With one hand gripping a Cup-O-Noodles and the other scrolling through job postings, I feel like an embodiment of the senior-in-college experience. We arrive on campus as freshmen, excited to broaden our horizons, learn, and, of course, become a gainfully employed graduate someday. As graduation approaches, however, many of us find ourselves scrambling to enter industries in which we are told the only way to get your “foot in the door” is by working for free. What we find in our late night, Ramen-fueled job searches often looks like this posting on the Wildcat Careers website:
“If you are up for a fun challenge and looking for the invaluable experience of a real start up company, apply now! Salary: Unpaid.”
Many employers who offer unpaid internships are able to pass off “experience” as a fair exchange for an intern’s work, and manage to convince jobseekers that this is really the only way to find work that pays. Unpaid internships are often successfully billed as prestigious or competitive, adding a degree of legitimacy to their claim that the experience is worth working for free.
The problem is that, in many cases, this is not true. While the value of an unpaid work experience is debatable, the value of human time and labor is not. Work is always worth something, especially if it is work that a paid employee would otherwise be doing. If the experience that you receive in exchange for your labor is largely coffee-making and errand-running, it is hard to argue that this is fair payment for your services. Sure, an unpaid internship may give you access to an industry that is difficult to enter, but if that access doesn’t result in new skills, and valuable experiences, what are you really getting out of it?
The unpaid internship is the product of a new and unsustainable norm that takes advantage of a difficult economy and a competitive job market. Some students can afford to take unpaid internships at big-name firms, but others are left wondering how to start their careers while supporting themselves. Those who can afford to choose an unpaid internship contribute to the illusion that not paying for work is an acceptable business practice, that students should be competing to work for free, and that these positions should be celebrated. This illusion is damaging, not only for those who don’t have the means to take part, but for all young jobseekers.
Here are five reasons not to take that unpaid internship:
Unpaid internships that are exploitative violate the Fair Labor Standards Act. The Act requires profit-making companies to pay everybody who works for them, whether that is in an official or unofficial capacity. Some internships are exempt, but only if they are purely educational, and don’t directly benefit the employer. If your unpaid internship provides free services for an employer that would otherwise have been done by a paid employee, there’s a problem.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2013 Student Survey, 63.1% of paid interns received at least one job offer. This compares to only 37% of unpaid interns getting a job offer.
Unpaid internships create an uneven playing field for those who can’t afford to work for free. Taking an unpaid internship, even if you can afford to do so, helps reinforce and perpetuate a practice that excludes the many recent graduates who have to support themselves. Further, unpaid internships may contribute to gender inequality in the workplace: a recent study found that three in four unpaid interns are women.
Many unpaid internships are marketed as educational experiences, and opportunities for training. Those that are genuinely educational certainly have value. However, many unpaid interns report that the tasks they were actually asked to carry out were menial, and did not contribute tot heir professional development. The New York Times published this account of a recent college graduate working in an unpaid internship in New York:
“I took an unpaid internship that I figured would give me experience and help me land somewhere in six months. Instead I’m picking up coffee and dry cleaning and performing other tasks that the company would otherwise have to pay someone for. “
-Ariel Kaminer, New York Times. March 2012
If you are considering an unpaid internship, ask specific questions about the day-to-day tasks that the job really requires. Do they benefit your employer more than they benefit you?
Unpaid internships are only possible because of a widely held assumption that young peoples’ work is not valuable because it is not backed by years of experience. This belief is so pervasive that it affects how we see ourselves, and the opportunities that we believe we are qualified or valuable enough to dare to pursue. Some have proposed that unpaid internships are the “new norm” for college graduates looking for jobs in a tough economy with a lot of competition.
Working for free doesn’t have to be the new norm. Recent graduates are new to their fields, and as a result are uniquely capable of innovation, leveraging new technologies and bringing fresh perspective and enthusiasm to their industries. By changing the dialogue between employers and young jobseekers, we can ensure that young people understand the value of their labor. Students and graduates can start changing this “norm” by pursuing opportunities that pay, whether that means a paycheck or meaningful education and training.
Written by Tegan.
Tags: Culture & Sustainability · Uncategorized
I am a 2013 alumna of UNH, having graduated with a dual major in Anthropology and Sustainability, and worked for the UNHSI during my time in Durham. I moved to Arizona this past August to begin a Master’s of Sustainable Solutions at ASU, in which I am focusing on policy solutions at the community and international level. I recently had the opportunity to attend the 52nd UN Commission on Social Development as a delegate representing SustainUs, a youth empowerment NGO.
Empowerment has been a common theme throughout the Commission on Social Development – empowerment of youth, aging populations, the poor, LGBT communities, women, and others. There were side events devoted to the unique challenges each of these groups face, as well as how to address the things keeping them disempowered. The variables at play are often limitless; the diversity of nations being represented makes the discussions even richer.
Issues affecting empowerment receive varying attention in different nations, depending on political climate, cultural factors, and economic standing. An underlying question we must ask is how to confront established cultural practices that perpetuate inequalities. This question is particularly important when we consider the history of Western-led development and our tendency to impose on other cultures aspects of our lifestyle we view to be unquestionably superior.
The issues we fail to focus on in the U.S. are often issues that either do not exist or manifest themselves quite differently in other cultures. For example, when it comes to aging populations, Western culture is structured such that it is acceptable to “contract out” caregiving for those that have been our caregivers. The elderly are viewed as a burden in the U.S., whereas in many other cultures they are recognized and honored as a vast resource of knowledge, wisdom, experience, and support.
At the same time, while the U.S. has made significant strides in gender equality, other cultures – for example, in many Islamic regions – greatly restrict the activity of women. Females often have access to education, and as they play very limited roles in the public sphere, their concerns are often not addressed. Education and representation are exalted as key sustainability solutions, yet they can be culturally abrasive – sometimes to both men and women.
Taking an anthropological approach, it is not the place of outsiders to alter cultural practices that have historical significance. In reality, this is often hard to reconcile – what is the best course of action when it is culturally acceptable to abuse one’s spouse, assault LGBT community members, or ignore the opinions and needs of valuable members of society such as youth and aging populations? What purpose do these cultural practices serve? Chiefly, they breed hate, fear, and social unrest.
How is this related to sustainability? It is widely understood that sustainability is a vast and fluid body of ideas. Most often it is thought of in the context of its environmental and economic implications. This week, I have been pleasantly surprised by the repeated focus on spirituality, relationships, and “wholeness” of the human being. In our current system, we can only do so much to address issues in the spheres of environment and economy.
In many of these diverse sessions, we came back to the same question – how do we begin the necessary social shift to achieve a “good life” for all? Culturally instilled values will be an enduring barrier to achieving sustainability. The technology is available, as is the funding; how our society chooses to use these resources is what remains blocking progress. Laid bare, this reveals a lack of respect for other beings, and a tendency to severely underestimate the value of relationships with others.
To understand what fuels these prejudiced practices, we must first engage with the populations perpetuating them. We must engage with populations being victimized to develop a path forward together, rather than forcing our own “solutions on them.
The concerns of all groups at the Commission on Social Development converge under a sphere of sustainability. The foundation of these concerns appears to be a lack of respect for all human beings regardless of socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, and age, as well as a lack of respect for natural resources. While I do not have the ultimate solution, commissions like these that bring individuals together – and by extension the groups these people represent – are an excellent way to develop the understanding and respect necessary to move forward towards sustainable solutions.
Written by Megan.
February 17th, 2014 · 2 Comments
The University of New Hampshire has a well-developed transportation system that includes the reputable Wildcat Transit and Campus Connector systems. However, parking at UNH has tended to be a more troublesome topic, due to the lack of a balanced parking permit system. As UNH continues to work towards its goal of becoming a sustainable institution, it’s crucial that unsustainable facets of the university are adjusted. Parking permit pricing, particularly that of faculty permits, is a financially unsustainable aspect that must be addressed. Not only is the financial sustainability of the system an issue, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by faculty and staff driving to and from UNH also plays a major role. It’s time to implement a balanced permitting system for faculty/staff parking permits, because a balanced system is a sustainable system.
Currently, UNH faculty, staff, and commuter students all pay a flat rate of $50 per year for a parking permit. This price is part of the Faculty Union contract, which is negotiated every few years, and the only recent price change in the last 15 years was an increase from $37 to $50 in 2004. Now, this price may not seem to be an issue at first glance. However, let’s consider the amount of money required to maintain a single parking space every year: approximately $200. According to the existing inventory of UNH’s Parking Department, this is the minimum amount of money required to preserve, clean, light, and secure a single parking space on campus. The parking system’s two primary sources of revenue are parking permit sales (60%) and fines (40%), and currently the system is labeled as “healthy,” but if those percentages were switched, then the system would be “sick.” Despite having a “healthy” system in terms of revenue sources, the $50 price of faculty/staff parking permits is harmful to the system. Receiving only $50 for a parking space that costs at least $200 to maintain is just not financially sustainable. This imbalance makes it impossible for the parking system to be self-sustaining. If we also consider the potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that could occur if fewer faculty members drove their cars to work everyday, then we have another reason to address this issue.
With this, a simple solution to the problem presents itself: increase the price of faculty/staff parking permits. Even if the system was financially sustainable today, the price of a parking permit should be about $61 if we had just kept up with inflation since the 2004 price change. The current price of $50 seems completely irrational when compared with parking permit sales of similar schools, such as UConn, which charges faculty and staff $350 per year for a regular permit. In addition, UConn also offers an equity-based parking permit sales model for faculty and staff who park in perimeter campus lots. An employee can pay $75/year if their salary is up to $37,500, $120/year if they make $37,501-$64,500, or $165/year if they make over $64,500 a year. An equity-based permitting system such as this makes financial sense. The University of Vermont operates on a pre-tax payroll deduction system, in which a percentage of each employee’s salary is deducted to pay for his or her permit. Three types of permits are offered with payroll deduction percentages of 0.64%, 0.48%, and 0.32% based on how close to campus the permit allows you to park (i.e. main campus, proximate, or peripheral respectively). The UNH Parking Department cannot depend on increased fines in order to increase revenue and risk creating a “sick” system, which existed a decade ago. They must maintain their “healthy” system while developing an equity, geographic, or demand-based permitting model.
Faculty/staff parking permits are also tied to the Wildcat Transit System, which is primarily paid for by the Student Transportation Fee, a mandatory fee of $119 per year for fulltime students. However, additional revenue generated from faculty/staff parking permit sales could be used to alleviate pressure from the Student Transportation Fee, which was increased by $10 this year. As time goes on, and as federal funding decreases in certain areas, for example the purchase of new buses, this issue will become more and more pressing. The last 10 buses purchased for the Wildcat Transit and Campus Connector systems were at least 80% federally funded; however, Transportation Services is currently buying 4 new buses, which are not federally funded, in order to meet the increasing demand for public transit. Currently, a new compressed natural gas bus costs about $400,000-$450,000, and with 100% of this money coming from the University, major pressure will be put on funds such as the Student Transportation Fee, unless the price of faculty/staff permits is increased. Sustainability is one of our core values here at UNH, so it’s about time we had a sustainable parking permit system.
Written by Peter.
Tags: Climate & energy · Culture & Sustainability · Uncategorized
Big news: Clean Air-Cool Planet will be dissolving in 2014, but two of its signature programs — the Climate Fellows Program and the Campus Carbon Calculator – will live on at the Sustainability Institute at UNH.
Developed in partnership with the Sustainability Institute in 2000, the Campus Carbon Calculator is used by thousands of campuses and institutions across the United States and abroad to track their greenhouse gas emissions. More than 90 percent of the U.S. colleges and universities that publicly report their greenhouse gas emissions use the calculator. In partnership with Sightlines, a new online version also exists called CarbonMap (the Carbon Management and Analysis Platform).
Since 2008, the Climate Fellows Program has been attracting undergraduate and graduate students from across the country to work on high-priority climate solutions projects with a variety of partners, from municipalities to companies to nonprofits. Through this highly competitive program, students receive skills training, mentoring, networking opportunities, and a stipend for full-time summer projects.
“Transitioning the Climate Fellows Program and Campus Carbon Calculator to the Sustainability Institute feels like coming home,” says Jennifer Andrews, former acting executive director of the Portsmouth-based Clean Air-Cool Planet. “UNH has long been a close partner of Clean Air-Cool Planet. We’ve worked together for nearly 13 years to advance sustainable solutions to the climate challenges we face.”
Andrews stresses that users of the Campus Carbon Calculator and CarbonMap will see no changes in their use of and support for these tools. The 2014 Climate Fellows Program application process will be announced later this month.
“When we considered the next chapter for Clean Air-Cool Planet’s assets and legacy, we logically turned to the Sustainability Institute,” says Susan Tierney, a founder and former chair of the Clean Air-Cool Planet board of directors and managing principal at the Analysis Group in Boston. “UNH was instrumental in helping to create the Campus Carbon Calculator and in working with us to establish it as the gold standard for tracking greenhouse gas emissions at colleges and universities.”
“The Climate Fellows Program and the calculator represent the kinds of innovative tools and learning experiences that are responsive to the grand challenge of climate change. The calculator supports institutions of higher education, towns and cities, businesses, and nonprofits to develop data-driven strategies for reducing emissions, and the Climate Fellows Program serves as a spring board for high-level undergraduates to put their education to work and chart their next phase of professional development,” says Tom Kelly, UNH’s chief sustainability officer and director of the Sustainability Institute. “Both programs directly advance our public research university mission to engage in collaboration to find solutions to challenges and opportunities that impact our quality of life for the long-term, and climate change is clearly in that category.”
Written by Sara.
Tags: Climate & energy · Higher Education
Looking for something to do this semester? Do we have a list for you.
Below is a list of just some of the sustainability-related events happening on campus this semester. Join us!
Climate Change, Water and Winter in New England Event: Jan 28
Colleagues’ Luncheon: 12:30-2pm; Gregg Hall, Rm 320
Event: 5-8pm; MUB Granite State Room (light refreshments provided)
Contact: Amy Cunningham, Discovery Program, firstname.lastname@example.org
Film screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary Chasing Ice, the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Talk with these UNH professors at the screening:
- Jennifer Jacobs – Professor, Civil Engineering; Director of the Infrastructure and Climate Network (ICNet)
- Mimi Larsen Becker – Assoc. Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
- Cameron P. Wake – Josephine A. Lamprey Fellow in Climate and Sustainability and Research Assoc. Professor, Climatology & Glaciology, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
This is a “Let’s Talk About Water” event and part of the UNH Discovery Program University Dialogue Water, Water Everywhere?: A University Dialogue on the World’s Most Critical Resource. Sponsors: UNH Discovery Program; Dept. of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences; UNH Environmental Research Group; Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI).
Tar Sands Exposed: Exploring theHuman and Environmental Costs: Jan 28
7:00 PM, MUB Theater II
350.org is hosting a regional speaking tour about tar sands and the Portland-Montreal pipeline, and they’re making UNH the New Hampshire stop!
The tour will feature an award-winning National Geographic photographer and two First Nations speakers, in addition to a local voice.
- Garth Lenz, award winning National Geographic photographer
- Eriel Deranger, member of Athabasca Chipewan First Nation
- Crystal Lameman, member of Beaver Lake Cree First Nation, Sierra Club Prairie Chapter, and Alberta Climate and Energy Campaigner
- Kaity Thomson & Brett Chamberlin, senior environmental science major at UNH & NYU graduate of journalism and political science, NH native and regional political organizer. They will share stories of New England communities and ecosystems at risk to a pipeline spill.
Sponsored by SEAC
Tapping into the Wisdom of Traditional Farmers: Sustainably Growing Food in the Face of Climate Uncertainty by Gary Paul Nabhan: Jan 30
4:00 – 6:00 PM, MUB Theater I
With climatic uncertainty now “the new normal,” many farmers, gardeners, and orchardists in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in the face of climate change. The solutions may be at our back door. In Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, Nabhan, one of the world’s experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands, draws from the knowledge of traditional farmers in the Gobi Desert, the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, and Andalusia, as well as the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Painted deserts of North America. Sponsored by The Sustainability Institute, the Dual Major in EcoGastronomy, and the Center for the Humanities.
To B or Not To B: Are Benefit Corporations the Corporate Governance Architecture of the 21st century?”: Feb 4
5:00 – 6:00 PM Welcome Reception, 6:00 – 7:30 PM Keynotes and Panel Discussion
Join world class thinkers as they examine capitalism past, present, and future; explore the foundations underpinning B Corps certification and benefit corporation legislation; and share lessons learned from those at the forefront of the movement.
Benefit corporations are for-profit businesses that focus on society and the environment as well as profits. By meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, benefit corporations are tasked to make decisions that are ethical and sustainable and drive profitable growth in ways that respect the constraints of earth’s limited resources and the needs of individuals. Speakers include:
- Bart Houlahan, co-founder of B Lab.
- Jim Post, John F. Smith Professor of Management, Boston University School of Management.
- Peter Graham, chairman of the board, Seventh Generation, a Certified B Corporation.
- Anders Ferguson, founding principal of Veris Wealth Partners, a Certified B Corporation.
- Rebecca Hamilton, director of product development at W.S. Badger Company, Inc., N.H.’s first Certified B Corporation.
- N.H. Sen. Molly Kelly (D-Keene), cosponsor of legislation to create the new legal corporate status, benefit corporation, in New Hampshire
Sponsored by the UNH Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project, the Sustainability Institute, and the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics
Martin Luther King Celebration Events: February 5 – 12
This year, the theme is Complex Roots: Intertwining Identities. Our goal is to engage members of the campus and local community in conversations that recognize the diversity of experiences of people with intersecting identities. This year, we are particularly proud to announce that Natasha Trethewey, Poet Laureate of the United States, will be delivering the Commemorative Address and taking part in a community conversation aimed at broadening our understanding about difference.
COMMEMORATIVE PRESENTATION: Natasha Trethewey, United States Poet Laureate
Wednesday, February 5, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
Johnson Theatre, Paul Creative Arts Center
CONVERSATION with Natasha Trethewey, Poet Laureate and David Kaye, Professor, Theatre & Dance, and Delia Konzett, Assoc. Professor, English
Changing the World: One Poem at a Time
How does art help us explore difficult issues?
Thursday, February 6, 12:40- 2:00 PM
MUB Strafford Room
MLK Activism Roundtable Discussion 2014: Walking the Walk: Intersections of Food Insecurity and Food Justice
Mon, 02/10/2014 - 12:45pm - 2:00pm
Strafford Room, MUB
Hear from UNH social justice activists and join roundtable discussions on fair food distribution. Discover the power of UNH student orgs taking steps for food justice over barriers of race, poverty and power imbalance.
MUB Speaker Series: Lee Daniels
Director of The Butler, Precious, and Monster’s Ball will talk about his road to box office triumph and breaking ground as an African American director in Hollywood.
Wednesday, February 12, 7 – 8:00 p.m.
MUB Granite State Room
The Beat on the Street: Second Lines, Mardi Gras Indians, and the Photography of Gary Samson: Opening Feb 12
Film showing: 3:00 – 5:00 PM, MUB Theater I
Opening reception: 5:30 – 7:00 PM, University Museum, Dimond Library, Room 101
The exhibition of photographs and folk art will focus on the Mardi Gras Indians of New Orleans. This working class, African American tradition is distinctively part of New Orleans’s parade culture, and more broadly related to black Carnival celebrations throughout the world. The exhibit will run from Monday, February 10th through March 28, 2014 with its formal opening on Wednesday, February 12, 2014. The opening includes the showing of the film, Bury the Hatchet, which traces the Mardi Gras Indian tradition through the eyes of three “big chiefs” or leaders of these Mardi Gras Indian gangs. The event will feature special guest Big Chief Alfred Doucette of the Flaming Arrows, who also appears in the documentary.
Sila By Chantal Bilodeau, Directed by Deborah Kinghorn: Feb 19-23
Johnson Theater, UNH Durham
Sila examines the competing interests shaping the future of the Canadian Arctic and local Inuit population. Set on Baffin Island in the territory of Nunavut, it follows a climate scientist, an Inuit activist and her daughter, two Canadian Coast Guard officers, an Inuit elder and two polar bears as they see their values challenged and their lives become intricately intertwined. Equal parts Inuit myth and contemporary Arctic policy, Sila uses puppetry, projections, spoken word poetry and three different languages; English, French & Inuktitut. Sustainability-related groups will table outside play showings, and panelists of speakers will answer questions post-show. Made possible by Cultural Stages: The Woodward International Drama and Dance Initiative with support from the UNH Sustainability Institute.
Student Sustainability Creative Contest: Feb 19 – March 31
For all current UNH students
Prizes to be announced
The Sustainability Institute is partnering with the Theater and Dance Department for the third annual Student Sustainability Creative Contest, this year adding an option to respond with written work in addition to video and images. Students should attend the play Sila
and consider this quotation in their response:“See? That’s sila. And with each breath, sila reminds us that we are never alone. Each and every one of us is connected to every other living creature.”
After watching the play, students are asked to respond with an image, video, or creative written piece to the statement above. Winners will be judged by the Culture and Sustainability Task Force.
Eating Concerns Awareness Week: Feb 24-28
This week provides the community an opportunity to learn about the prevalence of eating concerns among college students and learn ways to promote body acceptance. Sponsored by the Eating Concerns Mentors, a Health Services Peer Education Group.
National Nutrition Month Expo: March 27
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Strafford Room, MUB
The expo will create interactive and fun opportunities for you to learn more about nutrition, improve your overall health and explore the food and nutrition resources available at UNH and in the local community. There will also be live cooking demonstrations provided by the UNH Dining Services and guest students chefs. Sponsored by SPIN (Students Promoting Information About Nutrition), a Health Services Peer Education Group. :
Winter in the Blood Film Showing and Conversation with Director Alex Smith: April 2
Time TBD (Evening)
MUB Theater II
Winter in the Blood (1974) was the first novel written by canonical Native American writer James Welch (Blackfeet/Gros Ventre), a founding author of the Native American Renaissance of the late 1960s and 1970s. Filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith have directed the film version of this novel, set in the Hi-Line country where they and Welch grew up. The movie, starring Chaske Spencer (most recently of Twilight fame), has been traveling the film festival circuit, where it has been well-received: it won six nominations and two awards (Best Director and Best Actor) in the American Indian Film Institute’s Motion Picture Awards and Grand Prize at the Montreal First Peoples Festival. The Smith brothers have brought to the screen a story that works against stereotypes of the “drunken Indian” by illuminating some of the oft-obscured reasons for the high rate of alcoholism among Natives as well as, in Alex Smith’s words, “why they might stop drinking.” Co-sponsored by the UNH Sustainability Institute.
Written by Sara.
Tags: Biodiversity & health · Climate & energy · Culture & Sustainability · Food, agriculture, & nutrition · Higher Education
Bike racks are scattered throughout campus. Our sustainable community likes to embrace the alternative form of transportation and racks are found near most campus buildings. However, typical bike racks are not necessarily pleasing to the eye. To address this, many places around the country have set up bike rack art sculptures to add an intrigue to the environment. The Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Ken Fuld, was visiting his son’s west coast campus when he was first introduced to a new kind of bike rack—one which not only functions as a rack, but also acts as a public art sculpture. Dean Fuld brought the idea back to campus and proposed a project to the Committee for Campus Aesthetics. Who knew that this committee even existed? The Sustainability Institute is part of this committee and advocates for public arts to “enhance and enliven the UNH campus”. The website indicates the goals of public art to “enrich student learning about the role of art in our cultural environment, stimulate public discourse about art, and foster a sense of community and institutional identity.” The Committee for Campus Aesthetics commissioned the Wildcat Statue in 2006, and most recently established three modern sculptures in the courtyard of the Paul College of Business and Economics, done by UNH Professor Michael McConnell. The bike rack project is unique in that all the designs are by students. Engaging the student body in such a permanent project gives meaning to students’ work.
Professor Ben Cariens embraced the idea and has integrated the project into his course in the Art Department: “Sculpture Workshop: Metal Fabrication”. Led by Cariens and his assistant, Adam Pearson, nine students in the class developed small model designs and presented to the University Aesthetics Committee. The Committee chose four pieces, surprising Cariens and the class, who were expecting a more modest response. Cariens was expecting the committee to choose two.
To prepare, the class talked to individuals involved in the campus bike culture to understand the needs of the market. Cariens wanted to make sure the designs would not interfere with the practicality of storing bikes. The class found out that many of the current bike racks don’t even fit typical bike sizes. They have a lone bike rack in the alley behind the metal shop to display “what not to do” with the racks. It’s an average campus bike rack, with most of the spaces too small to fit a standard bike wheel.
The class meets for three hours, twice a week, but most students put four to six hours of their own time into the work. This project is much larger than those of the past and may likely run into next semester to complete. Many of the students have not touched metal before and are facing a steep learning curve. However, they have taken up the challenge and are completing the bike racks in addition to personal projects.
Details of placements are still being worked out, but it’s likely the sculptures won’t be placed until Fall 2014. Possible locations include outside the Paul Creative Arts Center, near the Dairy Bar, by Dean Fuld’s office, around Morse Hall, or around Conant Hall’s courtyard. The location depends on multiple factors including the size of the sculpture, where it would fit best aesthetically, and what kind of traffic crosses the location.
One of the sculptures designed as an intertwined net of metal will hang 11 feet high. This, as well as a high-hanging spider web design, is structured as a few units, which may be placed as a group or individually.
Spider web design in a proposed site of Conant Hall’s courtyard.
Another sculpture is a series of connected circles, with smaller circles looping throughout the piece.
The most complicated design is a 15-foot-long handlebar structure. The class usually works only with steel, but this structure is made of aluminum, a metal much more difficult to work with.
Professor Cariens says this is only the beginning, and Dean Fuld visions all bike racks on campus to one day be public art sculptures. For now, students are happy working on projects that will remain on campus long after they graduate.
A student works on a piece of a bike rack in the metal studio.
Photos by Professor Julee Holcombe and Professor Ben Cariens
Written by Ann.
November 26th, 2013 · 1 Comment
Those who are closest to the growing, or in this case hunting, of food are often the people seeing first and most the effects of climate change.
Deer eat and move to keep warm, as all animals do. Thus, if we’re having an “unusually” warm day, they will instead take a nap in the sun, since they don’t have to expend any energy, why not save it up for later that night when it does get cold.
Not only does colder weather make them move around more, but snow aids in tracking them. Prints are easily visible, spots where they’ve turned up leaves with their noses eating stick out against the white. Not to mention the hunter is quieter when leaves and sticks are blanketed with snow. Everything gets a tad easier, and if someone does get one, dragging out is a lot easier as all the sticks and rocks are smoothed over.
Hunters are affected by any major change that happens to the forest environment. My dad hunts both by the house I grew up in in Spofford, NH, and up in Maine where we have a cabin on Aziscohos Lake. Each of these has come with its own unique changes. Up in Maine, most of the land they hunt on is owned by the paper mills. While they still operated a relatively controlled system of cutting, large patches of where they hunt have been clear-cut. Sometimes, a clearing makes it easier to see, others, it decimates what used to be a great area to hunt in because the food supply is gone. Down in southern NH, warmer temperatures and wetter ground are becoming more frequent barriers.
This is an example of direct climate to food supply connection. If a family is dependent on a hunted animal or animals every year for their meat source, and every day of hunting has been 65 degrees, their food supply may be cut short that year. There is a balance to everything in the environment and messing with any of that will have an effect. Often this rather micro examples help shed light on the macro, the big picture and global problem of climate change. Growing a culture of local food, not necessarily in meat but also in vegetables, will help our society realize there is a very real correlation to environmental changes and the food supply. We might start noticing that crops are smaller and in fewer quantities the year we had a huge flood, or on the flip side, during a drought. There are conditions under which our food is meant to thrive, and those conditions are rapidly changing. Food is quickly becoming the best way to engage the masses on the issues of climate change since it’s something we all need to have.
Hopefully you have gained new perspective and knowledge about what life is like with a hunter. If you don’t already, start to pay attention to where your food comes from, even if it’s organic, is it from 3000 miles away? Not everyone has to or should start to hunt their own meat but if we all start to demand local, organically raised meat we will have a profound effect on the climate and our communities.
Written by Jackie.
“Does your dad kill Bambi?” Please, don’t ask hunters or their family members that. First, people aren’t killing fawns, and second, it just makes people feel bad. Besides, if you eat other types of meat, I don’t see how it’s any different. Because I feel as though the person asking is just doing this to rile me, I usually answer this question by saying no, they hunt Bambi’s dad, who was already dead in the movie anyway, so no harm no foul.
Hunters and hunting culture have a lot of stigmas attached to it. We are not like the Native Americans or many other cultures who primarily hunted for their meat source. We have separated, to the point of almost hiding, where exactly our meat and poultry products come from, and meanwhile other stigmas have been put onto hunters that are not all positive.
I think the question about Bambi can sometimes have the double implications that hunters are not lovers of animals and nature. I would argue the exact opposite. To commit to hunting means you have to really enjoy being quiet, alone in the woods. Hunting season usually means that it’s cold, with the exception of global warming’s effects of late, so you also have to be comfortable spending a day in some potentially freezing temperatures. Hunters are not out to kill all of the deer, either. Hunting permits are regulated so that cannot happen anyway, doe are on a lottery system, and hunting is only for one season, not year round.
One of the touchiest topics around hunting is owning the guns you need to hunt with. Today, saying you’re a gun owner conjures stereotypes of people I have never met, and who are not in my family. I have encountered more than one person who politely tells me they would never be comfortable living with guns in their house, even if for hunting, and that’s fine; but it comes with the territory. The most important thing you can do is be safe, and treat them with the full understanding that they are a deadly weapon. We were taught how to be safe around them and it was an understanding and trust in our family that we would never take them out.
Those are the main stereotypes I’ve encountered in my life when I share that I come from a family of hunters. I can understand them, but clarifying them is also important to me. Looking at what the true community and family traditions around hunting season are can help to dissolve some of them. For instance, this is one of the few areas of my life where I fully accept traditional gender roles. If we are up at the cabin for a hunting weekend, my mom and I spend the day baking Swedish bread for the holiday season. All day is spent making dough, waiting for it to rise by the fire, and baking. We get a relaxing day, and are warm, the men get to go hunting and come home to a warm dinner waiting for them, how’s that for a win-win?
If someone gets a deer, a celebration ensues afterward. It’s tradition to celebrate with a toast of shots of Jagermeister. Jagermeister means “master hunter” in German, and our close family friend is German, and taught my dad a lot about hunting over the years. Hunting isn’t about loving to kill animals, nor is it about a love of rifles and guns. It’s about family tradition and community, and some of the best meat around stored in the freezer.
Written by Jackie.
See part one
In our house, it was normal to have dad relive the story of how each deer was caught over a delicious venison meal. Each kill has it’s own uniqueness to it, whether taking a long time to track, or drag, or has a funny story, reminiscing over the meal did not make us sad or grossed out, but made us happy and more appreciative of what we were eating.
One year it took crossing a brook that had a canoe on either side, my dad and uncle both got into one, picked up the other, rowed both back across, got into the second, and rowed across in order to leave each in it’s place and get across the water to find the deer one of them had shot. How can you not want to share how much work it took you to get the meat you’re having?
Last weekend, my dad got a 5 point buck, he had marched himself rather far into the woods from my parents’ house, and luckily had a young 31-year-old man, in the form of my husband, hunting nearby to meet him and help drag. It took them three hours to get it out, the lack of snow making it more challenging to get over hills, rocks, and through marshy areas.
In today’s modern age, cell phone service works when they hunt in Spofford, so we got a phone call telling us where they were coming out of the woods. My uncle and I went to get them, and were asked not to just meet them with the truck but walk into the woods and meet them with water and relieve them of their packs and guns, they had run out of water and were exhausted. Despite 28 years of living with a hunter, I for some reason never quite made the connection that you would not only have to drag out the deer, but also carry your stuff and your rifle. Learn something new every day.
I had never seen a deer dragged through the woods before, only brought home on the truck, so I wanted to go. There’s no question that watching the process was a little sad, it’s a beautiful animal that has lost its life. However, as my dad said, what happened to this buck was no sadder than what a cow or chicken goes through at a slaughterhouse.
Our society by and large is missing this direct connection to food, especially meat. We all need to see where our meat comes from; in many cases, we may not like it at all; but that will be a positive thing, forcing us to look for a more humane, cleaner source to buy meat from. Aside from going to shoot it yourself, Local farms offering CSA meat shares are one of the best ways to ensure you’re getting a cut of meat from a healthy animal.
There are two photos below of the barn, one decorated for my wedding in August, and one with last weekend’s buck. We turned on the lights on the vines and chandelier still hanging from that day for the photo-op. I am likely the only bride to have a combination wedding venue and butcher shop, and to witness a dead animal hanging smack in the middle of where she walked down the aisle. But I am perfectly OK with that!
My parents barn decorated for the wedding day….
Almost three months later, venue-turned-butcher-shop!
Written by Jackie.
Tags: Culture & Sustainability · Food, agriculture, & nutrition
November 6th, 2013 · 1 Comment
I first sat down to write this post as one blog entry. I quickly realized, though, that this topic has many layers, and focusing on each in shorter entries will be better. Daughter and wife of hunters, lover of venison, I want to share the ways hunting connects people firsthand the effects of climate change, and teaches a deeper appreciation for meat and food. We’ll also explore the stereotypes and stigmas to hunting I’ve experienced, and look at its history and culture as well. Hopefully by the end, readers have a better understanding of what it means to hunt for, and eat, your own meat in New England.
I grew up on the western side of New Hampshire in Spofford. It’s the same town my dad grew up in, and where he found his love of hunting. It started for him when he was around fifteen, and he hunted the same woods he does today by our house, having grown up just down the road. When I was younger, a friend of a friend owned a cabin way up in the Moosehead Lake, Maine area, and they would go up there on an extended trip each year.
At an early age, to me, hunting season meant that dad would go way for two weeks and come back with a full beard, and usually a dead animal or maybe three if the others got one too. When I was in high school, my parents found a spot on Aziscohos Lake, where we built a log cabin. This spot was strategically picked by the hunter of the family to be near the border of both New Hampshire and Maine; allowing them to get a deer permit in both states, often a good strategy.
We butcher the deer ourselves at the house. It’s always been my job to help package and label the meat. Labeling in this case means who got it, what year, and what state; no FDA warnings required. As I am getting older, though, I plan to begin learning more about what cuts come from which part of the deer, and more about the process.
In case you haven’t realized it already, hunting is a huge part of who our family is. My husband’s interest to take up hunting while we were dating was a happy moment for me, knowing he fit in well with my family and would hopefully be keeping me supplied with venison for the rest of my life, was an added bonus to our relationship. In a later post, I’ll delve deeper into the family events and traditions around hunting, from celebrating a kill to eating it for dinner.
Through the next few posts, keep an open mind if you are against hunting or eating meat. The venison I grew up on came from an animal that lived a free and healthy life, and is the most local and organic meat you can get.
Written by Jackie.
Tags: Biodiversity & health · Climate & energy · Culture & Sustainability · Food, agriculture, & nutrition