Earth Week celebrations to cap year of "going green" for Fairfield University


A lecture sponsored by the Student Environmental Association and Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; a residence hall recycling competition; a beach cleanup; several showings of the film "An Inconvenient Truth;" and the annual Sigma Xi Poster Session are just some of the events scheduled to take place as Fairfield University celebrates Earth Week 2007.

The celebration caps a year of "going green" activities that began in an environmental economics class, taught by Dr. Dina Franceschi, who specializes in environmental and natural resource economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Seventeen students in the class embarked on a campus-wide inventory and environmental policy review and then analyzed their data, and made recommendations.

While Fairfield had several environmental programs in place, the students' reports became the basis for the Green Movement and resulted in the formation of the Environmental Steering Committee and the launching of several "green" initiatives. An anonymous donation to support their work made possible the publication of a booklet, "From Red to Green, A Fairfield University Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living" that is accessible at http://www.fairfield.edu/documents/about/redtogreen07.pdf.

Earth Day falls on Sunday, April 22, this year, and numerous events are taking place at Fairfield University in the week leading up to Earth Day as part of the campus-wide environmental awareness campaign.

Earth Week events will kick off at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, with a lecture by Dr. Veronica Vaida of the University of Colorado Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, who studies the environmental impact of chemistry initiated by sunlight. The lecture, on "Sun-light in Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate," will take place in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room. Dr. Vaida, who received her PhD from Yale, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

On Thursday, April 19, the Seventh Annual Sigma Xi Poster Session will be held in the MacDonnell Atrium in the Bannow Science Center from 3-5 p.m. Last year's event featured 29 science projects involving 44 student researchers in the science fields of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, math and computer science, and engineering.

On Friday, April 20. There will be a "Green" lunch for students in the Main Dining Room of the John A. Barone Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. there will be a Faculty/Staff "Green" lunch taking place in the Oak Room of the Campus Center, where there will be displays and presentations by green companies.

Also on Friday, April 20, there will be showings of the Oscar-winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth" (2006) at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. The film documents Al Gore's crusade to have global warming universally recognized as a serious problem. The movie will also be shown Saturday, April 21 at the same times, and will be shown Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. All showings will take place in the John A. Barone Campus Center in the first floor lounge.

The Student Environmental Association is holding its annual Fairfield Beach clean-up from noon-2 p.m. on Sunday, April 22. This event will be led by Courtney Siegert '07, Student Environmental Association president.

The week's events will come to a festive close with an Earth Day Picnic Dinner and Green Fair, to take place in the Oak Room of the John A. Barone Campus Center from 4-8 p.m on Sunday, April 22. The Green Fair will have outside vendors selling environmentally friendly products and music will be live bands and music.

While all of this is going on, a ten-day recycling competition between the seven residence halls will take place from Friday, April 13, to Sunday, April 22, at midnight. Each residence hall will have its own recycling dumpster outside for cans and bottles and each dorm is responsible for motivating its residents to take part in the competition. After the competition, the amount recycled will be weighed, and then divided by the number of people living in the residence hall. The students living in the residence hall that recycles the most per person will be rewarded with a party and a large flat screen television for their lounge.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 13, 2007

Vol. 39, No. 191