Nora Christiani ’11 writes in to inform us that Recyclemania is again upon us:
I wanted to announce Recyclemania, a 10-week inter-collegiate reduce/reuse/recycle competition going on right now. It’s being organized by Bill Nelligan‘s (Director of Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability) sustainability interns, Ali San Roman ’11, Grace Petersen ’09 and me, and Physical Plant (most notably Jeff Miller). The past two weeks have been “trial” weeks (though the scores are up in Usdan–check out the scoreboard to the left of Usdan Cafe!). Now, the scores start to count! Our trash, glass/metal/plastic, mixed paper, cardboard will be measured in terms of total weight and lbs/ per person. Each week, we’ll post the scores in Usdan. Soon, we’ll also start to post the scores of peer institutions such as Amherst, Williams, Trinity and Middlebury.
During RecycleMania (and in general) We want to emphasize a few key things! 1. Recycle what you CAN, but remember, you can’t recycle everything! Look for signs around campus specifying what does and does not belong in glass/metal/plastic and mixed paper. 2. While Recyling is great, what’s even better is REDUCING comsumption of things like bottled water, and instead, REUSING metal water bottles or coffee travel mugs.
Keep an eye out for the following events and programs: The week of 2/9-2/14 we’ll be selling valentines made out of recycled paper (made by an artist on etsy.com!). ALSO, we’ve gone through WeShop and stickered every labelled[?], specifying what containers/boxes can be recycled and which containers are made from post-consumer recycled materials!
Much has been made of the administration’s proposal to institute a one-year salary freeze for professors, staff, and librarians. That has understandably upset a number of people, but it pales in comparison to what’s going on up at Brandeis: Professors are considering reducing their salaries by one percent to avoid staff layoffs:
Lawyers are still vetting the details of the proposal but, in short, interested faculty would contribute to the cause either by forgoing 1 percent of their paychecks, or via a charitable contribution to a reserved Brandeis fund. Faculty would volunteer individually and anonymously (“only the payroll office would know,” Flesch said), without any cuts to their listed base pay. And, to avert concerns about freeloading, contributions would kick in only if there is a critical mass of willing faculty — if those who volunteer collectively earn at least 30 percent of the total faculty salary pool within the College of Arts and Sciences.
Concerns voiced about the Brandeis proposal at a recent faculty meeting reflect, at least in part, questions of trust. According to Flesch’s account, and an account in the student newspaper, some faculty raised concerns that the foregone pay would be used for purposes other than shielding staff, and, more philosophically, that the administration would see the move as a concession suggesting that faculty could be paid less in the future.
I don’t know how the salaries of Brandeis professors compare to those at Wes, but this seems like a pretty drastic step to take. Talk about altruism.
Inside Higher Ed: Taking One (Percent) for the Team
I’m sure most of the people reading this remember the big admission packet from Wes, including the two reply forms with “YES” and “NO” at the top, the latter of which promised further questioning from the powers that be. Apparently, goodwill is no longer enough to get colleges–or any company, for that matter–sufficient responses. An article in Sunday’s Courant reports on the strategies these schools/companies are using to attempt to get consumers to reply to their surveys–namely, providing financial incentives. Turns out one of our in-state peers has followed suit:
Admissions officers at Connecticut College have taken that idea further. They’re reaching out to 137 recent applicants who were accepted to the school but were accepted to the school but chose to attend another college. For completing the phone survey, they will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate….They’re aiming for a response of 40 to 50 percent.
Patricia Carey, vice president for college relations at Connecticut College, said plenty of other scools are trying to get a better sense of why students choose one school over another. She figures the amount of surveying is significantly more than what liberal arts colleges were doing 10 to 15 years ago.
Considering how fierce the competition is for top students (remember Jordan Goldman? Julianna Bentes? Mig Pensoneau? Ralph Figueroa?), I suppose it makes sense that schools are looking for any edge they can get, and who better to ask than those who sought greener pastures?
Hartford Courant: Those Consumer Surveys Can Be Valuable