The Forum: When did CMC decide to start implementing water-saving measures on campus? Have the other Claremont Colleges undertaken similar pursuits?
Brian Worley: We have been implementing water reduction measure in one form or another for quite some time, but took some significant steps starting five years ago. First, we installed food-waste decomposers in Collins Dining Hall. These significantly reduced use of water in the dish room and our landfill waste-stream. We also eliminated the use of trays in the dining hall, which reduced food waste and the water used to clean the trays. Over the next two years we implemented an irrigation control system tied to a weather station that reduced our water consumption by about 30%. Currently we are focusing on removal of turf in non-essential areas. The other colleges have engaged in similar projects.
Could you explain the recent landscaping changes outside of the Kravis Center? Exactly what changes were made and what will the projected impact be?
BW: At the Kravis Center we removed the four iris beds and planted two more drought-tolerant plants—with a goal of reduced water demand and costs of maintenance and replacement. In the next few weeks, you will notice the elimination of the turf in the parkway along 8th Street as well. We will be replacing it with a native, drought-tolerant grass.
Could you give an overview of the landscaping changes/projects that CMC is either currently implementing or has plans to implement to save water?
BW: The changes at Kravis are a start. We have identified non-essential turf areas throughout the campus and will be creating various projects to remove the turf and replace with either drought-tolerant plantings or mulch. One such project was the landscaping around the campus directory at the west end of Bauer North. The landscaping along Claremont Boulevard at the student Apartments is another example.
Something many students have pointed out in light of the drought is the sprinkler runoff water—in North Quad, for example, students have nicknamed it “The river of North Quad,” because of how much of the sprinkler water streams through the quad at night. Does CMC have plans to reduce sprinkler use on CMC’s lawns and allow the grass to dry out in order to save water? If that is not part of CMC’s water-saving efforts, why not?
BW: As for the river, we are asking for input when students notice particular areas being overwatered at night. We are focusing our efforts on eliminating the river(s).We would prefer re-landscaping to dry/dead grass areas. We do try to find the line between dry and stressed, and turn the irrigation off for long stretches during the winter months. Dead grass is not part of CMC’s current campus aesthetic.
What is the long-term plan with regards to these water-saving projects and what is the timeline in mind for them right now? If the drought becomes less extreme in future years, will CMC reverse these projects or keep them?
BW: The plan is to continue implementing projects that bring CMC closer to its goals for carbon neutrality. I would expect us to continue implementing projects as we do major campus improvement projects over the next five or six years. I would not expect much if any reversals in future years because the changes in our campus aesthetic reflect our commitment to carbon neutrality.
Any other comments?
BW: We are also changing out 124 shower heads to low-flow heads this year. Our landscaping projects are planned in such a way that they will easily be adapted to using reclaimed water, when that becomes available. The 5Cs have been reviewing the feasibility of a reclaimed water system/project. We will continue to focus on ways to reduce water use and educate the community on how they can help.]]>
Forum: You’re from the South, Nashville specifically — that’s pretty far from Southern California, both in distance and in culture. What made you want to go so far from home? Has there been any culture shock? How different is SoCal from the south?
Reid Dickerson: There has been surprisingly little culture shock. I went to a high school with the same mantra, goals and culture as CMC. SoCal is very different from “the south,” but Nashville is not the south by any stretch of the imagination. I lived right across the street from Vanderbilt (my high school was also on Vanderbilt’s Campus) so I grew up in a very unique, much more liberal and progressive, part of the south. If you drove 10 or 20 miles out of Nashville in any direction, you’d encounter accents and a love for country music and Nascar.
You mentioned that you are a math and science focused student. This makes you a little outside of the “typical” CMC student in terms of our traditional obsession with economics and politics. Did that ever make you hesitant about coming here? Clearly you were still drawn here; what attracted you to CMC?
RD: I loved the culture, people, and environment at CMC. I thrive in the kind of environment that CMC creates, constantly motivated by everyone around me. My two main interests in high school were engineering and economics, both of which require a lot of math. And I, surprisingly, did not know about the 3-2 program when I applied to CMC, but am very excited about it now.
In your statement on the Forum, you said you wanted to be freshman class president because you want to improve the CMC community. Can you talk about what that means to you, and what that will look like coming from you? What do you hope to personally contribute to the community here?
RD: I think that I am in the perfect position to be able to improve the CMC community. For me personally it means providing constant support and encouragement to everyone that I can. In practice that looks like going to many sporting events and performances, helping people with homework, or just being a good friend. [In terms of the] Freshman Class Student Council, I want to create a community, and I want to improve our social responsibility. Because our class is new to CMC and new to college, I believe we can have a much bigger and better impact on the freshman class that we can on the rest of the school.
One of the things you emphasized during your campaign was class unity. You plan to promote that via events — what type of events? How do you see yourself breaking down the barriers between different groups of people within the freshman class to make sure that everyone feels welcome and comfortable with each other?
RD: I plan to have a wide variety of events. In the immediate future you can expect a freshman of the week column to be written, a freshman class spirit week, freshman class apparel, and a few mixers. I have appointed members to the Freshman Council that will represent a wide variety of individuals in our grade, and I will host a wide variety of events to span the gaps of different friend groups.
According to the election results, there were only 2 votes between Meteor and you, and 6 votes between Dylan and you in the last round. Clearly you were up against fierce competition. What do you think made you stand out?
RD: What’s the biggest difference between you and the others? This is actually a tough question really — any of the candidates would have done a great job. The biggest
difference between me and other candidates is that I talked about how I want to improve the culture to CMC, particularly in regards to issues around social responsibility.
Leading the freshman class is probably a big time commitment for you. Are you still pursuing some of your other interests on campus? What are those?
RD: For now I am on the club soccer team and I am working on the “It’s On Us” campaign with Elaine Sohng. These are two main things I do besides ASCMC, but I am really interested in getting involved with the arts, particularly music, on campus.
There’s a popular stereotype of CMC as a place where everyone is a jock that parties all the time, and we are are considered to be relatively conservative compared to the other 5Cs. Drinking is also considered to be a huge part of CMC’s culture. What is your opinion on CMC’s current social culture? Do you think the stereotypes are true, or at least based in truth? Should we be trying to change those stereotypes?
RD: I think our social culture is good, but needs to be improved. As long as we are socially responsible, any other stereotype is irrelevant. People can think that we are jocks, or nerds, or liberal or conservative, and it’s ultimately unimportant. I think as long as we act responsibly, we should be proud of who we are.
As the freshman class president, you are the primary voice of the freshman class to ASCMC and DOS. How do you make sure your voice stands for the whole class and make sure that everyone’s unique voice is heard? What it’s like to handle this responsibility?
RD: It is impossible for my voice to accurately convey the opinion of every member in the freshman class so I always try and get the most good for the most number of Freshman. The fortunate thing is that ASCMC and DOS both want to help the Freshman class, so I rarely find myself having to speak very loudly. It is an awesome responsibility to have, it forces me to think a lot about the best way to solve issues in the Freshman Class.
During your campaign, you mentioned that you were in student council at your high school. So far, how does your previous experience differ from this one? Does it help you in some ways? What’s your biggest challenge so far?
RD: I was student council secretary. Honestly, I have had less work to do than I did in high school so far. Senior year I was in charge of or helped with the planning of a lot of big school wide events, the leadership retreat, winter formal, homecoming, prom… and some of these events took months of hard work and dedication. Those experiences taught me a lot about event planning and leadership. My biggest challenge so far has been getting started it was nearly impossible to choose who should be on the Council.
ASCMC President Ben Tillotson ’15 has appointed Sophie Galant ’15 as one of the two Presidential Advisors on the ASCMC Executive Board. Galant, a senior, is replacing Shannon Miller ’16. Tillotson announced Miller’s resignation at the Board’s September 28 meeting, explaining that she chose to resign in order to take on more responsibility at the Forum and eliminate the risk of conflicts of interest that could arise if she remained on ASCMC’s Board.
Galant was introduced to the executive board on Sunday, October 12, joining Moe Abdul-Rahim ’15 as the second presidential advisor. These advisors, along with the RA Liaison, are the only members of the Executive Board who are not selected by a school-wide application process. The appointments for the advisor position are entirely within the President’s discretion.
In an email to the Forum, Tillotson gave two main reasons for appointing Galant. He said that “she will not hesitate to give me critical or negative feedback when it is deserved.” Additionally, Tillotson mentioned that Galant is an incredible communicator, both in person and on social media. He believes that the “Exec Board could do a better job publicizing what we are working on, and soliciting ideas from students. Sophie will be invaluable to this effort.”
In an email to the Forum, Galant said, “my main focus is going to be doing a better job of communicating information from the board to the student body and ensuring our students are being heard by board members. I think in some cases ASCMC does a great job of being transparent with the student body about its goals and plans for the year, but there is definitely room for improvement.” She also mentioned how she was going to be more vigilant and ensure that the Board not only seeks feedback from the student body, but also incorporates their suggestions into the decision making process. She also emphasized the fact that communication is a two-way process and that the student body needs to take more responsibility in reaching out to ASCMC.]]>