While walking through the halls the other day, I noticed something bewildering, but not surprising:  Some people speak different languages.  Having grown up in a place where there is little language diversity, I find it a bit uncomfortable, yet intriguing, to hear people speak a different language. It intimidates me with its difference and intricacy, while, at the same time, it inspires me to want to understand an entirely new mindset.  This is what pushes me to challenge my complacency. If success lies in being able to communicate with others, then certainly I am falling behind. Coming to terms with my inability to communicate is difficult (I’d be lucky to learn one new language, let alone all of them).
A recent criticism of EcoReps was made regarding its philosophy and methods of advertisement.  I hope to clear some of this up by opening with the idea of perspective.  Sustainability, to put it plainly, is to be regarded in a similar respect as the anecdote above. It can certainly be viewed in a political or economic or business respect, but only to a certain extent.  This is because businesses have failed, in many ways, to effectively reach the world.  For example, the poor of the world are not interested in maintaining profit margins, investors, or, frankly, civility. When some large company takes local government operations into the private sector and significantly raises prices on something deemed a universal right (like water).  There is no consideration of the lives that are being affected.
We all can get hung up on this idea, we who are all fortunate enough to be in college, let alone have food, rejecting sustainability for lack of quantification or viability, saying that the “tree huggers” are all up in our business for no reason and with no data.  But there is a reason.  While we’re living and breathing our concept of consumerism, others are living and breathing theirs.  There will never be a universal definition.
Furthermore, arguing that sustainability is economically unviable is equivalent to arguing that charity is economically unviable; that’s the point!  If we broaden our view of sustainability temporally and geographically, we can see its potential vast effects.  Any modification that one makes to their lifestyle to facilitate the longevity of an entire people will probably never have effects visible to the actor, but this should not stop us.  It seems that we all possess the capability to deduce that using less where possible will reduce unnecessary production, which in turn will reduce the energy required for production. This will decrease the rates at which we consume natural resources and produce waste.
So why even quantify?  We already know that it is difficult to trace the effects of sustainable practice on a large scale, but much of the logic that supports sustainability, particularly reduction of unnecessary consumption, works in all cases.  We also know that nobody is perfect (even the EcoReps).  But it still follows that any decision made to consciously reduce stress on the world (like maybe flexing the finger muscle a bit at the light switch as you leave a room – it’s likely right next to you!) will, to some capacity, affect others now or in the future.
Everyone has their own attitudes about the issue.  Some will say “I don’t give a [insert any word here]; I’m an individual and I have a right to consume anything and everything that I have access to.”  Others may say “We are all part of the human population on this earth and we’re flirting with our own extinction.”  These are two perspectives which I think are equally valid.  Most people’s views probably lie between these two ideas, and the EcoReps aim to provoke thought about where we actually want all people to be.  If you, the reader, disagree with me about every point in this article, then there is nothing that I can do about it, but I still hope that you are making considerate assumptions.  I can only hope that by promoting thought about ecological impact in the residence halls maybe we can better assess the results of our actions (some of which probably affect the statistics which determine how much we’re charged per semester).
And now we see that there is really no need for numbers or economy, just simple, logical, inclusive thinking
Kochan is a member of
the class of 2017.



Please don’t look at me while I’m studying

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“Destroyed by mouth sounds:” a cappella demolition

His basic game plan: attract attention with a high D and wrist flourish to distract passerby, while the demolition team’s other members bulldoze campus property with equipment rescued from that one Elmwood Avenue construction site.

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You shouldn’t need to go on an extreme diet just to lose weight or feel good about yourself, and a lot of weight-loss advice on the Internet can actually be really toxic — or just flat-out stupid.