Back to school this year has been more stressful than usual. It has also opened up a lot of new opportunities for learning and growing. We are going to classes virtually, but still creating connections. We are coming to campus in small numbers, and doing so wearing masks. We are working on projects, research, and new ideas, but not gathering together to celebrate or meet or learn with our community. We are celebrating our designation as a Tree Campus USA, but without having been able to do a public tree planting event this past spring (we are planning for a late fall event!). We are practicing safe and clean approaches to how we behave day to day. We are learning to live well and live with less waste.
|On campus, we are seeing signs of new, less wasteful ways of being on campus. For example, we all received reusable masks so we can proudly display our “Hoosier Spirit, Titan Pride” without creating a lot of trash in the process.|
|We can stay healthy and hydrated by refocusing on the importance of refilling vs single use (or putting your face into a water fountain!).|
We are finding ways to feature sustainability innovations in our community, beginning with the timely and popular “Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice and Sustainability” discussion series. The reading booklet features pieces by and the discussion challenges participants to think deeply and in new ways about our role in society and the power we each have to change and foster positive change. Register HERE
A much anticipated event is the live-streamed presentation of mini-TED style talks. “Transforming South Bend” was scheduled for spring, but thankfully has been rescheduled to bring top creative and innovative minds in our community to you. Join us for the live-stream on our YouTube channel beginning at 6:30pm on Thursday, October 1.
In many ways the pandemic disruption has led to the production of increased waste and lost jobs. This disruption has also led many of us to experience a new or renewed enjoyment of our parks and green spaces where we can get fresh air, exercise, and natural relaxation. It has caused many of us to reconsider our day to day work, our jobs and careers, and how to best balance and pursue our personal and professional goals. This may be just the right time to consider how we can balance economic development with the emotional and spiritual well-being of all people. This concept of “Gross National Happiness (GNH)” is being explored by some of our students this fall.
I hope you enjoy the last bit of summer and the oncoming fall colors and harvest treasures. Keep in touch – I hope you can join us (virtually) this fall!