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


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!!



**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

Environmentalism – A Love Story

Thursday, Feb. 9th 
7pm room 205 Bernhard Center
RSVP on Facebook 

Join us for Free Food, Free Movie, and Free Thought!
Bring a friend (or 5) for a screening of the environmental film “Home” in addition to a discussion afterwords on current environmental challenges.


Flyer for 2/9: Environmentalism - A Love Story

‘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

Election Day – Tues. Nov 8th!

Don’t forget to vote Tuesday, Novermber 8th! Participate in our democracy by casting your ballot – check out the resources below:

Also, be sure to check out our very own Nicholas Wikar – he is running for Kalamazoo City Commission:

Also on the ballot in Kalamazoo will be a proposal to amend the city charter, a vote of YES will make the enforcement of marijuana possession for individuals over 21 the lowest-law enforcement priority.

Fall 2011 Events & Information

Please feel free to join us at any or all of the events!

SSE remains committed to being open to students and the community, we are not a “clique-y” group and love to see new faces. Every member, new or old, is an important fixture to the foundation of our group, the diversity of our members is critical to our success as a group.

Join us if you want to learn about leadership, the environment, sustainability, community organizing while making awesome connections.

Remaining Fall 2011 Events:

10/25 at 7pm –  City Commission Candidate Forum
  • Location: WMU Fetzer Center
  • Come engaged the candidates for YOUR city commission
  • Facebook event:
10/26 at 7pm – Wednesday, Kalamazoo Water Quality Forum
  • Location: WMU Fetzer Center
  • This is an event sponsored by Students for a Sustainable Earth and the Kalamazoo Environmental Council
  • Jeff Spoelstra of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council and John Paquin, Environmental Programs Manager for the City of Kalamazoo
11/2 at 8pm – Van Jones “Rebuilding the American Dream”
  • Location: Dalton Center, Kalamazoo College
  • Not familiar with Van? Check out a Google search of his name, he’s one of the most inspirational green economy and environmental justice movers and shakers of our time
  • This is a ticketed event, be sure to join us at our meeting this Thursday for additional details
11/2 from 7-9pm – Campus Beet/SSE Farmers Feast
  • Location: Ballroom, Bernhard Center
  • This is an event to celebrate the sustainable foods of southwest Michigan while educating the WMU and Kalamazoo community on the reasons such a food economy is extremely important,
  • Keynote Speaker: Lee Arboreal is a founding member of the Eaters Guild Farm
11/4 at 7:30pm – SSE Potluck & Party!
  • Location: Gibbs House
  • Please review and RSVP for the event on Facebook if you plan to attend:
11/5 at 2pm – WSA sponsored campus/community cleanup
  • Details pending WSA finalization – save the date!
11/8 all day – ELECTION DAY
  • Location: USA
  • Don’t forget to vote on election day! Participate in YOUR democracy
  • Find your voter registration status & polling location:
  • Our very own Nicholas Wikar is running, check out how to support him at his website:
11/12 at 2pm – DNR Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery Tour (note date change)
  • Location: Wolf Lake Fish Hatchery
  • Carpool to be planned at our meeting this Thursday
  • Responsible for maintaining fish populations in Michigan and the Great Lakes
  • More information on the website:
11/14 at 6pm – Gwen Frostic Lecture Series feat. Alison Swan
  • Location: Waldo Library Reading Room
  • Featuring Alison Swan, author ‘No Complacency: Words, Imagination, and Calls to Action’ and professor at WMU
12/1 at 7pm – Gasland Screening & Fracking (natural gas extraction) Discussion (note date change)
  • Location: WMU’s Little Theater (on East Campus)
  • We will be featuring speakers and discussion panel following a screening of Gasland