Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 5 and 6 will be AWESOME

November 5: Maryland Student Climate Coalition retreat. We will be driving up Saturday morning and meeting with student environmental leaders at colleges across the state to network, plan, and learn about regional issues. Learn more here.

November 6: Tar Sands rally! With 5,000 people signed up to attend and yesterday's news that Obama is finally taking notice, this is going to be huge. Sign up with the organizers here.

To attend either/both of these, YOU MUST sign up with us here - then, expect an email with logistics soon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

SEAC meeting notes 10/19

Icebreaker: What is your favorite pizza topping? Also, why are you cute? Your answers have to be the same.

Sustainability Week is next week! (October 24-28) Go here and here for more details. We will be tabling at each meal throughout the week for a public art project (see below), signing people up for reusable to-go boxes, and raising awareness about Tar Sands mining and the Keystone XL pipeline. If you are interested (tabling is super fun), let us know.

One of the major parts of tabling will be a public art project! At today's meeting, we decided to make a recycled art project out of plastic bottles, to be collected on campus throughout the week. So: we need people to collect bottles - either ones from your recycling at your own house, ones you find as litter, or ones rescued from recycling bins. (At the end of the week the entire thing will be recycled, so we're not diverting the recycling stream, don't worry!)

Next, we talked about the Tar Sands rally coming up on November 6! We were not able to get college vans (probably because they're needed for the mold), so we need people with cars or ideas for alternate transportation to DC that day. (PLEASE let us know if you can drive!) Also, the MSCC will be holding a meeting and training the day before (that's a Saturday), leaving Friday or Saturday to participate in that will be an option. More details to come soon!

Finally, we learned about mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia through the medium of cookies, and about awesome organizations and people that are fighting it. Check out the RAMPS Campaign - one tree-sit they held this summer stopped blasting at Coal River Mountain for over a month.

(Don't forget to join our new facebook page!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

SEAC meeting notes 10/12

Today, we recapped from our last meeting and from the protests Friday. (Who saw SEAC in the Washington Post?!?!?) Check out this video by recent SEAC alum Danny Ruthenberg-Marshall (who also testified inside the State Department hearing itself - go to the 1:28:18 mark) about the protest Friday.

If you couldn't make it last week, don't despair! An even bigger action is taking place on November 6, and we plan on taking as many SEAC members to it as we can! Anti-Tar Sands protesters plan to encircle the White House for a few hours that Sunday to encourage Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. More details about SEAC's involvement are coming soon.

Lots of SEAC members are involved in lots of awesome green projects on campus! We heard from the Campus Farm, the Sustainability Office, the Arboretum, Keep St. Mary's Beautiful, SMRP, the Vegan Co-op, Chancellor's Point, and more! Contact us if you want to get in touch with any of these awesome organizations.

October 24-28 is Campus Sustainability Week! The Sustainability Office has been organizing tons of speakers, documentaries, and other events to celebrate a different aspect of sustainability each day.
Monday: Food
Tuesday: Water
Wednesday: Climate and Energy
Thursday: Transportation
Friday: Outdoors
At the meeting, we brainstormed ideas for events during the week.
  • SEAC will be tabling all week. We want to have a station to make recycle art, and we want to have a station educating people about the tar sands. This is also a good time to ask people to join the reusable to-go box program.
  • On that subject, we can reach out to the sports teams, who often eat at the grind, about using reusable to-go boxes.
  • We can encourage people to save water when showering - by asking them to have water on at a minimum, or to skip days of showering. (How can we turn this into a game?)
  • We can give out reusable water bottles at the end of a documentary showing.
  • We can encourage people to recycle and increase awareness of what is and isn't recyclable.
  • Finally, Friday being two days before Halloween, we can have a Halloween parade. Dress up as your favorite eco-villain!
Caroline is bringing all of these ideas to the Sustainability Office. Come next week to help us plan logistics and help make Sustainability Week awesome!

(PS. Check out our new facebook page!)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

SEAC in the Washington Post

Check it out!

(From left to right: Cate, Allie, Jack, Ashok, and Jennifer)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SEAC and the Tar Sands: this Friday

SEAC will be traveling to DC this Friday to participate in a rally outside the final State Department public hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline. We'll be leaving at approximately 9:00; the rally is from 12-1; after, you can either travel home for Fall Break, or return with us to campus. (Read more here.). If you want to come, or simply want more information, let us know ASAP at

Organizers of the rally are also in need of people to hold places in line for anti-pipeline speakers. At previous hearings across the midwest, oil companies paid people to arrive hours early and stand in line to make sure the hearing was dominated by pro-Tar Sands voices. We don't want this to happen again! A car of SMCM students will be heading up to DC either very late Thursday night or very early Friday morning. Again, let us know if you are interested.

After the Tar Sands rally, several SEAC members are also planning on going just a few blocks(!) to stand in solidarity with Occupy DC, a part of the movement that began with Occupy Wall Street just a few weeks ago, and the related but separate October2011 occupation - so this is also an option!

Otherwise, come to the SEAC meeting (tonight at 8:30 in Goodpaster 117) to plan for more upcoming events (the Tar Sands action on November 6, the potential SEAC retreat on November 12, and Campus Sustainability week) and talk further about why we care about this.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

SEAC meeting #3: Move the Planet, Stop the Tar Sands

1. Moving Planet is this Saturday, September 24. Our agenda is:
  • brunch time - have our banner outside the Campus Center; people will decorate it with footprints, handprints, bike tire prints, and other people-powered-movement prints.
  • 2:00 - Critical Mass bike ride through campus, starting at the Campus Center
  • 2:30 - fun, food, and games at the Point!
Join in, and bring your friends! (if you facebook, go here.)

2. SEAC members who participated in protests over the summer about Tar Sands oil mining and the Keystone XL pipeline led a discussion about the issue, the dangers involved in the proposal, and past, current, and upcoming actions to fight it - including a protest outside the State Department on Friday, October 7. SEAC will be participating; if you want to be a part of this, contact us!

3. The reusable to-go box (aka oyster shells) program is going well, but fewer new people than expected signed up to participate. SEAC will be tabling in the next few weeks to bring awareness to this green dining option.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SEAC meeting #2

Last Wednesday night, we had a long but productive meeting of learning about the state of sustainability on campus, brainstorming ways to make the campus greener, and planning for Moving Planet.
  • Luke Mowbray, the campus Sustainability Coordinator, has a background in "stuff." Email him at lmmowbray (smcm) to ask about on-campus initiatives, progress reports, urban planning, and ... stuff.
  • For example, if SEAC comes up with a plan of action for increasing composting awareness (so people don't put trash in compost bins!), Luke's department can help us with funding.
  • On the other hand, Luke needs data about when, where, and how many lights are left on at night to target areas where we can save energy. SEAC's peoplepower can do this!
  • Want to work on greening the Great Room? Contact Ashok at ashok.chandwaney (gmail).
  • Talk about synchronicity ... one of our big ideas at the last meeting was puttng a bench and rider information at the bus stop, and Luke has already gotten approval for it to happen!
  • Moving Planet will be awesome!
Next Saturday is the international day of action organized by the 350 campaign, Moving Planet. SEAC has some awesome ideas for a SMCM rally!
  1. All day, we table inside the campus center and work on painting a banner outside the campus center. (handprints and footprints? signatures? murals? messages from students? something to figure out at the next meeting!)
  2. At 2:00, bikers and other fast wheelpowered transportation assemble at the Bike Shop in WC, and walkers and slow wheelpowered transportation assemble at the Campus Center.
  3. Bikers, bike to the campus center!
  4. Rally and photo op on the hill
  5. Bikers bike and walkers walk to Chancellor's Point
  6. fun times! (until 7 or 8 or sundown)
At the end of the meeting, we split up into three groups to work out the logistics of this plan.
  • Publicity - we need posters EVERYWHERE! (on recycled paper, of course) We will make and/or distribute these at this week's meeting.
  • Activities - people in this group will coordinate fun things to do (Nerf Gun wars! three-legged races! frisbee games!) and contact student musicians and local bands about performing
  • Reaching Out - we will work with other clubs to bring more people into this
Get ready for Moving Planet THIS SATURDAY

(NOTE: emails aren't entirely spelled out to protect the innocent from SPAM! You probably know how to complete them.)