Can you describe what Waterweek is?

Waterweek is basically an event for Recyclemania, which is going on from Feb. 6 through April 2 and is one of the big three events that we have. We thought that raising awareness of reducing bottled water would be good for this event.

What we’re going to do is a water taste testing to show the difference between the bottled water and plain tap water. We have tap water that is filtered and bottled water, and we ask what the person prefers and then ask him to guess which one’s which.

Right now we’re giving out raffle tickets every time you participate in that, so that you can win a water filter, or a self-filtering “Bobble” water bottles during the main event on Saturday.

What is Recyclemania, and how is it a part of Grassroots?

Recyclemania is a competition between the College and University communities, basically reducing waste and increasing recycling rates and whatnot. We are in this competition right now as a UR community, and Grassroots thought that this is a really great idea to raise awareness of the recycling rate and how our campus can do well on recycling and reducing waste.

So what the Recyclemania competition actually does is they get the data from us of how much waste we are producing and how much the of recycling rate we have, and they put all the data in and then they rate it.

What are the main initiatives of Grassroots?

I don’t want to say it’s like, “being green,” you know? That’s a general term I think. I guess it’s more like letting people know on campus that we are trying to do something for  the environment, such as recycling. Just raising awareness of the environment and reducing waste and in general.

If you could choose to impact the University in one way through your organization, what would that be?

People in their daily lives don’t always think, “Oh my goodness, the environment is harmed.” They don’t always think about those problems and I wish what this program and what the Grassroots people would do is to let them know that these things are going on.

There are problems out there which we have to focus on, such as the increasing amount of waste that the U.S. and other countries are producing, and how we’re impacting the environment by this. And we just want to let them know that we’re doing something and just remind them of that we should pay attention to such problems.

What would you say is the biggest problem at UR from an ecological standpoint?

I think this is more like a personal problem, but you know those blue handicap buttons in the hallway? I mean, I understand that people might be lazy, and they just don’t want to push the door, but it’s just really annoying to see people use them just for that little convenience. They’re just wasting energy because they didn’t want to inconvenience their arms or whatever. It’s just those little things. I feel like if we can fix those really simple things, we’ll do much better eco-wise.

Is there anything else you’d like us to know about your group or event?

We would like to have more people coming to our group! We don’t really necessarily need the, “Oh my God, I love the green!”  We are not all those, “If you don’t love the green, you’re not supposed to get in” people.

We are open to everyone, and we discuss a lot of problems that come out related to the environment but not always for the environment. We’re in the Ruth Merrill Center every Monday at 8 p.m. And, go to Recyclemania!

Cicoria is a member of

the class of 2012.

Dinner for Peace was an unconventional way of protesting for Palestine

The dinner showcased aspects of Palestinian culture. It was a unique way of protesting against the genocide, against the Israeli occupation, against the university’s involvement with the genocide.

Notes by Nadia: The myth of summer vacation

Summer vacation is no longer a vacation.

5 students banned from campus for Gaza solidarity encampment

UR has been banning community members from campus since November for on-campus protests, but the first bans for current students were issued this weekend.