“Steve Davis is a documentary portrait and landscape photographer, and the Coordinator of Photography at The Evergreen State College. He won 1st place in the Santa Fe Center for Photography’s Project Competition Award in 2002, and received two Washington Arts Commission/Artist Trust Fellowships . His work has appeared in Harper’s, the New York Times Magazine, and is in the collections of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the George Eastman House, the Tacoma Art Museum and the Musee de la Photographie in Belgium. He is represented by the James Harris Gallery, Seattle.”
Grist.com has come out with a Top 20 list featuring the most environmentally friendly colleges in the nation. High on the list at #2 is the University of Washington in Seattle:
The UW holds new campus buildings to a LEED Silver standard, strives for a local, organic focus in its food services, and is currently the pilot site to test the first compostable paper soft drink cups.
At #6 is the good ol’ Evergreen State College in Olympia:
The college purchased a fleet of electric vehicles and runs a sustainably managed farm where it teaches courses in organic agriculture. With the help of students’ self-imposed clean-energy fee, Evergreen is on its way to meeting its goals of being waste-free and carbon neutral by 2020.
Absent from the list is my alma-mater the University of Puget Sound which actively promotes its sustainability. Better luck next year UPS.
by Joe La SacSunday, February 1st, 2009
A friend of mine is taking a course on propaganda at The Evergreen State College, Tacoma campus. Students created propaganda posters for whatever cause or idea they wanted to for one of the projects. The posters are displayed in the hallway outside the classroom for other students and faculty to see.
I recently went to the Evergreen Tacoma campus for a community group meeting, Food Not Bombs. Afterward I perused the different posters students designed and drafted. Some of them are ironic, some are artsy, all of them are creative. I think the creativity which Evergreen campuses inspire students to develop is one of the school’s greatest successes. One of the posters, a very simply one, I wanted to blog on here because it made me laugh.
Look at the kid picking his nose!
The Evergreen State College, however, is in a perilous situation since Washington State began a massive budget cut that dipped severely into education funds. Evergreen, a public institution, will lose $3.5 billion in public school funding. Tacoma public schools are supposed to be hit harder than other cities in the state. Higher education will experience large budget cuts too. The administration at Evergreen has decided how it will spend its new budget, and the planners decided to eliminate the following programs, according to a budget leak which was emailed and sent to Evergreen students.
Among the programs are: the entire Evergreen Tacoma campus (which is a valuable resource to the mainly poor, inner-city African American community in Tacoma), the Olympia Labor Center (which is a center for unionization and labor justice in Olympia), some or all of the Reservation-Based Programs (which work with the indigenous populations), the NW Indian Research Center, The Longhouse (another native tribe project), and the Center for Community-Based Learning and Action. There is a larger list floating around.
There is no doubt in my mind that this school has been an incredible and valuable resource for justice movements and community-building, capacity-building, not to mention a school that provides resources and space for labor, native tribes and poor communities. Having visited the school plenty of times and attended functions, I say Evergreen is more broadly a place where students set their minds free, vigorously pursue their passions and interests, and take courses that always spark my interest. And if you want to pick your nose, it’s okay because social norms were meant to be deconstructed. To see these resources disappear would hurt the communities already most affected by financial imbalances.
To see Evergreen aiming the brunt of its budget cut at the poor and excluded would only serve to make matters worse. These groups obviously rank very low in the TESC administration’s priorities, which does not come as a surprise since the staff have increasingly adopted a more “business model” approach to education matters in recent years. Instead of hiring educators with degrees in political science or education, Evergreen increasingly hires business graduates to take care of things.
The Evergreen State College should take the advice of the propaganda poster, stop cutting community programs which are viewed as unnecessary accessories, and embrace real change: “Sustain your future – Invest in a child”. Build up the communities which will be crushed by the wobbly situation, instead of sweeping the rug out from under them.
by Joe La SacSunday, June 8th, 2008
This is a photoblog from the student sit-in I visited at Evergreen State College.