Women’s History Month Gets Down to Earth

March 6, 2008

If we are true to the Princeton webnet definition of “proactive” (descriptive of any event or stimulus or process that has an effect on events or stimuli or processes that occur subsequently), the good that we do now and going forward to improve on what we already do will make this Women’s History Month memorable. The theme for the month-long celebration, Voices for Mother Earth, ties many of its events to Mary Baldwin’s renewed focus on becoming a climate neutral campus inhabited by a community fully committed to environmental responsibility.

The Status of Women committee has rallied inspiring voices to teach us about environmental reality and show us how to make a positive difference, individually and collectively. Amy Diduch, associate professor of economics, will offer something like a master class for the whole community March 24 at 2 p.m. in Miller Chapel about protecting the environment with a focus on recycling and conservation. On the same day, students of Mary Baldwin Earth will support Diduch’s teaching with a presentation of information they learned at a Powershift 2007 conference about how to promote recycling and conservation. The next day the campus community is invited to hear from Shay Clanton ’74, assistant professor of art, as she proposes engaging with the environment through art and also connects us with medicinal healing plants and the need for their conservation.

Faye Cooper, for many years director of stewardship in Virginia for the Nature Conservancy and now a founding member and executive director of the Valley Conservation Council, will be at Mary Baldwin March 31. She may open our eyes anew to “Ways to Please Mother Earth: Reducing Waste, Saving Resources, and Combating Global Warming.” Our students will take the lead in an important step forward for our campus environmental conscience with thelaunch of plastic recycling on March 11 during a celebration planned for 4:30 p.m. at the Spencer Center.Sharon Campbell, director of auxiliary services/physical plant, and Marty Weeks, director of building services, have worked hard to ensure the student launch of plastic recycling this month.

Student Senate representative for the Status of Women committee Charmice Hardy ’08 announced an art contest at the last Senate meeting in February, a contest that calls for entries made of recyclable plastic materials. Open to everyone on campus, entries must be submitted no later than noon March 17 at Grafton Library. Artwork will be judged and the top three winners will be moved to the Nuthouse the following day.

Student Government Association President Ashley Graves ’08 will organize students for two days of community service on March 22 and 29 for litter cleanup. Women’s History Month 2008 is filled with other meaningful voices as well — art events, music, theatrical presentations, lectures, entertainers, panels, and Stop the Violence activities (see calendar below). Status of Women Committee Chair Ivy Arbul