Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jeremy King
Submission Date July 25, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Denison University
ER-T2-8: Themed Semester or Year

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Lauren Sabo
Campus Sustainability Committee Member
Campus Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution chosen a sustainability-related theme for its themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the past three years?:
Yes

A brief description of the themed semester, year, or first-year experience:

Denison University seeks to engage our students intellectually and creatively from their first days on campus. Our annual campus theme expands an intellectual theme throughout the year through lectures, arts and community service events, book discussions, and co-curricular experiences. Our 2009-10 campus theme, “Consumption” sought to engage the issue of human consumption at both the broadest and most particular levels, including subjects such as food, production, media, natural resources, health and health care, education and distribution of resources. The year-long theme was book-ended with consideration of “Consumption” with two renowned public intellectuals – Frances Moore Lappe and Michael Pollan – who speak to the issue of consumption as it relates to food. Through their work, we explored how food serves as a lens through which we understand complex questions about identity, community, consumption, and power. What we eat, how we prepare and gain access to food, with whom we break bread, and who is included and excluded at the table significantly affect our understanding of these issues. In addition to these keynote lectures, we considered our consumption habits in terms of cultural consumption, the global economy, war and genocide, and environmental sustainability.

"Consumption" theme:
It may be said that our habits of consumption are mirrors of our selves. As the momentous economic disruptions of this past year have signaled, our future lives will present
profound challenges, especially as regards the ways we think about and access the resources available to us. Our campus-wide theme in 2009-10 engages the issue of human
consumption at both the broadest and most particular levels, including subjects such as food, production, media, natural resources, health and health care, education and
distribution of resources.

The 2008-09 theme "Urbanscapes," was created around a couple programs about the "green city" and brought a green architect, Sim Van der Ryn, as well as David Rusk, former Mayor of Albuquerque, who discussed economic sustainability in cities. There was a program featuring Karl Sandin's work with Newark on developing urban landscapes that are
economically and environmentally viable neighborhoods. In all of these programs, our interpretations of sustainability were broadened to include environmental as well as economic development issues.

In 2007-08, the theme "Hum|an|imal" dealt with the myriad relationships between human and non-human animals. Our Opening Convocation speaker, Robert Sapolsky, addressed the
sustainability of the Western diet, looking at its effects on us as well as the primates who access it in garbage dumps. He discussed many other things, too, but I know that diet and stress disorders (i.e. the sustainability of our Western lifestyle) came up repeatedly.


The sustainability-related book that was chosen, if applicable:
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The website URL where information about the theme is available:

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