By Noah Patterson
This weekend marks Ball State's 2017 Family Weekend, which means the Honors House's annual Backyard Bash is back again. If you missed the festivities, don't worry: News & Notes has got you covered.
By Kayla D'Alessandro
In the Student Center Ballroom, on April 26, 2017, the second ever Honors College Student Recognition Ceremony took place. The night began at 6 p.m. in the Alumni Lounge, where students to be recognized and their guests socialized for an hour until 7 p.m., when the ceremony began. I spoke with Katherine Emberton, a graduating English education major before people started to take their seats. Emberton and her guest were happy that the ceremony gives recognition to all of the hard work the seniors have done through their undergraduate career. When asked what her stand-out experience at the Honors College was, she told me the colloquium on Planet of the Apes, taught by Jason Powell, was her favorite. The ceremony honored students receiving special awards the following awards:
Provost Prize for Outstanding Senior
Joe and Carol Trimmer Awards for Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis or Project
Academic Honors in Writing
C. Warren Vander Hill Award
After these accolades were handed out, red and white rope cords were presented to every Honors College senior graduating in May, December, and June. All-in-all, it was a night for guests to see what their loved ones have achieved over the past four years.
By Tanner Prewitt
The Student Center Ball was transformed last Friday as the Student Honors Council enchanted the evening. Honors College students were cordially invited to the Honors Formal, called The Stardust Ball. The evening was filled with music, dancing, and delicious hors d’oeuvres provided by the Cardinal Kitchen.
Prom dresses were removed from their plastic sleeves and suits were dusted off as students filled the ballroom, ready to have a spectacular evening.
“It was a really fun evening with friends,” Lydia Kotowski, a freshman political science and pre-med double-major, stated. “The food was also quite good.”
Not only were Honors students invited to the formal, but friends not in the Honors College could attend as well. Eric Peters, a first-year student in the College of Architecture and Planning, brought a non-Honors friend with him.
“It was a great evening to have fun with friends, especially ones that may not live on-campus or are in DeHority,” Peters said.
The minimal decorations created an impressive space that managed to charm everyone whom attended the Stardust Ball. Twinkle lights, candle lights, moss and pebbles, tulle, and wooden platters created the whimsical forest, while glittery Mason jars and golden balloons enchanted the ballroom with magic. There was even a Snapchat filter created by an SHC member that attendees could use when they posted pictures.
Kim Zinn, a freshman accounting and finance double-major, thoroughly enjoyed the evening. “The food, the music, and the decorations were wonderful! Everyone had a great time and danced the night away.”
It’s safe to say the evening was spell-binding!
By Mary Cox
Editor's Note: News & Notes and the Honors College do not necessarily share the views of the interviewees of this article.
For these three students Honors means getting involved in the political process.
In the first week of President Trump’s new administration, demonstrations and dissenters have been at the top of the headlines. Whether fans or foes of our nation’s new leadership, thousands across the country, and even more worldwide, have begun to mobilize. Perhaps the most notable was the global rally the day following Trump’s inauguration - The Women’s March on Washington held Saturday, Jan 21. From 30 people in Stanley, Id. (half the town’s population) to around half a million in Washington D.C., Sister Marches in over 600 U.S. cities saw an estimated attendance of 4.2 million people. This in addition to 300,000 people internationally.* At least three of those people were Ball State Honors students.
Roommates Madeleine Robling and Margo Morton, both Honors College sophomores, were presented with tickets to the march in the capital through a friend’s mother and both eagerly jumped at the opportunity to attend.
“I felt really comfortable attending after I found out the official platform. They made a point to make sure the official platform of the event was more intersectional and covered things like police brutality and criminal justice reform and different issues you might not instinctively put as a women’s issue,” Robling said.
After a ten hour car ride the pair were excited to find themselves surrounded by an electric camaraderie and enthusiastic crowd. The prospect of sharing such an amazing experience was moving for the two young women.
“Even before we got to the main part of the march, we were surrounded by people who were attending, and it was cool to see everyone so excited about it,” Morton said. “I think it was a really cool experience to be there with two of my best friends. It made me feel good to know that these important people in my life are also passionate about the things I feel strongly about.”
Anna McAtee, another Honors college sophomore, also made the journey to Washington, D.C. She recalls being packed in the D.C. Metro station with hundreds of women, men, and children, many of whom she made quick friends with, chanting and singing together as one of the highlights of the day.
“I wanted to make a voice for myself. Usually, I am very passive-aggressive and do not voice my opinion. The Women’s March on D.C. was a perfect way for me to have a positive voice in this country,” McAtee said on why she decided to attend. Like Morton and Robling, she described the crowd as electric, positive, and upbeat, once again emphasizing the magic of seeing so many people from so many different backgrounds coming together for a common cause.
“I’ve never been around so much positive energy in my life. It was one big party of love.” McAtee said.
The march started with a large cast of speakers: Congresswomen, celebrities, and movement leaders - such as the mothers of the Black Lives Matter movement. For Robling the most powerful was Kamala Harris, a senator from California. Senator Harris, who is the second black women and first ever Indian American to be elected to the United States senate, spoke on the diversity of issues that affect women. She discussed the fact that everything from education reform to the economy are women’s issues.
“It’s not just reproductive justice, it goes so much beyond that,” Robling said .
However, after nearly four hours of speakers, all three women noted that there was a tangible sense of restlessness throughout the crowd. Some ansty demonstrators in the area around Robling and Morton even began chanting “Let’s march now!” during a few of the less mainstream presenters, a disappointing moment that Robling described as callous and insensitive.
“We were listening to speeches for hours on end and where we were standing, there wasn't even a speaker, so we could barely hear,” Morton said. “I understood why people were annoyed, but they started to ignore the people talking — and those people were spreading really important messages, and I thought that was what we were all there to support.”
The march also received public backlash and negative coverage from some media outlets. Some of the criticisms cited, which came from Republicans and Democrats alike, included a singularity of issues with the right to choose being the sole focus, a lack of inclusivity—especially towards trans-women and the non-able bodied—and that the protestors were simply ‘whining’ about the results of the election. While Robling concedes that the crowd was predominantly white and there was a lot of work to be done to make the march more inclusive of other identities, she said that to boil it down to just pro-abortion and anti-Trump does the march and the momentum it created a huge disservice.
Morton emphasized again the plurality of women’s issues and the importance of leveraging her privilege as white women, saying, “Even if someone feels that they face no issues of inequality here in America, they are just one person — and there are people in this country and all over the world who are facing problems we can barely imagine. When I was at that march, I was doing it for a lot of people, across a lot of social groups.”
Robling agreed, saying, “Even though we might all be going through a slightly different form of oppression because of the new administration, we’re all there together to make sure no one was left behind.”
McAtee stressed that this wasn’t a negative or hateful march, but rather a moment of unity and solidarity.
“This was a peaceful march to show that women and men of all races still have a voice in this country,” McAtee said. “It was women and men coming together to say, ‘We are here. We welcome anyone. We care for anyone. You are not alone.’”
Overall, all three women had an amazing experience and plan to attend more marches in the future. They all also plan to remain involved locally through various forms of activism, such as calling their congressional representatives and attending local town hall events. For example, Morton is hoping to keep up with the Women’s March “10 actions for the first 100 days” campaign**, and Robling hopes to leverage her position as president of Ball State Democrats to organize students and educate others on how to continue being involved in the political process.
“It’s important to understand that a march shouldn’t be your end goal,” Robling said. “I think part of the reason that the Democratic party has been struggling in years past is because a lot of people think that marches and protests and petitions are an end goal rather than a tools for organization.”
Morton, Robling, and McAtee all encourage others to attend a march in the future if it’s something they’ve been considering. Morton’s advice would be to bring a friend, wear comfortable shoes, and do research to make sure the march and its organizers align with your goals. Robling suggests getting involved with a political organization on campus*** so that you don’t have to do it all yourself; a group will keep you informed, help you become involved, and keep you accountable she says. Getting involved on campus is also a great way to make a difference right here in Muncie if you want to help up but can’t make it to a march. McAtee says that there are multiple opportunities to connect to the community through Ball State Voluntary Services. This is how the momentum of positive change these women brought home from the march will last through the next four years.
* Crowd size statistics from Vox. Follow the hyper-link above for a more in-depth analysis.
** For more information about the march, including the mission statement and the “10 actions/100 days” plan visit the website here: https://www.womensmarch.com/
*** Some political organizations on campus include Ball State Democrats, Ball State GOP, The Liberty Coalition, and The Progressive Student Alliance.
By Mary Cox
Dr. John Emert, Acting Dean of the Honors College, introduced the college’s brand new monthly lecture series as an opportunity to bring together students, faculty, and the larger community. The format of the series champions the Honors philosophy of raising and celebrating voices across academic disciplines and from various backgrounds and life stages. This description, perhaps, enhanced the poignancy of the short story about isolation and disjointment shared by the series’ inaugural speaker.
Beth Dalton, a professor for both the English Department and Honors College, presented an excerpt from a piece titled “Invisible Woman” from her short story collection Women Walking Alone. The collection is one of two, along with a novel, that Dalton completed as part of her Master’s of Fine Arts residency program for creative writing at Spalding University in Louisville, KY.
“Invisible Woman” tells the tale of a woman who has just turned 50 struggling to feel as though she belongs, or is even seen, at a business conference. As she goes through her day, Clara, the main character, has an elevator door closed in her faced, a tray of breakfast food dumped on her, and is snubbed by one of the speakers she attempts to introduce herself to. All are experiences that Dalton pulled from her real life, albeit, she admits, slightly embellished.
“[A colleague] once said the me that once you reach a certain age, if you’re a woman, you disappear. I’ve found that to be very true,” Dalton said.
Beyond Clara’s unfortunate encounters, though, it seemed to be the countless people who looked past her instead of at her that ultimately broke her. It was certainly the aspect of Clara’s story that struck a chord with me. While not everyone knows the invisibility of age, I think everyone can relate to feeling alone in a crowded a room (especially those of us who had an angsty punk rock stage in the eighth grade).
Personally, as someone who has consistently struggled with my weight since 6-years-old, I can definitively say that there is a stark difference between being looked at and being noticed. To combat never being the thinnest person in a room, I always forced myself to be the smartest or the funniest or have the cutest shoes. But when people know you as “the funny girl,” that’s usually all they know about you. The part of me I forced them to notice to distract from the parts I didn’t want them to notice was all they cared to learn about. Maybe I am funny and smart, and maybe I am overweight, but good or bad none of those things are all that I am. Similarly, Clara could be the oldest person in the room, she could be the best at her craft, she could dress in bright colors and, sure, that could get her noticed, but none of those aspects of Clara are Clara - no one noticed her.
That is, in part, why Dalton’s lecture was so compelling. A room full of people all came to listen to a woman who had previously felt invisible. To really, truly, fully learn about her journey. They came to notice.
Editor's’ note: next month’s lecture will be about a project exploring the history of the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Honors House, presented by Dr. Bruce Geelhoed.
By Afrah Ali
Honors College students were invited by SHC to gain a sneak peak at the various courses and colloquia (along with the professors teaching the courses) being offered for the 2017 spring semester this past Thursday, October 25.
“I was in between a couple of classes, so this event really helped me decide. Seeing the professors provided me with a better feel of what classes to take,” freshman Taylor Scher said after attending the Student Honor Council’s Curriculum Crash Course.
SHC president Valerie Weingart explained how the event is a growing tradition within the Honors community. This was the third year for the event, and this year a table with graduate school options was a new addition for students.
“Since each section of a specific Honors course is taught by a different profesor, we put on this event for students and professors to meet face-to-face for a deeper grasp on the offered courses,” Weingart explained.
Although all Honors students received a PDF explaining the classes, this event was beneficial for students as it gave them the opportunity to interact with the different professors teaching courses next semester, allowing students to see if there was a connection, spark, or shared passion between themselves and potential professors.
Honors colloquiums may not be offered annually by specific professors. This year marks Professor Beth Dalton’s second time teaching “Laughing in a Corner: The Literary Legacy of Jane Austen.” Throughout the colloq, students are expected to read select works by Austen while delving into the author’s intentional choices.
“Most people know Austen for her romantic relationships within her works, but this course examines what her works truly represent rather than what has been said about them,” Dalton explained. “Jane Austen is one of my personal favorites. The colloquia allow professors to teach a certain enjoyment of theirs.”
Honors colloquia differ from traditional courses, such as Professor Michael O’Hara’s “Theatre, Politics, and Religion” class. The course begins with a full reading of The Oresteia from theatrical, political, and religious perspectives. From there, the students decide the semester’s curriculum by voting on the plays to be read. O’Hara summarized the course as an analyzation of chosen documents throughout the history of human thought. He emphasizes it to be a class open to students from all majors, not just those involved in theatre or political science because each individual possesses a unique lens to contribute.
Freshman Evan Hatfield said the event was beneficial because it especially allows underclassmen to get their foot in the door in preparation for future years within the Honors College.
By Alex Bravard
Oftentimes we don’t think of bathrooms as a bonding area. They’ve got a limited use; as implied by the name they are rooms in which to bathe. In the case of the Bathroom Girls (BRG), however, the humble bathroom has transcended its origins. These eight Honors freshmen have used their common bathroom as something to bond over. Two of these girls, Kimberly Parkhurst, a social studies education major, and Katie Esarey, a biology major, sat down to talk to me about this experience.
The group was thought up of at the beginning of year when these eight girls were filling out their bathroom agreement. It was around 10:30 or 11 o’clock at night. “We all started talking and then it just all happened,” Kimberly said. (One has to wonder how that comes up in conversation, though.) Katie credits the actual idea of the BRG to chemistry major Sydney Bivens. The girls even gave themselves names by placing sticky notes above their towel hooks and writing their names on the notes.
If you’re ever unfortunate enough to have to…”visit” these girls, more than likely you will start in room 102, or the Interrogation Room. This room is the home of Kimberly, aka the Stabber, and musical theater major Kelsey Krigas, aka the Muscle. Kimberly is named the Stabber for her affinity to wash her knives off in the bathroom sink. She was kind enough to warn the other seven girls though. Kelsey is nicknamed the Muscle because of the fact that she has the muscles.
If they don’t get the information they want, Kelsey will accompany you across the hall to room 103, or the Torture Chamber. This room is occupied by the two biology majors: Katie, aka the Enforcer, and Taylor Johnson, aka Doc. Katie’s nickname comes from her, she says that she just wanted to be known as the Enforcer. Taylor was named Doc due to her massive first aid kit. It’s not even a kit; it’s a tote.
If you’re incredibly unlucky, Taylor will take you to room 101, or the Infirmary. This room houses computer technology major Joanna Morton, aka Child Prodigy or Intel, and marketing major Nicki Croft, aka the Sniper. Joanna is named Intel because she works with computers and Nicki is nicknamed the Sniper because you’ll never see her.
No matter what happens, you’ll never see the inside of Room 104, or Headquarters, as this is the nucleus of the cell. It holds Sydney, aka Gang Boss, and nursing major Mattison Hill, aka Smiley Face or the Good Cop. Both Sydney and Mattison chose their nicknames themselves; Mattison by writing a Smiley Face on her sticky note.
(Disclaimer: They don’t actually treat their guests like they’re on the wrong side of the mob. In fact, they’re extraordinarily nice.)
By Mary Cox
A senior’s unique co-teaching experience has led to a brand new approach to Honors humanities.
The Honors humanities sequence is a diverse series of classes that highlights Western intellectual history through both ancient and contemporary literature, philosophy, and fine arts. For the past year and a half, however, Jason Powell, Assistant Professor of Honors Humanities, and Valerie Weingart, a senior vocal performance major, have been working to develop a course that uses the performing arts, specifically opera, as the content catalyst.
“In the humanities sequence we’re supposed to teach art, but most of us only do the plastic arts - painting, sculpture, architecture - we don’t focus on performance art. We do what we’re more comfortable with,” Powell said. “I thought if I’m always suggesting to my students to expand beyond their horizons and search out new opportunities to experience the arts, then why was I not doing the same? I need to stretch myself in the same way I ask my students to stretch themselves.”
Powell first became interested in opera while teaching a course on German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who was friends with the famous German composer Richard Wagner.
“That’s where I really got the idea of maybe teaching something with opera. But I knew I didn’t know anything,” Powell said.
He began reading up on the art form, but ultimately decided to begin reaching out to music students for help. When he presented the opportunity to Weingart during last fall’s Curriculum Crash Course, she jumped at the opportunity. Weingart, who has been training as a classical singer since age 12 and studying music since age 5, was enthusiastic to share her love of opera with other students.
“I’ve always regarded [opera] as this very prestigious art form. And then when I started learning some of the historical aspects of it that was even more fascinating,” Weingart said.
The next semester, spring 2016, Weingart began leading small 25-30 minute lectures once a week for Powell’s 202 course.
“[Jason] basically said, ‘teach them, teach me, and let’s see what we can do with this.’ It was a big experiment,” Weingart said.
The pair were both nervous. This was Powell’s first experience co-teaching with a student and Weingart was worried the students would not receive her or the material well.
“I was expecting them to find it kind of dull,” Weingart said, “and I was expecting them to be upset that I was taking away from the time they could have with Jason and learning from Jason.”
The reviews, however, have been overwhelmingly positive. Powell said that both in person and on course evaluations the students frequently mentioned how much they enjoyed having Weingart in class.
“You could get a sense that as a fellow student they’re rooting for her because they understand how hard this was going to be. It built up a sort of camaraderie between the class and Val in a fun way,” Powell said. “My students weren’t afraid to tell me afterwards that they’d rather have Val teaching some stuff.”
The feeling was mutual. Weingart said that her time with Powell’s class had reinforced that teaching at the collegiate level is what she wants to do once she graduates.
“It’s so refreshing, because being a musician for as long as I have been, stuff doesn’t take me by surprise anymore. It’s so interesting to watch [the students’] reactions, because a lot of them are so completely unfamiliar with this whole thing,” Weingart said.
Powell agrees that Weingart has found her calling, saying, “Val is very gifted and sharp, and she’s going to make an excellent teacher in her future.”
The only issue Powell and Weingart have experienced throughout this experiment was integrating opera smoothly into the rest of the literature heavy humanities sequence.
“I was just adding on to Jason’s class, but I wasn’t really meshing with it. I was this weird outlier,” Weingart said.
Powell and Weingart parlayed this road block into Weingart’s senior Honors thesis and the two are now working to develop an Honors 202 course that combines opera history with the other topics of the humanities sequence.
“Instead of having a baseline of all this literature and philosophy and throwing opera on top of that, what wanted to find out what would it be like to flip it.” Powell said. “We let opera sort of call the thematic shots.”
Weingart said that her ultimate goal for this course would be to remove the stigma of stuffiness and mystery from opera and make it more accessible to everyone.
“The main goal of what I’m designing is that the person teaching it does not have to be a musician or have musical background in order to teach it effectively, and the students don’t need to have a musical background in order to learn it effectively,” Weingart said. “I think by learning the history and what it [opera] was designed to do and the people it was designed to effect and the issues that are prevalent in some of the operas it becomes something they can embrace.”
Weingart’s syllabus is nearly complete, and she and Powell traveled to Seattle, WA earlier this month to present their work at the National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) Conference. Powell hopes to beginning implementing this syllabus for his courses starting in spring of 2018. He is also hoping that Weingart will be willing to come back to help him launch the course.
“It’s been wonderful to do something new that I felt good about doing because I had someone so confident working with me,” Powell said.
Until then, students can begin getting their feet wet with opera by attending the two productions The School of Music will be putting on later this year. The first will be Beatrice aet Benedict on Thur, Dec 1 and Sat, Dec 3 in Pruis Hall. The second will be The Marriage of Figaro - Weingart’s favorite - in Sursa Hall on Fri, March 31 and Sun, April 2.
“It’s all students performing, so it’s another step to taking the fear and mystery out of going to an opera because it’s in a familiar space with familiar people,” Weingart said.
If December is still too far away, News and Notes can offer you this opera fun fact from Weingart: Legend has it that Mozart didn’t write the overture to his opera Don Giovanni until the morning of the premiere.
Valerie and Jason recently took their idea on the road, presenting about the work they have been doing to integrate opera into the humanities at this year's NCHC Conference. Jason explained what they had been trying to do with their work, and Valerie presented a version of a lesson she might teach in a humanities class.
By Noah Patterson
Last night the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company performed their annual Ball State show in Pruis Hall.
Shakespeare always seems to have a certain appeal to Honors and English students. Last night, in the auditorium of Pruis Hall, there was no exception to that rule. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, an ensemble troupe that performs various Shakespeare plays, among other classics, came to Ball State University to put on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, an event sponsored by the Honors College, the College of Science and Humanities, the College of Fine Arts, and finally, the English Department.
The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is famous at Ball State for their small casts and minimal set designs: in fact, there were only six performers for a play that consists of eighteen characters, and, instead of a set, several freestanding red curtains served as the backdrop, draped in a sign stating Athens or covered in foliage based on the setting of the scene. And though their troupe be little, the performances are fierce.
Each actor, in order to compensate for the gap in performers to number of characters, took on multiple roles. This was nothing short of remarkable to watch. As each actor seamlessly blended from persona to persona, never mixing up their lines and enduring quick-changes onstage, it was hard to pick a standout performance. In fact, the chemistry this ensemble shares elevates each actor to the same high level of regard.
When analyzing a performance of Shakespeare, it is difficult to critique the plot - instead of attempting to discuss the positive and negative aspects of an iconic and beloved play, it is more productive to investigate what the performers do with the plot to make it unique or relevant to their audience. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company did not disappoint in their rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Practically the only aspect of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that remained true to traditional performances was the dialogue, which was also updated time-to-time with modern references. Most of these opportunities were left for the character of Puck, the notorious fairy whose penchant for mischief and comedy seems particularly well-suited to this experimentation.
Another experiment primarily reserved for Puck and the fairies in this presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was the incorporation of music, song, and dance. While many of the music cues illuminated what was going on in the play effectively (such as the fairies controlling the characters with their magic) and the dances were well choreographed, the songs seemed out of place at times. Although Shakespeare is easy to experiment with musically due to its rhythmic prose, the hip-hop inspired renditions of spells and magic felt clunky and at times cliche, an obvious reference to the Hamilton-craze. I typically would not fault a play for Hamilton influences, but these portions of the play were the least impressive for me personally.
Even though the songs did tend to fall flat, the technical aspects did not. Watching the play, it quickly became apparent that the actors were not only performing, but working as their own crew. This rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is typically a part of Cincinnati’s Shakespeare in the Park series, meaning it is performed outdoors, in natural light, just like it would have been in Shakespeare’s day. Therefore, the actors do not have a crew to operate the lights, change the set, or initiate music cues. One actor, at all times, is behind the curtain, ensuring that nothing misses its mark.
The actors truly shined during the drama between Hermia, Demetrius, Lysander, and poor, misguided Helena. Again, the chemistry these actors have with each other is palpable. Their comfort onstage, interpretation of the lines, dedication to their “fight” scenes, and personal gesticulations while delivering their lines heighten the performances and make them a joy to watch. Particularly amazing was watching Aiden Sim’s sweethearted Hermia become enraged at Lysander’s sudden love for Helena - her anger, body language, and movement onstage are beautifully juxtaposed, making her betrayal, confusion, and outrage seem particularly jarring and effective.
The costuming, minimalistic in design, but very effective, was most prominently displayed in the simple but comical donkey mask for Nick Bottom. Accompanied by a hearty “hee-haw!,” Nick’s character became the perfect ass for Titania’s love. The costumes also became a crucial identifier for each character. While the actors only had mere seconds to change onstage, each costume was still distinct and complex enough to allow the audience to differentiate Lysander from Francis Flute.
Overall, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream was as compelling to watch as it was fun. They were not afraid to take risks, and while some of them did not pay off as well as others, they were appreciated nonetheless. Having seen Midsummer performed at Shakespeare’s Globe in London just this last summer, I can confidently say that the high expectations set by that performance were met last night in Pruis. The remarkable differences between each performance kept the material fresh, enjoyable, and exciting, and sitting in a comfortable chair in Pruis instead of standing as a Groundling after a day of exploring London may have helped too.
Editor’s Note: Pictures of the performance were omitted to respect the actors onstage during the show.
Kyle Brumley - Demetrius, Nick Bottom
Brandon Joseph Burton - Oberon, Theseus, Snug
William Cary Davenport - Puck, Egeus
Vanessa Sawson - Titania, Helena, Hippolyta, Tom Snout
Aiden Sims - Hermia, Peter Quince, Robin Starvelling, Fairy
Crystian Wiltshire - Lysander, Francis Flute, Fairy
Philostrate, Additional fairies
By Caitlin Masterson
The Green Action Team (GAT) began meeting two weeks ago to brainstorm ways to improve sustainability efforts on Ball State University’s campus. GAT is a part of the larger student organization Partnership for Sustainable Student Advancement (PSSA), a group founded this year after the Ball State Energy Action Team (BEAT) outgrew its name. PSSA now includes both BEAT and the Recycling Action Team (RAT). Both BEAT and RAT have names relevant to their specific responsibilities, but what does the Green Action Team do?
GAT is responsible for improving everything, besides energy conservation and recycling, that falls under the umbrella term “sustainability efforts.” The group works to network with other student organizations and the residence and dining halls on campus in order to address student concerns about Ball State’s impact on the environment. Students are represented by Eco-Reps from their residence halls. Eco-Reps work with hall directors and Resident Assistants to implement policy changes and organize events within the halls to raise awareness of environmental issues.
DeHority Hall has three Eco-Reps, two of whom are sophomore actuarial science major Kelli Kramer and sophomore classical culture major Allie Hartman. When asked what they would like to see improved in DeHority and on campus in general, Kramer replied, “We do not do enough. We have a lot of recycle bins, but they’re not effective.” Hartman commented, “Even if I only convince one kid in my hall to use silverware instead of plastic utensils…it’s [an] improvement.”
DeHority residents have been among those expressing their interest in improving sustainability efforts on campus. Hannah Banks, a sophomore Latin education major, suggested educating students about the blue recycling bags in dorm rooms. Rebecca Weber, a sophomore speech pathology major, proposed placing more water bottle fountains on campus, both inside and outside of the buildings.
Quintin Thompson, a senior political science and philosophical studies double major and an executive director of PSSA, mentioned the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ at the second GAT meeting, which underlines the idea that individuals will act in their own best interest without considering the ways their actions may work against the common good if the individual doesn’t have an understanding of why they ought to consider the common good: “Solutions can’t come from policy and technology. Change must come from a change in the culture itself.”
Events, trends, and happenings in the Honors community and beyond.