper company, Kimberly-Clark.
companies like Atlas Paper Mills, LLC,
most diverse land habitat after the rainfor-
our goal, I like this, I like this very much.”
200 West College Avenue in State College
(814) 235-1905
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February 2009
even in local elementary schools, and feed-
the garden is convincing College of
create ideas to take into their own class-
from 3E-COE , pg. 16
back has been positive from students, teach-
Education staff members to be involved.
ers and parents. Students are not being
“Students come and go, but we need indi-
“We talk about what our responsibilities
D’Urso said that since she joined 3E-
properly educated about food because food
vidual long-term members to keep this
are as a community,” she said. “A small ges-
COE she has learned that Penn State is
in schools is all processed, he said.
going over time,” she said. “One of the side
ture still makes a difference.”
making many efforts to change.
“How a carrot becomes a carrot is totally
goals is to foster a sense of community and
Other universities are also jumping on the
“I’m excited the university is willing to
alien to some people and there are people
engage all members of it.”
bandwagon of creating organizations focused
talk to us,” she said. “I think that says a lot
who have never eaten a fresh peach even
Issues such as Penn State’s utilities caps
on sustainability, but Buckland said his
about our school.”
though we have a farmers’ market down the
with Allegheny Power raising tuition prices
biggest vision for the group would be to
3E-COE is also planning to create a
street,” Buckland said. “A garden is a way
will also foster new initiatives for 3E-COE.
develop into an organization similar to the
teachers’ garden for the College of
of bringing people back to food.”
Buckland said he would like to collaborate
Piedmont Project at Emory University in
Education, Buckland said. He said mem-
The teachers’ garden will also help imple-
with faculty to create a teaching component
Atlanta, Ga. He said he would like to see a
bers hope to teach people how to grow their
ment new teaching methods in schools,
for freshman seminars or for the entire uni-
university-wide coalition having one integrat-
own food to benefit the ecosystem.
Buckland said. He said using a sweet pota-
versity to learn about conserving energy.
ed goal of reducing, reusing and recycling.
“So much of our food is hidden from us
to, for example, could create lessons about
D’Urso said in her current freshman sem-
“Maybe this is the chance for us to do
and production makes food into a conven-
indigenous people, history and migration.
inar classes, her students are required to
something to become a more sustainable
ience all of the time,” he said.
“It is imperative that we refashion the
write a paper on paper that has already been
college,” he said. “There is room for a group
Buckland said more gardens are popping
way people think about nature,” he said.
used. She said she hopes this organization
like ours to create lessons on how to be
up in schools all over the United States,
D’Urso said one of her personal goals for
will help educate students and help them
more mindful of energy use.”
USAS activist wary of PSU’s sweatshop maneuver
by Tamara Conrad
ly since the university has been refusing to
ic change to the working conditions and the
Quinn said the “Bookstore” program was
act on sweatshop issues for years.
relationship with brands. A systematic
initially geared toward universities that
Penn State has joined a program with
The program makes Penn State look good
change can be made through the DSP pro-
were already participating in the DSP.
Knights Apparel to improve the conditions of
in the fight against sweatshops without the
gram, Quinn said.
Quinn said the “Bookstore” program is a
workers of collegiate clothing manufactur-
university making substantial changes,
“The DSP holds brands accountable to
“filler program” and a “patch fix,” and it
ers, but members of Penn State’s United
Quinn said.
working with codes of conduct,” Quinn
should not be intended to replace the DSP.
Students Against Sweatshops say more
“Penn State is trying to get away with as
said, “and that would affect thousands of
“This can’t be the last step,” Quinn said.
should be done to make a significant change.
little as possible,” Quinn charged.
needs to step it up.”
The “Bookstore” program with Knights
For the past three years, USAS has been
Apparel will benefit 100 to 200 workers at
pushing Penn State to join the Designated
one factory in the Dominican Republic,
Suppliers Program, and Quinn said the
according to Megan Quinn, a member of
organization will continue to do so.
They don't
USAS. In addition to better working condi-
Within the garment industry, including
tions, the program will also enhance wages
that of collegiate apparel, Quinn said the
and benefits, according to a statement
typical system consists of brands pressuring
Live life to the fullest. Leave the day-to-day investment and
issued by Penn State.
factories to produce more and more. This
money management work to experienced professionals
Although Quinn agrees that the program
pressure to increase production results caus-
who understand your needs. Contact us today.
will benefit the workers of this particular
es a reduction in ethical working condi-
factory, it doesn’t affect workers at the
tions, Quinn said.
remaining 4,000 to 5,000 collegiate apparel
The “Bookstore” and the DSP program
are similar, Quinn said, but the scope of the
“It’s a great first step, but ultimately, it’s
programs is different. The
not enough,” said Quinn.
offers concentrated relief by protecting one
Penn State’s participation in this program
factor, Quinn said. Rather than a case-by-
is a positive first step, Quinn said, especial-
case change, USAS is advocating systemat-
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State College, PA 16801
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