Meeting of Community Liaison Committee Slated for March 4
American University’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) will hold a quarterly meeting on Tuesday, March 4.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Founders Room of the School for International Service (SIS) building on the university’s main campus (4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW). Parking for the event will be available in the SIS garage as well as in the Nebraska Avenue parking lot.
The CLC was established to foster positive relations and to maintain regular communication between the university and its neighbors. As specified in the DC Zoning Commission Order for AU’s new 10-year Campus Plan, the CLC comprises individuals from neighboring community organizations and representatives from the university.
Women & Politics Institute’s 5K Race to Representation
Join American University’s Women & Politics Institute to help raise awareness to close the gender gap in political leadership by running the third annual 5K Race to Representation. The race will take place on Saturday, March 29 at 8 a.m. on The Quad on the main campus. For more information and to register, click here. All proceeds from the race go to the Women & Politics Institute.
The Institute provides young women with academic and practical training that encourages them to become involved in the political process. They also facilitate research that enhances their understanding of the challenges women face in the political arena.
Your participation will help the Institute to offer more courses, enroll more students, conduct more research, convene more special events, and ensure that more women will have a seat at all of the tables where the most important decisions are made. Sign up today!
On February 12, the Kennedy Political Union, a non-partisan, student-run lecture series, hosted a debate among the candidates facing off in the DC Democratic mayoral primary in April. Moderated by veteran journalist Tom Sherwood, the debate before a packed audience of students and neighbors covered a wide gamut of issues from marijuana decriminalization to red-light traffic cameras to DC’s building height restrictions.
DC Councilmember Tommy Wells was most aggressive in attacking incumbent Mayor Vincent Gray, who was not in attendance. “I’m running to end DC’s culture of corruption in our government. Three councilmembers indicted, three councilmembers admonished by the board of ethics for breaking the rules, a mayor under investigation by the F.B.I. and the U.S. attorney,” he said. Wells also touted himself as the only candidate not taking money from corporations.
Arguing for robust enforcement and disclosure, DC Councilmember Jack Evans said the recent malfeasance in city government happened despite strong campaign finance laws in the District.
Former State Department official Reta Lewis struck a contrarian note. “No one believes that DC has strong laws as it relates to campaign finance reform. Do you believe it?” she asked the audience.
Responding to Sherwood’s question if there was a “war on cars,” DC Councilmember Vincent Orange criticized the current utilization of red-light cameras. “There should be a moratorium on the cameras,” he said. “You’re using these cameras to balance the budget. Generating $85 million dollars off of cameras is just not right.”
Candidates also fielded a question about the DC statehood movement. “The reason statehood is always blocked is because our delegations from Virginia and Maryland oppose it. And they oppose it for the reason that if the District became a state, the concern is we would levy a commuter tax – which we probably would,” Evans said. He promised to sit down with the governors of Virginia and Maryland to address their concerns. Tommy Wells also pledged to ask President Obama to form a commission on DC voting rights.
Busboys and Poets restaurateur Andy Shallal distanced himself from the councilmembers on the panel and reinforced his image as an outsider. “All the people that are running have a combined experience of about 60 years. They made promises many, many times,” he said. “I am the only person in this race who has actually created jobs.”
In a lighthearted moment, Sherwood asked if the candidates would support giving free Metro passes to college students. Some of the candidates were noncommittal, but Evans drew from personal experience. “I am the father of six children, five of whom are either in or about to go into college. So I would support, absolutely, free Metro passes!...I want free tuition at all universities!” he joked, drawing laughter from the audience.
Neighbors are invited to learn more about the School of Professional & Extended Studies (SPExS) and its offerings at an open house on March 4 from 4 – 6 p.m. at their new offices at 4000 Brandywine Street, NW.
SPExS is the seventh and newest major academic unit of American University. It was established in 2012 with the stated mission to offer specialized, actionable knowledge to advance the careers, organizations, and communities of diverse learners worldwide. SPExS has become a vibrant center of experiential learning by providing courses and programs that are both rigorous and practical.
If you are interested in attending the open house, be sure to RSVP here.
Green Eagles RecycleMania Basketball Game Is A Win For Sustainability
American University’s recent men’s basketball game against the Colgate University Raiders may have resulted in a narrow loss on the scoreboard for the Eagles, but the day turned out to be a win for the university’s sustainability efforts. The game against Colgate marked the first-ever Green Eagles RecycleMania Game, which itself was a part of AU’s participation in the national RecycleMania competition that runs until March 29. The goal of RecycleMania Day was to produce as little landfill waste as possible and report the results to the competition.
In addition to watching nail-biter of a game, the more than 2,000 Eagles fans in Bender Arena learned about how they could participate in AU’s daily zero waste efforts. Sustainability-related activities before, during, and after the game included:
•Fans attending the game were asked to bring a can or bottle for recycling. As a reward, they received a brand new bottle of a Coca-Cola product, which also was recycled. By the end of the day more than 1,000 cans and bottles were collected for recycling.
•Green Eagle sustainability peer educators unveiled Zero Waste Stations in Bender Arena, and helped fans sort their waste properly in AU’s new recycling and compost collection bins.
•A pre-game student fan-fest and environmental club fair by the Blue Crew student section.
•Sustainability-related facts and trivia featured on the arena’s video screens, including the WONK Challenge with AU mascot Clawed the Eagle.
•Sustainability-themed contests during time outs, including the ever-popular “trashketball” and a recycling relay race.
Director of Sustainability Chris O’Brien noted, "We are excited to partner with the Department of Athletics to promote sustainable behavior change on campus. We're excited about the continued success of Eagles basketball and AU's participation in the national RecycleMania competition. There is so much we can do on campus on a daily basis to live and work sustainably, and our hope is that the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and fans in attendance will learn from the Green Eagles about how to make our ambitious campus sustainability goals their own."
More than 600 schools in the United States and Canada participate in the annual RecycleMania competition. This year, AU is working hard to repeat its 2012 performance by winning the national competition, and already has much to boast about its sustainability efforts. As part of AU’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2020, the university purchases 100 percent of its electricity from wind power. AU also won the 2013 Business Leader in Energy Efficiency award in recognition of a major lighting retrofit of Bender Arena in partnership with the DC Sustainable Energy Utility. The improved lighting saves more than 350 MWh per year in electricity use and reduces the cooling necessary for the arena.
American University’s Zero Waste Policy states that AU is committed to strive for zero waste sent to landfill and incineration by 2020. Currently, AU recycles, composts, or otherwise diverts more than two-thirds of its waste from landfill and incineration, well on the way to its ambitious goals.
For more information about AU’s sustainability and RecycleMania efforts, visit the Zero Waste site.
Israel and Water: Scarcity, Innovation and Cooperation
March 4, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
School of International Service Abramson Family Founders Room
Hosted by the American University Center for Israel Studies, this one-day conference is an opportunity to learn about and reflect on diverse Israeli approaches to water management, innovation and cooperation in the Middle East and globally. Keynote by Professor Alon Tal (Ben-Gurion University): The Perils of a Panacea: The Role of Water Technology in Resolving Conflict in the Middle East. Co-sponsored by AU Global Environmental Politics Program (SIS), Department of Environmental Sciences (CAS), William K. Reilly Fund, Center for Environmental Policy (SPA), Center for Environmental Film Making (SOC), School of Advanced Professional and Extended Studies (SPEX), AU Office of Sustainability, Arava Institute of Environmental Studies; American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; and Embassy of Israel.
Led by certified Kripalu Yoga teacher Eva Blutinger, this yoga class is a great opportunity to de-stress and start your day with mental clarity, relaxation, and art. Please bring a mat.
Panel Discussion: Sightlines
March 21, 7 p.m.
AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
Join curator Tim Doud and a selection of artists in a discussion on the current exhibition, Sightlines: Ann Pibal, Jill Downen, Frank Trankina, Dean Smith.
Inherit the Wind March 27 – March 29, 8 p.m. March 29, 2 p.m. Harold and Sylvia Greenberg Theatre, 4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Inherit the Wind is informed and inspired by the Scopes “monkey” trial in a small town in Tennessee in 1925. A science teacher is put on trial for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution, and two extraordinary attorneys try the case where much is at stake. Social justice is on trial as progressive thinking and traditional boundaries clash. Tickets: $15 regular admission, $10 AU community and seniors. For tickets, visit: http://goo.gl/b4TsDH.