SLC Students Work to Promote Sustainability on Campus

AVI has increased the amount of food made in-house, and sourced locally. Photo by M.K. Michiels-Kibler

AVI has increased the amount of food made in-house, and sourced locally. Photo by M.K. Michiels-Kibler

This winter, California has experienced record low snowfalls and extreme drought while Boston had its snowiest season on record. President Obama called climate change, “one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.” There is no doubt that climate change is one of the biggest problems of our generation but how is Sarah Lawrence doing its part in creating a sustainable future?

With the amount of plastic containers thrown in the trash every day at the Pub, the countless open windows with blaring heaters below and an endowment invested in fossil fuels, there certainly are many areas the college could improve its environmental impact. However, there are also many movements committed to sustainability on campus.

The Environmental Awareness Organization is an entirely student run club started by Melanie Ersapah (’17) and Sophia Manzi (’17) who started the club because they felt  “that Sarah Lawrence is lacking in many areas of sustainability. This is an issue that is important to many people on campus and obviously for the future of our world.” They have organized a number of events this year, and recently organized a recycled fashion show where various outfits made out of used plastic water bottles, recycled paper and anything else found in a recycling bin were modeled. In an effort to use art to bring awareness to the environmental movement other pieces of artwork that relate to recycling and sustainability were also on display.

“Our aim for all our events is to educate and make people aware of the environmental issues facing our planet and what they can do to help,” said Ersapah. “We want these events to be fun but ultimately we want to effect a change in behavior that is more environmentally friendly.” The Environmental Awareness Organization is also working on creating a community garden on campus as well as making composting more widely available. To contact the SLC Environmental Awareness Organization email eao@gm.slc.edu. 

The Sustainability Committee, comprised of students, staff, and faculty, has recently brought back the Bike Share program. Through the support of Student Senate, six new bikes were purchased allowing students to check out bicycles from the library. The committee has also strengthened the toner recycling program on campus helping offices to recycle their toner cartridges and, at the end of the year, they organize the Salvage Drive which donates items students don’t want, diverting items from landfills to second homes with campus members and non-profits. For students who want to get involved in the efforts of the committee or who want to push forward some of their sustainably minded issues they can contact Jason Beck or email Greening@slc.edu.

Understanding that food production and packaging has a large impact on our planet, AVI has also begun to make eco friendly changes. After hosting the first of what will be an annual event, the Farmers’ Market on campus allows for a partnership between local farmers and the campus. 

 “These are local vendors we hope to partner with in the fall to showcase their products at Hill to Go or maybe the other retail units,” said Lydia Becker, resident director of AVI. 

These partnerships will increase the amount of local food that is purchased for the dining locations which is currently at 30 percent. While the school does primarily purchase its produce and packaging from Sysco, a large national food distributor, they purchase from a branch called Sysco Metro New York which does some local purchasing.  AVI has also increased the amount of food they make in-house with the launch of the “SLC Fresher” line of products which includes trail mixes, granola and dehydrated vegetable and fruit chips sold in vending machines and at the Pub.

Currently the options for to-go containers are all plastic, but AVI is looking to increase the amount of paper containers which are all natural and biodegradable for the made to order foods. As for the pre-made foods, “We focus on you seeing the food because we eat with our eyes,” said Becker. “Some things have to be in plastic such as salads because they won’t hold. But I will try to buy the best plastic with recycled materials or a thinner plastic.” As a way to eliminate waste altogether, AVI will change Bates-to-Go so that, instead of receiving a plastic container, for a five dollar deposit, students will receive a reusable container that can be taken out of Bates and then returned for a clean one at a later time.

As for selling plastic water bottles, AVI would be open to no longer selling them once the students stop buying them. As of now, they cannot keep them on the shelves, selling more than 7,000 in one semester at the Pub alone. However, everyone is welcome to fill up their water bottles for free with the fresh filtered water that comes out of the soda fountains in the Pub and at Bates.

“At the end of the day, I would like people to be able to say that Sarah Lawrence is a green school and that we do a lot to achieve sustainability,” said Ersapah. 

Together we can all continue to make the changes necessary to create a campus that does not exploit and damage the earth. As the Governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee said, “We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.” As a forward thinking liberal arts college, Sarah Lawrence should be a part of that future. 

By Mary Katherine Michiels-Kibler ’17

SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.

Career Corner, for advice on life after college: Dana Williams

A talented musician and songwriter who had the leading role in Apple’s holiday 2014 advertising campaign, alumna Dana Williams is the perfect example of someone who followed their passions to a successful career.

After graduating from Sarah Lawrence in 2011, Williams moved back to Los Angeles, a place where she had spent time during her childhood. “I worked in a café for a little while but was also recording my first EP. At the same time I was also writing songs and I had just started playing shows,” she recalled.

Performing was not exactly what Williams pictured she would be doing while she was a student at SLC. She explained, “I concentrated in creative writing mainly in the poetry department, and also music, but I never really performed because I was more interested in being a writer than a performer.”

Ultimately, it was Williams’ sister who acted as the catalyst to start her performing career. “One day my sister said, ‘you have all this music you’re recording, and if you're going to be a musician you're going to have to start performing,’” Williams said. “I was kind of freaked out at first because I am pretty shy and I used to be really shy. My sister was the one who really started booking me shows around LA.”

Once Williams started performing, opportunities were quick to follow. “People would come to my shows and say, ‘why don’t we write a song together’ or ‘why don’t you open a show for me,’” she explained. It was through one of these interactions that Williams landed her role in the Apple commercial. A woman she met knew that Apple was looking for girls who played the guitar; “it was just one of those word of mouth things,” Williams said. That word of mouth interaction led to her auditioning and snagging the role.

Williams’ biggest growth as a musician came from conquering her fear of putting herself out there for the world to critique. One of the main ways she does this is by maintaining an online presence. “I have a lot of friends who are musicians or writers and they think they’re not good enough or their work isn’t ready. That’s kind of what the internet is for. It’s a platform where anyone can put their music out there. As soon as I started doing that, I started getting tons of feedback,” said Williams. “It’s really important to be able to receive constructive criticism […] one of the main ways you can grow as an artist is to put yourself out there, even though it can be scary.”

Because performing was not her aim during college, Williams now regrets not utilizing all of the resources that were available to her: “I never really took advantage of the performing aspect of Sarah Lawrence, like the music program and even the theater program. I think I only performed once in college because I was so shy that I was like, I can’t even be in front of people. But I think for me, confidence is something that comes with time.”

Williams is proof that you can do it, you can get there. Her advice to the aspiring artist at SLC:  “Don’t give up, it’s really important to believe in yourself, especially in the arts. You have to believe in what you're doing. If you believe in yourself then other people will see your potential.”

SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.

Career Corner, for Advice on Life After College: Simon and Schuster Site Visit

Sarah Lawrence students and Career Services faculty pose for a group photo at the Simon & Schuster headquarters. Photo Courtesy SLC Career Services.

Sarah Lawrence students and Career Services faculty pose for a group photo at the Simon & Schuster headquarters. Photo Courtesy SLC Career Services.

After selecting my interests on my Sarah Lawrence College Career Link profile, I received an email inviting me to a site visit at the publishing company Simon & Schuster. As publishing has always been a career that sounded interesting to me, a behind-the-scenes sneak peak seemed like the perfect way to learn more. 
 
Walking into the large lobby of Simon & Schuster’s headquarters, just off of Fifth Avenue, made it easy to envision and get excited about the possibility of a career there. After being escorted upstairs, we all sat down around a large table in one of their conference rooms and were introduced to two employees, and SLC alums, Sophia Jimenez BA (‘12) and Tatiana Ruiz-Cornejo MFA (‘13).

My dreams of working in publishing as an excuse to read books all day long were quickly shattered by Jimenez. She works in the editorial department, and explained that it’s not all chai teas and good reads. “You don’t get a lot of time to read at work,” she said. “I spend a lot of my day answering emails and dealing with various other parts of the books process and the time for editing comes after work. I actually get a lot of it done during my commute.”
 
As I heard more about the industry, I began to build a more three-dimensional image of what working in publishing is really like. Ruiz-Cornejo, who works in the publicity department, explained, “Publicity reaches out to reviewers and critics to get your New York Times or your Boston Globe to review the book, and then also works on setting up events for the book.”
 
While authors may seem a difficult breed to work with, Ruiz-Cornejo deals directly with authors whose attitudes break that stereotype. She was especially surprised by “how nice the authors are. They are always in contact with me asking me who their readers are and how they can get more readers.” 
 
An obvious deciding factor to see whether a career is right for you is whether or not you have the skills necessary to be successful and enjoy that field. The advice for top skills to have in publishing from the pro: “Time management and being detail oriented, while being able to look at the big picture,” said Jimenez. “You have to be diplomatic as well because you do a lot of interacting with authors.”

Jeffrey Salane, who works in Little Simon, Simon & Schuster's children’s department, talked about the exciting and rewarding aspects of his job which include: “taking a manuscript, finding an illustrator that will lift the book to the next level and getting to work with a lot of strong creative people. Its kind of the bees knees.”

I left feeling inspired by the enthusiasm of those who spoke to us but also unsure if a career in publishing is right for me. It just didn’t feel right. No matter, at least I’m one feeling closer to finding a career that I love. 

by Mary Katherine Michiels-Kibler ’17
mmichiels@gm.slc.edu

SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.

CAREER CORNER, for advice on life after college: FindSpark Conference

THE  FINDSPARK FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS CONFERENCE HAD EXPERTS LEAD WORKSHOPS TO HELP ATTENDEES FOCUS ON BUILDING SUCCESSFUL AND FULFILLING CAREERS. PHOTO BY MARY-KATHERINE MICHIELS-KIBLER '17.

THE  FINDSPARK FOLLOW YOUR PASSIONS CONFERENCE HAD EXPERTS LEAD WORKSHOPS TO HELP ATTENDEES FOCUS ON BUILDING SUCCESSFUL AND FULFILLING CAREERS. PHOTO BY MARY-KATHERINE MICHIELS-KIBLER '17.

At the advice of career services, I attended an event hosted by Findspark called Find and Follow your Passions: a conference in NYC with professionals from many fields to network with and get advice from. For someone who is at times overwhelmed by the thought of starting to think about life after college, this seemed like the perfect first step.

All of the workshops explored the different areas of building a successful and fulfilling career. some of the things they discussed were networking, tools for finding jobs, entrepreneurship and  personal finance.

Chief Human Resources Officer at Time Inc. and New York Post career columnist Gregory Giangrande EVP opened the conference with a fireside chat.

His advice for nailing an interview was to “make the employer feel like this is a perfect match”.  Feel authentic and come knowing what the company is up to and what is currently going on in that industry. Avoid looking like you just need a job. Give the impression of “You have to hire me because I was meant to work for you.”  

Once you land the internship or the job that you want, his top four tips for long term career success:

1. “Go on a charm offensive” – build a constituency in the company.

2. Be humble — you are never the smartest person in the room. Quickest way to get fired is to have an attitude. Demonstrate how smart you are and how good you are at building relationships.

3. “Crush it” – come in early, stay late, and deliver.

4. Be fearless about owning who you are. How do you distinguish your self. What are you really great at. Don’t be afraid to have a personal style.

For students who have many interests and can see a variety of different career paths it can be difficult to decide what job to interview for in the first place. “What you don’t what to do is go on an interview and ask the interviewer what job is right for you” said Giangrande. Instead pick one thing that you are interested in and start there. As long as it is remotely related to what you want to do then you will learn and gain confidence. This was a common theme of the conference – to start building your network and experience list and to build on that and see where it takes you. For Giangrande this tactic took him from the desire to be a broadcast journalist to becoming the head of Human Resources at a top publishing company.  

The conference emphasis was on networking. “Everyone has a great resume, many people can nail a good interview but having connections is what gets you in the door”, said Giangrande. At first this statement seemed to be reinforcing the old “its not what you know its who you know.” An idea centered around the ability to socialize rather than ones own merits. However, after listening to Giangrande and others stories it was inspiring to hear how they used the support of the people they knew to get them where they wanted to go. Its about using your resources and our ever more connected world, as support, in both finding and achieving a dream.

How does one start to make these connections and begin to network? Start with your friends, family and the people who support you (you'd be surprised the places a friend of a friend could take you). Many of the speakers were fans of having strong LinkedIn profiles or a bio on https://about.me while others preferred using Twitter or Instagram. Attend events or conferences that relate to things you are interested in or passionate about, network and see where that leads.

Using websites like:

http://www.meetup.com (a site dedicated to connecting people with similar interests to attend gatherings)

https://www.levo.com (a site for women to get advise and find mentors to help achieve career goals)

https://www.quora.com which provides a platform for people to ask questions and share information and knowledge.

Sandra Oboh, production coordinator at truTV, shared that when she came to New York and didn’t know anyone, joining organizations like Young TV Professionals helped her find mentors in her field. Findspark itself has a mission to support young professionals in finding the resources and mentorship they need to begin their careers.

I left the conference feeling like I had learned valuable information on how to network and also excited to see where my path takes me.

No one makes it to the top of a mountain without taking the first step and usually a few hands help along the way. While the prospect of breaking into a company or starting your own is daunting, if you take risks and put yourself out there then you will have taken the first step.

by Mary-Katherine Michiels-Kibler '17
Features Editor
mmichiels@gm.slc.edu

 

SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.

Get outdoors before the cold sets in on the best fall hikes near campus

One of Sarah Lawrence's selling points is its proximity to New York City. Students often hop on the train to take advantage of everything the big city has to offer; however, because the school is also right next door to the Catskill Mountains, the Gunks climbing range, as well as numerous state parks, students also have access to a plethora of hikes and other outdoor activities.

Here is a list of hikes to go on before bundling up for a hopefully-not-too-long winter:

Riverside Walk    Photo by Rachel Eager '17

Riverside Walk

Photo by Rachel Eager '17

Riverside Walk in Bronxville is a path that follows the Bronx river— and is within walking distance from SLC! It begins at the end of Parkway Road, next to the Bronx River Parkway. To get there, walk down Kimball Avenue to Palmer Avenue, then turn right as if walking to the train station. When you reach the traffic circle at Parkway Road, turn right (toward Chantilly Patisserie) and walk all the way down the road. It goes for about a quarter mile through a nice neighborhood, but ends rather abruptly where there are "ROAD CLOSED" signs. A paved footpath will be on your left., which will take you under two bridges, through marshland and plenty of tree cover, and eventually deposit you at Scout Field, where there is a sports field and dog park. The exit road at Scout Field will let you out on a branch of Midland Avenue, right across from where you started on Parkway Road.

Bronx River Parkway Park  Photo by Rachel Eager '17

Bronx River Parkway Park

Photo by Rachel Eager '17

Bronx River Parkway Park has beautiful paths with footbridges that go over the Bronx river. You may even catch a glimpse of a waterfall. It is within walking distance from SLC. To get to it walk down Kimball Avenue to Palmer Avenue, and turn right as if you are walking to the train station. When you get to the bridge that goes over the Bronx River Parkway, cross to the left hand side of the street. There is an obviously marked entry to the first part of the park loop. If you were to walk through (heading northeast), you would end up at Pondfield Road West. If you cross the street there, you enter the second piece of the loop, which amounts to about a mile around in total.

Bronx Zoo   Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Bronx Zoo 

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The Bronx Zoo is a short bus ride away from the Botanical Garden stop on Metro-North. The views are phenomenal in the fall, and admission to the zoo is completely free on Wednesdays! Driving time from SLC: 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can take the Metro North from either Bronxville or Fleetwood down to the Fordham stop, and then from there take the Bx9 bus to the park: google maps estimate 48 minutes.

Rockefeller State Preserve   Photo by Max Fletcher '16

Rockefeller State Preserve 

Photo by Max Fletcher '16

Rockefeller State Preserve in Pocantico Hills has beautiful large walking trails with rolling hills that pass by lakes, cows and a few spots that look over the Hudson River. Parking here costs six dollars between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., but there is also additional free parking from Bedford road just past the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Driving time from SLC: 20 minutes.

Hook Mountain State Park   photo via NYNJ Trail Conference

Hook Mountain State Park 

photo via NYNJ Trail Conference

Hook Mountain State Park is located on the other side of the Hudson River along the jagged and quarried face of Hook Mountain. The landmark demarcates the separation between the Tappan Zee and Haverstraw Bay. The park has a number of hiking trails, but most notably has bike path that follows the river through "Dutchtown" in Haverstraw and goes all the way to Nyack Beach State Park.  Driving time from SLC: 25 minutes.

Bear Mountain State Park is also on the other side of the Hudson and has many hiking trails that overlook a lake as well as spectacular views of the Hudson River. This park has some fun features, like a merry-go-round that has cute scenes from the park on it and an outdoor ice skating rink that is open from October through March. Driving time from SLC: 40 minutes.

Hudson Highlands State Park   photo via nysparks.com

Hudson Highlands State Park 

photo via nysparks.com

Hudson Highlands State Park is a little bit further, but has beautiful hikes that you won't want to miss. The park's most popular hike is called Breakneck Ride—it's a 5.5 mile and a 1,200 foot climb that was voted one of the top ten day hikes in America by Newsweek. The park is located between the towns Beacon and Cold Spring, a very cute village that worth a wander since you're already in the area. Driving time from SLC: 60 minutes.
 

by Mary-Katherine Michiels-Kibler
Features Editor
mmichiels@gm.slc.edu

 

SLC Phoenix

The Phoenix is a non-profit, student-run publication representing the voices and opinions of Sarah Lawrence College community members. Our print edition publishes bi-weekly on Tuesdays, and our online edition is updated multiple times per week. Anyone may attend our open meetings at 9:00 PM on Wednesday nights in the North Room of the Pub.

"That's an all-girls school, right?" Michiels-Kibler tackles the classic misconception

Veterans permitted to attend SLC prior to the college's decision to go co-ed contemplate course offerings  on the steps of Westlands in 1946. Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College Archives from the Sarah Lawrence Alumnae/i Magazine.

Veterans permitted to attend SLC prior to the college's decision to go co-ed contemplate course offerings  on the steps of Westlands in 1946. Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College Archives from the Sarah Lawrence Alumnae/i Magazine.

“That’s an all girl’s school. Right?” I have been asked this question countless times since deciding to attend Sarah Lawrence College. For a school that became coeducational at the same time as just about every other originally women’s college (Vassar and Skidmore, for example), SLC has retained its image as an all female institution and enrollment has continued to be uneven (72 percent female to 28 percent male according to the Princeton Review).

When Sarah Lawrence College first opened in 1928 its mission was to prepare young women for society. After the difficult financial times of the war, and under the GI Bill, the college allowed a select number of veterans to attend. Then, in 1968, after much controversy, the board of directors decided to allow men to officially enroll in the college; however, the administration never publicly announced this decision.

In the March 1975 issue of The SLC Tribune (The Phoenix's precursor as the campus newspaper), only seven years after becoming coed, the paper reported a male-to-female ratio of one male to every three females. In the article, students debated whether the school should start more actively recruiting men or go back to being all female.

Sarah Lawrence women Marjorie Rile '41, Dorothy "Dot" Hodge '41, and Jo Hill '41 play pool with their dates during a Sunday tea dance in 1938 . Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College Archives from the 1938-39 SLC Yearbook.

Sarah Lawrence women Marjorie Rile '41, Dorothy "Dot" Hodge '41, and Jo Hill '41 play pool with their dates during a Sunday tea dance in 1938 . Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College Archives from the 1938-39 SLC Yearbook.

The article also discussed how the ratio affected the social scene of the school, and listed possible reasons for the college’s continued all female reputation as such: “Male candidates believe that SLC still holds the reputation of being an all-women’s college. The name helps this impression linger on. Most men who decide to go to college choose a school with stronger emphasis on the sciences and more defined job-oriented programs.” It also asserted that SLC is not “a competitively oriented school.” Why do we still have this reputation 40 years later?

photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College Archives

photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College Archives

Three male first-years all agreed that they were aware of the male female ratio and reputation as an all girls school prior to attending Sarah Lawrence, but that it did not affect their decision to enroll.

Another first-year commented: “I took into consideration the curriculum and the academics of the school along with the fact that I would be playing sports here,” said Varun Kelkar ‘18, “so it didn’t really bother me that there would be more girls than guys. It was definitely more of a culture shock when I got here, but I never felt out of place.”  

Renee Lemmel ’17 added, “People are always [asking], ‘is that an all girls school? I’m like, well, technically no, but there are still so many girls compared to guys that it may as well be.” As for the social scene, Lemmel commented: “Girls are always like, ‘well he is the only viable candidate out of the few’.”

To avoid feelings of annoyance at the repetition of this question my recommendation is to come up with an amusing answer to say when correcting this common misconception.

by Mary Katherine Michiels-Kibler '17
Features Editor
mmichiels@gm.slc.edu
 

 

 

 

Joseph Faragher '14 debuts "Primadonna Gay" music video

The Heimbold soundstage was a medley of glitter, lipstick, and fake eyelashes during the filming of director Joseph Faragher’s (’14) latest project, Primadonna Gay: a re-envisioned version of Marina and the Diamonds’ “Primadonna.” The mood was cheerful as nails were painted, wigs fastened, and raunchy answers to the game Taboo shouted out in the dressing room. 

How did this elaborate vision in pink come about? “I was driving up to Northern California with my family over winter break and this song [Primadonna Girl by Marina and The Diamonds] came on my Spotify (product placement--intentional, Spotify is pretty amazing),” said Faragher. “I had never listened to it before, really, and was suddenly struck with this image of a Victorian tea party and all the gay kids I could wrangle sitting at a long pink table. I listened to the song on repeat for the remainder of the four-and-a-half-hour drive and constructed the storyline in my head. I became a little bit obsessive—I’m an obsessive person—and insisted in my head that I would make it happen.” 

Primadonna Gay is a project that came to fruition because of the hard work and collaboration of all the people involved. “To build community you should create something together, so that’s what were doing,” said producer Lila Mensing, ‘14. “This is also Joe and my senior year and I wanted something to take with me.” 

The video’s greater message is that it is “in support of LGBTQ expression and equality and gender fluidity as it applies to modern media,” said Busty Bruschetta, one of the many drag queens starring in the video. “And now quote all of us vomiting. No that was good!” said Decaf Divine, laughing. “It’s just everyone having fun with their gender and expression,” added Valentina Totino (the queen bee of the video). 

The individuality of each character shone through as they lip-synced “all I ever wanted was the world” together at a long table covered in cakes, pink balloons, and tea party paraphernalia. Each character in the video is based off the actor’s real life drag persona. The majority of the costumes that appear in the video came directly from the queens’ closets themselves. Put together with pieces from the costume department and a few Good Will treasures, this created an incredibly glam sight to be seen.

After all was said and done, the queens put a ton of W-E-R-K into this video. Faragher’s advice to future music videographers, “Get an instagram photo on set. No one else is going to make that happen for you.” 

To see this glitter and glam in action stay tuned for the release of the Primadonna Gay music video on 5.6.14. In the meantime check out this teaser: