October 22, 2009 Volume CXXVI Issue 6

Student calls for sustainable dining in the Caf

By KHANT MINN
Staff Writer

Georgetown College is one of the hundreds of schools that does not feature sustainable dining in its cafeteria. It does have a salad bar but there is no guarantee that the vegetables are fresh and organic. So-called homemade soups taste nowhere near homemade. The most frequent dinner menu is beef, which is a very eco-unfriendly food. Vegetable dishes are very rarely on the menu. Students mostly drink carbonated beverages because other healthy drinks are simply not available. Well, it has very bitter and horrible tasting fruit juices, that are far from fresh. What makes things worse is that students simply do not care how much food they are going to throw away and so they take more food than they need. As more and more students are becoming aware of this situation, inevitably there is going to be an implementation of a more sustainable dining program. Below is what can be done to make the Caf a sustainable dining environment.

First, before we go into what kind of food the Caf should have, let’s examine the service utensils in the dining hall. It is good that students have to eat with dinner plates—which can be used over a long period of time—and not with disposable plates. We have to build upon the idea that everything in the Caf should be used over and over again. So what in the Caf is for onetime use only? Of course, there’s the paper napkins. There’s yet to be seen a hand blower instead of thick rolls of paper towels in the washrooms on campus. The excessive use of paper napkins is not exclusively the Caf’s problem. It is a campus-wide issue. Even though it is true that those papers can be recycled, they still affect the environment. Why can’t we install hand blowers in the washrooms? Why can’t we have napkins made of fabric such as cotton which can be washed and reused over and over again? What we can do is this: each student will be given a reusable napkins and it is his or her responsibility to turn in the napkins for washing after each meal. This way, we can save the tons of paper going into the trash chutes each year.

Secondly, there should be an initiative program for the students to take only what he or she can eat. It is an undeniable fact that students do not value the plentiful food that they are privileged to have in the Caf. Look at the left-over foods that line up in the cleaning area during meal time. They are worse than the paper napkins in that they cannot be recycled. If we take a further step and consider the huge number of starving people that we could have fed with the food which now lies wastefully inside the disposal truck, we can imagine what we have been doing to the environment.

Thirdly, if the Caf is to be a completely sustainable dining service, we need some amendments to the Simply-to- Go system. What do we use to pack Simply-to-Go food? Disposable plastic boxes, plastic cups, plastic cutleries and plastic bags. They are the enemies of the ecosystem. They are synthetic and poisonous. Why can’t we ask the students a little favor and make them return the boxes and bags to be washed and reused? After all, students know much better than wasting away the limited natural resources that the earth has to offer.

Fourthly, the Caf has too much unhealthy and inorganic food. Even the breakfast omelets come with a disgustingly huge amount of cheese on top. Go to the Grill line and you can’t just have something without cheese or mayonnaise or whatever those creamy, oily and unhealthy things are. The only way that the Caf contributes to sustaining the global environment is that it rarely has seafood in the menu, but this is likely because of the expense. We have chicken everyday and hopefully the chicken and the eggs come from environmentally responsible and certified organic farms. Still, we would want to buy products from our local farms, because the products which have to travel longer have bigger impact on the environment than the local products. One more thing that is glaringly in need of change is that students do not have many choices when they want to eat natural and organic food. Meat is environmentally less friendly than vegetables and the food that dominates the Caf menu is meat. There should be more vegetable entrées featured in the lunch or dinner menu. In conclusion, there are a lot of things that need to be implemented to make the Caf a sustainable dining hall. One certain truth is that the Caf alone cannot make it happen. Students need to cooperate and take their responsibilities. It is not possible until we really realize the importance of sustainability and that it is not something that can be achieved by one person’s effort alone.


Grounds department does the dirty work

By KHANT MINN
Staff Writer

Picking up loose trash in and around the football stadium is horrible. Cleaning the parking lots of dry leaves and trash is even worse. The most revolting thing is going around the houses on campus and cleaning out the trash chutes every morning. The smell is extremely unpleasant even to go near those chutes, let alone getting out the trash and carrying them in a trolley. Unloading that trash into the disposal truck is unimaginably repugnant. The smell of the truck stinks at least three times more than that of the chutes. Don’t go near it if you have had too much to eat; you might throw up.

So who is doing such abominable tasks? How would you cope with distress if you were thrown into this kind of job by circumstances? Trimming the weeds that grow around the plants and flowers on campus is not an enjoyable job. Raking the fallen leaves on the ground is no fun either. Mowing the grass all day, inhaling the dust and grass cuts into your lungs, is not only monotonous and boring, but also unhealthy. The sheer noise of the engine roaring underneath you makes you virtually deaf. Repainting the football and soccer field at East campus gets your shoes and trouser legs dirty. And you don’t want to inhale the paints coming out of the pressure blower. They are chemicals, have a strong pungent smell and are toxic. Imagine doing all those things in the rain. The misery doubles.

But then who is doing all those things? If you were one of these people, how would you make yourself happy with your job? Detestable and appalling as they are, one thing is certain: without those maintenance services, the campus would not be as tidy and beautiful, and the residence halls would not be as clean and hygienic. These people have played a vital role in making the school a safe, healthy and clean learning environment for years. For four weeks, I have been part of the Grounds department, the team that takes care of the above mentioned jobs that no one else would be particularly proud of doing. To be honest, there have been times that I almost regreted joining them, but I hung in there (at first because the guys that I work with are the funniest, friendliest, the most relaxed and easy-going people on campus and I love being around them, and because I don’t have any other jobs and the hours are flexible, so I can work any time I want).

But then later, I started to think of the effects of my services. I started to see the fruits of my hard labor. I asked myself to consider my job as a community service, a virtuous altruistic deed. I looked around and saw the guys who have been here for a long time and who will still be here long after I leave. I began to recognize the honor that they carry with the much deserved respect and awe. It is far beyond the paycheck that drives us to work, it is the good will for the well-being of the students, staff and faculty members. Since then I’ve had a new outlook on my job. My job is, on the surface, dirty, distressful and detestable, but deep, deep underneath it, beautiful, honorable and fulfilling. It is shooting two birds with one stone: I am serving the school community magnificently while at the same time getting paid, which, I confess, is still the best part of my job.


Songfest stirs up GC

By TORI BACHMAN-JOHNSON
Opinion Editor

Without a doubt, Songfest stirred up some controversy this year, and some Songfest rules were broken. Apparently someone somewhere is paying attention to these rules, because a friend of mine, who was the Songfest Chair for her sorority, explained to me that she was asked to change lyrics in a song her group was using from “Oh my God” to “Oh my gosh.” Seems fair enough to me. Using the Lord’s name in vain in the chapel of a Baptist college is a legitimate concern. However, in other cases, the rules weren’t enforced in quite the same manner.

For instance, during Thursday’s dress rehearsal, references to alcohol were made, the women of two specific sororities were objectified in song, God and Satan sang a duet, someone made a joke about Jews being cheap and “Michael Jackson” simulated sexual acts with young boys. Many, if not all, of this material was technically “off-limits” for Songfest skits. I can’t speak to what went on during Songfest on Friday, but rumor has it that only minor changes were made to scripts. Whether or not these changes were made, the inappropriate material shouldn’t have made it to dress rehearsal. There are two tech rehearsals during the week of Songfest, and surely part of the purpose of these rehearsals is to eliminate offcolor or highly offensive jokes from the skits.

Granted, no matter what the Homecoming chairs say, individuals and groups can do whatever they please on the night of the performance, and there’s not much anyone can do to stop them. I don’t mean to take myself, my religion or Songfest too seriously. There’s more to life than this one overblown event, and I wasn’t offended by all of the questionable jokes. However, my personal reaction to these references isn’t what counts. Alumni, parents, grandparents, young children and administrators attend Songfest, and they expect it to be a fun, entertaining, family-friendly evening that showcases the talent of GC students. They aren’t paying $5 a ticket to be offended by racist jokes and sodomy. This isn’t a question of whether or not those who performed the questionable material are good Christians, or if they had good intentions. It’s a question of good judgement and respect. In the future, when writing Songfest scripts, you might ask yourself, “Would I be comfortable saying this if I was sitting alone with my younger sibling, my mother, my grandmother or President Crouch?” There may be a time or place for off-color jokes, but it’s quite obvious that Songfest is not that time or place.


A Comical Moment

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