SSE Makes Quite a Buzz!

Since November of 2012, Students for a Sustainable Earth Co-Chairs, Weston Hillier and Nicholas Wikar, have been hard at work authoring a Student Sustainability Grant proposal with the assistance of entomologist Dr. Lawrence Connnor to install six honey bee hives on the campus of Western Michigan University in an effort to conduct long-term apiary research.  The installation would be(e) the first-of-its-kind at WMU, and would allow students to gain bee keeper training, investigate phenomenon such as colony collapse disorder (CCD), and examine the potential benefits apiary populations would have on student-led garden and horticulture initiatives.

While the initial grant proposal was rejected by the Student Sustainability Grant (SSG) Allocations Committee in December of 2012, citing more supporting documentation needed to be obtained, busy bees Wikar and Hillier were not discouraged.  Since then, they have worked closely with Dr. Connor, Biological Sciences Department Chair Dr. John Spitsbergen, WMU Landscaping Services, and WMU’s Office for Sustainability to get everything in order to submit their grant proposal for a second time.  When asked about their work thus far, Hillier replied, “It’s really awesome that we have bridged the gap between higher education and the community.  This research will incorporate everything the SFI (Sustainability Fund Initiative, authored in-part by SSE’s former Co-Chair, Joe Szuszwalak, Jr. in 2010) and the SSG were created for.  These bees will aid in exploring newly developing fields of biological systems studies at Western Michigan University.”

As this is the first SSG proposal submitted to exceed $10,000, since the program’s inception, a resolution of support from the Western Student Association (WSA) Senate is also needed before approving the project.  To accomplish this task, SSE Senator Cody Hodges, member Kyle Martin, and Wikar authored a draft resolution and submitted it to WSA’s Office of the Speaker on February 5th, 2013.  The draft resolution was accepted by Speaker Neldon and will be presented as “read only” when the Senate meets on Wednesday, February 6, 2013.  The authors are also seeking the sponsorship of WSA’s Sustainability Committee ahead of the resolution’s formal presentation, discussion, and vote by the Senate expected on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 13th.

“Our hard work is paying off, and I am very excited to be a part of such valuable research that is sure to advance sustainability efforts at Western Michigan University.  We are just getting started, but we would not have gotten this far if it wasn’t for everyone that has and continues to come together to make this dream a reality,” said Wikar.

Click on the links below to view the draft and read only versions of the resolution.

Resolution 1213-18 (Draft) – 02/05/13
Resolution 1213-18 (Read Only) – 02/06/13

Bees!

Getting a first-hand look at bees-in-action, October 2012.  Pictured Left to Right; Joe Szuszwalak, Jr., Cody Hodges, Nicholas Wikar, Kyle Martin, Weston Hillier, and Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Connor.

[An update to the story:  On February 6, 2013, the Western Student Association Sustainability Committee voted unanimously to co-sponsor Resolution #1213-18.  Their co-sponsorship will be reflected on the final version of the resolution.]

Upcoming Events – Mark Your Calendars!

If you didn’t already know, we are off to a busy, busy start!  Please, mark your calendars and be sure to attend the following events!

Earth Week 2013 Planning Meeting – Friday, February 8th @ 2 pm
Join us at the Office for Sustainability

Be there this Friday as we unveil the branding for Earth Week 2013 and host the first of many planning meetings.  Groups and individuals interested in collaborating with SSE to make this year’s Earth Week a success should try to attend as we will be finalizing the schedule of events.

What the Frack?  Part 1:  New York – Thursday, February 21st @ 6 pm
Join us at the Bernhard Center, Room 212

Students for a Sustainable Earth and the Kalamazoo Peace Center are proud to be hosting environmental organizer Lauren Swaddell for an educational event about Horizontal Hydraulic Fracturing. This highly controversial method of extracting natural gas is practiced in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York and is now coming to Michigan.

This presentation will explain the process and how it has affected people and land in upstate New York while also covering extreme extraction methods such as arctic and deep water drilling. Members of Shale Shock will be hosting a training on coalition building the day following this event.

Fall 2012 Update – Welcome Back!

SSE is already off to another great start!  In case you missed our first meeting on September 13th, we are now meeting bi-weekly on Thursdays, 7:00-9:00pm in Rm. 205, Bernhard Center.  Students are reminded to also check GoRSO for updates and a live calendar of upcoming meetings, events, and speakers.

Keep an eye on the events calendar for a complete list of meetings and events coming soon.  Those interested in being a guest speaker or presenting an initiative to our members should consult this calendar for openings prior to submitting a request to be added to the respective agenda by email.

Upcoming Events:

Next Regular Meeting – Tomorrow, September 27th @7pm, w/ Patrick Rhea on behalf of Mike O’Brien for Congress and Dr. Larry Connor; entomologist, beekeeper, and author.

2012-2013 SSElections – Thursday, October 11th @7pmClick here to nominate yourself or others to the SSEboard.

Earth Week 2012

4/15 Sunday

  • Sustainabillabash at Gibbs House, 12-5pm
  • Know Your Rights at Gibbs House, 1-2pm

4/16 Monday

  • 25% by 2025 Call to Action at Miller Fountain, 10am-12pm
  • You Can Fix Racism by damall ayo at BHC Ballroom, 6:30pm

4/17 Tuesday 

  • Farmageddon/The Greenhorns double feature movie at 213 BHC, 4-9pm

4/18 Wednesday

  • WSA Western Wednesday Sustainability Edition at Miller Fountain, 10am-2pm
  • Campus Beet weekly lunch at Wesley Foundation, 11am-12pm
  • Really Really Free Market at BHC room 106, 10am-4:30pm
  • The Climate Challenge | Lee Sprague at Chem 1720, 7-9pm

4/19 Thursday

  • Arbor Day Delebration Tree Planting at Goldsworth Valley Pond, 10:30-11:30am
  • ENVS Awards Party at The Grotto, 5:30-7pm
  • Beyond Nuclear | Kevin Kamps at Chem 1720, 7-9pm

4/20 Friday

  • 25×25 & Jobs 21! | Mark Schauer at Chem 1720, 6-8pm

4/21 Saturday 

  • Farm Bill Call to Action

4/22 Sunday

  • Earth Day – get outside!!

Flier

Poster


**Check back for updates/additions and the official poster

Spring 2012 Calendar

  • Feb 24th at 5:00pm “Last Mountain” Wesley Movie Night (free snacks!)
  • Feb. 25th at 5pm & 7pm Aldo Leopold movie – Little Theater $3/student ID
  • Feb. 26th from 1-4pm Saugatuck Dunes invasive species work pulling black locust, meet at parking lot near end of 138th Ave
  • Feb. 27th at 6-8pm Student Garden Organization event – BHC rm 159
  • Feb. 28th Michigan Primary
  • Feb. 29th at 6pm-8:30pm Palisades Public Forum hosted by Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • March 5th at 6:30pm Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance town hall meeting at Saugatuck High School
  • March 12th at 7:30-9:30am KEC Legislative Breakfast at KNC / Free or $10 for breakfast
  • March 12th Monday at 7:30am Levin at Girl Scouts
  • March 18th from 1-4pm Saugatuck Dunes invasive species work pulling honeysuckle & barberry, meet at parking lot near end of 138th Ave
  • March 22nd at 7pm Leadership Training
  • April 12th Thursday at 7:30am Stabenow at Girl Scouts
  • April 15-20th Earth Week!
  • May 28th 12pm-3pm WV State Capitol Women Unite to End Mountaintop Removal

‘Gasland’ showing Dec. 1st at The Little Theater

SSE presents “Gasland”
Thursday, December 1st
6:30pm Doors Open
The Little Theater (map)

JOIN US! Students for a Sustainable Earth will be showing “Gasland” an environmental documentary highlighting and exposing how natural gas is extracted from the ground, and how dangerous these methods are to people and the environment. Following the movie will be a short discussion on the topic of natural gas and energy production.

RSVP to the event on Facebook