Wasted on Campus: Are You Conscious?

By Meg Cook

Opinion Contributor

8:57AM, Palisano Pavilion Mac Lab

I was starting a paper due at 1:00 p.m.. Deep in focus, fatigue and anxiety were nonexistent. Upon finishing the conclusion, I looked up with my weary eyes only to peer through my glasses lenses and see a dismantled printer. The light at the end of my tunnel diminished to a flicker in the distance. I sighed, beginning to pack up my loaded textbook and notes to journey to another printer on our condensed campus. Only as I was about to leave did ITS bust in with a cartridge in hand to complete the printer and save me the hassle of running to the library then cutting back to Old Main for class. The gentleman fixed what was needed and left the printer to function as it should. However, as he left the printer roared to life, spitting out sheet after sheet of abandoned papers swallowed by the software as student IDs fed the swipe scanner. I was astonished, nay, disgusted by the amount of paper was being wasted.

Anyone who had tried to print at this station only to be deterred by the malfunction would naturally go to print it somewhere else. These duplicates were a complete waste of paper, ink, in addition to student print allowance (note: you can get this refunded if the printer malfunctioned, see MyCanisius applications and services). And since we made such a huge investment in Desire2Learn, why are we still printing papers? After several inquiries to the student body, it turns out that some professors request assignments be turned into a D2L dropbox and hard copy and sometimes through other platforms such as turnitin.com. I understand turnitin.com because of the plagarism functionality, but submissions in multiple medias seems redundant, unnecessary, and a general hassle. This incident got me thinking: what else are we wasting on campus? I felt I had always been superficially aware of my personal wastefulness, but I had never paid this close of attention. Does the Canisius community perpetuate wasteful behavior?

11:09AM, Tim Hortons

Staring through the beige menu, searching for my desired breakfast, my gaze fell upon an inspiring bagel. Asiago, a title I have yet to learn how to pronounce out loud, was baked into the dough with care and calling for my purchase. Upon receiving my warmed and thoroughly creamed nosh, I caught sight of all the other bagels neatly in their rows and columns. Where do the misfit bagels go at the end of the night? The rumor mill has informed me that the untouched baked goods, like most cafes classified under the fast food persuasion, are tossed away. Every bagel deserves a home in someone’s stomach! There are so many advocacy centers or shelters that would greatly appreciate a donation. Is this so far from our grasp?

We cannot talk about bagels without touching on coffee. The students who do not own a travel coffee cup are in the minority from my experience. So why are we still pushing the trio of environmental despair: paper cup, plastic lid, and recyclable collar (that no one recycles because it’s in tiny print and already wrapped around a cup that should be thrown away). The last time I checked, any location serving a beverage should be able to accept your personal beverage container at a ten cent discount to your order. Ten cents isn’t anything to dance about, but the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you realize you are doing good things for the planet is priceless.

3:44PM, Bart Mitchell Quad

I made the wise choice of cutting across the quad on my way home this afternoon in order to escape the city environment for a more classic collegiate atmosphere. I found the orange and red hues of fall, beautifully built structures with history cemented into their foundations, a whimsical atmosphere of inspiration and hope. However I realized that to some students, this was all there really was on campus give or take an academic building. Let’s take some stock of the modge podge of spaces Canisius owns, but does not necessarily utilize for the average student: Wehle Technology Center, Griffin Hall, Campion, Street Side Cafe. This is only to name a few. As far as I’m aware the Main-Humboldt apartments are at least generating revenue from Buff State students residence, impacting the Canisius community in a different way. As for the rest, they could be home to some very appreciative dust bunnies for all I know. Why aren’t these spaces being revitalized or being developed for new purpose? The school is pouring money into completing the Science Hall project, which makes sense if you look at President Hurley’s plan. My second question after that is this: why hasn’t the student body taken this issue into their hands? Street Side at the very least has the potential for a makeover that is relatively achievable with the proper budget allocation and vision. My personal vision for that space is a pop up shop area for local or small businesses to expose our students to Buffalo- centric ideas and culture. Businesses affiliated with the college, with Enactus, or even alumni would be prime candidates for an effort such as this. However, the big new shiny project

Canisius USA is looking to fund is the creation of a statue somewhere on this campus. A statue for people to take pictures on, next to, around, sit on, etc. The list goes on. We could very well make this statue a thing for students to rally around in the name of school spirit. Efforts such as this have been relatively populate this year. Early in the fall, USA subsudized the cost of Heritage sweaters with a large Canisius C in an effort to promote the ideas of legacy, school spirit, and community. The result of this campaign is not something that has come to my attention, so that leaves me to assume there was little impact as a whole on the student body. Is this something we as a collective student population want our money being allocated? Another material symbol of community spirit that could be a potential waste in funds? Or should we invest in spaces where that spirit of the Canisius and Buffalo community can thrive that would have definite purpose? My call is for the Canisius community to answer this for themselves and take appropriate action by voicing their concerns to their Senate representative. Cheers the the freakin’ weekend.

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