April 27, 2012
SU Showcase for Sustainability 2012, the Syracuse University campuswide Earth Week celebration of students’ sustainability work, splashed down on April 18 in Schine Student Center with a full day of activities. With a more narrowed focus this year, the event celebrated the future of a green economy across the energy, entertainment and plastics industries, drawing approximately 850 attendees throughout the day.
Schine’s Goldstein Auditorium provided the stage for SU Showcase’s many featured presentations, panel discussions and student exhibits/displays, as well as recognizing the Showcase fellows and video competition winners.
Eight Showcase fellows were selected from entries in the student video competition. Representing both individual and team efforts, the fellows’ original videos stood out because of their responses to the question: What should we do in the next five years to move toward a more sustainable world? All of the competition’s entries were screened during SU Showcase.
The two video competition winners, Anna Ebers, SUNY-ESF graduate student, and Ryan Little, Newhouse student, were each awarded $250 prizes. Ebers’ video, “Solar Solutions for Mexico,” produced with VPA student Saleh Raheem, looked at a not-for-profit development project in Jalisco, Mexico, that is working toward electrifying rural communities one village at a time. “Foam Pyres” by Little put into context the harsh reality of how excessive Styrofoam really is because of its longevity as a non-biodegradable material.
SU Showcase’s morning program began with a panel discussion on the green economy moderated by Sherburne Abbott, vice president for Sustainability Initiatives at SU. Featured speaker Antonio Saillant, director and producer, followed with a presentation on sustainable film production strategies. Afterward, a plastic percussion and puppetry performance created a festive lunchtime atmosphere that segued seamlessly into the luncheon’s panel discussion on innovative greening practices in the entertainment industry.
A presentation and panel discussion on the future of plastics kicked-off the afternoon sessions with an in-depth look at some exciting innovations in plastics production and disposal. Following was a panel moderated by Maxwell School Dean James Steinberg that looked at the future of energy policy. The afternoon quickly drew to a close with screenings of all SU Showcase video competition entries and winning videos awards, Showcase fellows recognition and Stamp-Pede Local Businesses program T-shirt giveaway featuring the jolly and eco-friendly SU mascot green Otto. The day concluded with the evening keynote presentation by Paul Roberts, best-selling author of “The End of Oil.”
In addition to SU Showcase’s scheduled events, a wide variety of ongoing and concurrent activities and exhibits took place throughout Schine and outdoors nearby. These included a craft fair, plastic arts and crafts, tabling by local businesses, art exhibits, plastic and willow art installations on the lawn between Schine and Smith Hall, and tabling by SU community members such as the Sustainability Division, Student Sustainability Club, SU Food Services and Whitman’s SU-SIFE DOT program.
With another successful sustainability showcase in the books, stay tuned for another round of green exploration and celebration to come with SU Showcase 2013!