Campus-grown dining promotes sustainability at SDSU

Walking through Hello Walkway Garden is a tranquil experience, featuring an array of trees and succulents pleasing to the eye, with a soothing water fountain as background noise for the midst of a study session. One characteristic that may be overlooked in this space is the garden and the formulated system it works with in order to make San Diego State a more sustainable and health-savvy campus. SDSU has been keeping pace with the recent trends regarding healthy eating habits and farm-to-table concepts by implementing the Campus Grown program. The program works to grow fresh produce on campus to use in dining facilities. Starting roughly five years ago when Paul Melchior, the director of dining services, began renting plots from the College Area Community Garden to harvest vegetables. Every year since, members of the Aztec Shops and sustainability program have worked to expand on this project— now cultivating two gardens at the Faculty Staff Club and the Hello Walkway area. Besides providing organic, locally sourced options to students this also helps in reducing carbon footprint. After attending a conference held at UCSD, Melchior was inspired to build an aeroponic system which grows produce in structures that do not require much land or water. He said that because SDSU does not have a ton of space to work with, the aeroponic system seemed like the perfect solution to him. “The aeroponic towers, the really cool thing about them is if you count the amount of water it takes to grow something in that tower, and if you grew that same thing in dirt, you’ll see that the tower uses five percent of how much the dirt uses,” said Melchior. This advanced form of agriculture technology cuts down on water and energy while still expanding sources. Melchior explained that the aeroponic towers can grow crops up to three times faster, while using 95 percent less water and 90 percent less land. This system is also being adopted by other campuses and farms across the nation. “Urban agriculture is a vastly growing thing,” said Trevor Toia, a sustainability major, “we were one of the first universities to adopt this campus-grown idea, right after UCSD, now other campuses have been seeing what’s happening and simulating it at their school as well.” Toia is working on similar projects at several other campuses throughout California. He explained how campus gardening can be great for educating the public about the benefits of local farming, specifically knowing how and where the food consumed is being grown. “I track the ingredients in our gardens from when they start as a seedling, to when I plant them, to when I harvest them, and when they are ready to be transferred into the different locations on campus,” said Toia. According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, this growing trend may help to lay the groundwork for a future where a network of farmers’ markets, food co-operatives, and community gardens will greatly reduce average food miles and help the nation transition to a more sustainable food system. Travis Freeman, a former student and member of GreenLove brought awareness to the fact that food is cultivated, processed, and transported in ways that can be harmful to the environment and the consumers’ health. “Farm-to-table eating helps reduce carbon footprint as it does not require any packaging, transportation, and does not contribute to food waste,” said Freeman. According to Aztec Shops SDSU Dining, the program is committed to sustainable, locally sourced gardening. It aims to give students the highest quality foods while reducing carbon footprint by using progressive urban agriculture systems. From leafy greens to seasonal squash and fresh herbs, SDSU’s gardens provide roughly 10 percent of the food coming in and out of these restaurants. Students can enjoy campus-grown produce at several different dining areas such as: The Garden at Cuicacalli, UTK, Faculty-Staff Club, and Salad Bistro. According to the SDSU Campus Grown program, their mission is to pave the way to a sustainable campus and to continuously seek ways to lower energy and environmental impacts.

Sorority Life: Putting Your Best Face Forward

Thousands of women join sororities each year through a structured process known as rushing. Incoming freshmen become anxious about the big transition to a brand new school, and joining a sorority might seem like the perfect way to find their place on campus. Becoming part of a sorority many opportunities are provided to enhance personal growth and gain a sense of community. New members attend numerous social events and are given a “big sister,” who assumes a mentor role. This allows them to instantly connect with new friends and become involved with the school. However, before these social opportunities are made accessible, pledges must lock in their spot. A swarm of hopeful recruits will participate in rush week where they compete against their peers, putting their best foot forward, or in this case— face forward. It is all fun and games until you’re rejected. With pledges being evaluated through a series of five-minute interactions, one factor becomes clear— current members are seeking the most attractive candidates. Sororities have become overly-focused on the physical appearance of their members. This is especially evident during the recruitment process, which ultimately deters potential candidates away from the experience as a whole due to the fear of being rejected. “When we have a special event, we definitely feel pressured to get our hair touched up, get a spray tan and spend money on a brand new dress and pair of heels,” said San Diego State Alpha Phi member, Jessica Mixer. Mixer describes the implications of this pressure and says you don’t want to be the only girl who does not make these efforts. Within seconds of scrolling through the SDSU Alpha Phi Instagram page, you’re able to understand the preferred look— tall, blonde and thin. This issue affects women across the board. Once admitted into a sorority, young women feel pressured to look a certain way while those who are turned away become insecure. Some even avoid the experience altogether as they may not meet the conventional standards of beauty. In a study completed at U.S. Midwestern university, researchers found a strong relationship between sorority rushing and body image disturbance. They proved that new members showed higher levels of self-objectification and eating disorder attitudes compared to those who did not rush. Collectively, the findings showed that sororities promoted a certain body type, ultimately affecting how participants viewed themselves. The purpose of sororities is to bring women together, empowering them to succeed in their academics and personal achievements both during and after college. However, it seems as though sororities are becoming more concerned with their image and less about the greater good of the community. The process of recruitment needs to be reconsidered. Members should employ new, interactive ways to evaluate rushees as a person rather than a physical display. Perhaps these five-minute interactions should require a blindfold to make sure emphasis is no longer placed on one’s appearance. This would ensure everyone gets an equal chance to participate in a sorority.

Become apart of Lupe’s taco Shop!

Lupe’s Taco Shop will be visiting the Mesa campus this Thursday, March 8th to recruit students seeking employment! The authentic Mexican restaurant is located off of Linda Vista Rd., which is conveniently close to the campus. It has recently been remodeled, with an upgraded digital menu and trendy décor creating a modern feel with its neon-light taco sign, hanging lights, fun textiles, and an open kitchen which takes pride in making everything from scratch- except the Hot Cheetos they stuff in their signature burrito. Yep, a Hot Cheetos burrito! Edwina, the supervisor says, “we are looking for outgoing, energetic students who enjoy working as a team.” Lupe’s has plenty of open positions for part-time and full-time, including cashiers, bussers, and light prep cooks. If this interests you, print out a resume and stop by Sunrise plaza in between the Mesa Commons area and bookstore anytime from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to get more information!

San Diego Mesa College celebrates LRC 20th anniversary

The Learning Resource Center opened its doors on April 5th for students and faculty to celebrate the 20 years of its services. Dr. Pamela T. Lester, San Diego Mesa College’s President, thanked everyone for coming, and to all the faculty involved in making the LRC what it is today. Lester explained how proud she was of the building, from the artitecture, to all the new services it offers, such as the writing cen

Trump Administration putting wildlife at high risk

The Trump Administration proposes idea to open nearly all U.S. shores to offshore oil and gas drilling by the beginning of next year, completely reversing the ban implemented by Obama in which blocks 94% of the coastal waters from this dangerous operation. This is just the beginning of Trump’s efforts to promote energy production, diminishing any sort of environmental restrictions that have been put in place in