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Feb 14th
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Slugs Make Green Honor Roll

signThe Princeton Review dubs UC Santa Cruz one of the greenest colleges in the country

Every year, The Princeton Review releases books like "The Best 377 Colleges" and "The Complete Book of Colleges" to provide a ranking system for colleges in the United States. In this year’s edition, UC Santa Cruz earned a position among 21 of the Review’s greenest colleges in the nation.

The finalists for the Green Honor Roll were chosen based on a 50-question survey given to four-year colleges in 2012. The survey asked about campus infrastructure, course offerings, career preparation, and activities, all in relation to the obligation of sustainability.

Santa Cruz’s city on a hill had plenty of green-centered programs and offerings to boast of. The UCSC Sustainability Office, which was started by a student in 2007, is a campus resource that promotes environmentally friendly decision-making. Through the office, students, faculty and staff have come together to create projects to improve sustainability on campus.

Another program that helped land the school on the honor roll is The Carbon Fund, a project supported by student fees that attempts to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint and achieve a goal of zero waste by 2020. So far, UCSC has a 70 percent waste diversion rate.

In addition, UCSC uses renewable sources to fund 16 percent of its energy, and uses 90 percent Green Seal Certified cleaning products.

According to Lacey Raak, director of the Sustainability Office, there are many other projects underway, such as an environmental game app developed by students to help users understand and make better environmental decisions.

Also of note, says Raak, is the Green-Watching Awareness Training Video, which is a joint project between students and staff to raise awareness about environmentally preferable products. This year, Transportation and Parking Services will put four new charging stations for electric vehicles on campus.

"The reason it is important for campuses to be sustainable is because we are developing the next generation of changing agents for society," says Raak. "There’s this inherent need from a student prospective, and it’s important that staff and administrators push the envelope to act as a role model for sustainability."

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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