Kitchen Cabinet Meeting Minutes February 2015

Posted on March 24th, 2015 by

Kitchen Cabinet
February 16, 2015
Margo Druschell,Saskia Raether, Paul Matzke, Lisa Heldke, Brian Konkol, Chuck Niederriter, Jessica Braun, Haley Nembers(Fair Trade), Marcia Bunde (religion professor), Megan Krause, Mark Hanson, Katie Federel (Greens), Sam Panzer (Student Senate), George Elliott, Steve Kjellgren, Sami Manick, Taylor Wicklund

Fair Trade – Brian is currently championing the Fair Trade Initiative on campus. Brian reviewed Fair Trade University standards. Most we already do, fair trade coffee at meetings and events, fair trade at the book store. We also need to talk about education surrounding Fair Trade. We will be having the Tea Trolley in Old Main and will host 5 of them during this semester. Taking it back to last year we did an inside out day – in memory of the large factory fire and will be repeating that again in April. A long term goal would be to incorporate it in to the curriculum. When Kelsey Timmerman joined us on campus it really reinforced Fair Trade and that was a way to piggyback on all that we are trying to do. We are trying to raise awareness and gain membership and gain interest from the Greens. What does it enable us as an institution to do – as a fair trade college that just can continue on our green initiatives and our sustainability? People who are really concerned about where items are coming from see that as a benefit to attending our college. It is also a feel good – we all want to make sure that everyone around the world is getting a fair wage.
What other organizations can we partner with – composting, Kitchen Cabinet, Health and Housing in Student State. A DLC organization – plenty of opportunities on campus. Once we meet all the benchmarks we can become fair trade certified.
Building a fair trade team.
A certain percentage of fair trade products coming out of outlets
A certain percentage of fair trade during meetings and caterings.
A certain number of fair trade events on campus.
A fair trade resolution of sorts – this is a priority of campus.
Once we meet these 5 steps we are a fair trade campus.
Big Hill Farm – fair trade and local – is there an identified person that would be willing to be a liaison?

Hydroponics – The goal is to test different methods of growing without soil and to be able to grow all year round. Can’t start seeds yet as it has been too cold. Lettuce, kale, spinach will be some of the first crops. This is also supported by money from the Coke grant. One structure has been built, once that is going we will start to build second and third structure. We are considering fish as well. It will be written up and presented and it was encouraged to make sure it hits sources outside of campus. Another student is planning on writing a blog.

J-term attending a screening of Fed Up – It was meant to spark conversation and there was a small attendance. Megan is not sure what will come of that as the attendance was so small. The group that was there wanted more people to be able to see it.

Evelyn Young Dining Room – We have to be appropriate where we show things in such a public space. Discussion of what has been happening in the Dining Room. How do we screen such events. Is it a public space where I come to eat and I don’t want any distractions or is a space that is fair game. Steve tries to balance this but he could use some input. Do students want to go there just to eat but another student may say it is a crowd of people? The rest of the day it is not a place to go to and be quiet. It may be helpful for students who want it to be a quiet space is there another place for students to go to so they can eat in piece. Steve is also saying who is he to stay what events are acceptable and what events are not. Is there a way to zone out the speakers and keep these events on certain parts in the cafeteria. Is there some board or governing body that can make that decision. It was discussed that a representative from each of the organizations could be on this board but could a student also make that decision for themselves if they wanted to be present or not. We have not ever opened it up to a political campaign and that is the other question. The issue is also the public square – where anything and everything can go on. I understand that it is hard to get in front of a bunch of people – but does it need to be in the meal space? Right now the Dining Room is hosting 8-10 events a year but that number could grow if there is no governance on the space? It was also brought up that there are not many spaces on campus where we can all have a conversation with each other. How many places on campus am I part of that I did not knowingly choose to be a part of. What if you said it has a Gustavus connection – can it be student driven? It could be like other spaces where there is something visible so there is some sort of information available. There has to be some structure on campus as to what students can bring in.
It would be fair to start asking students what they want. Why not survey students? There is a lot that goes in to a decision such as this and there is no simple and easy answer.

Gustieware collection – This is the first year we have gone residence hall to residence hall every day as well as academic buildings. Steve is remembering off the top of his head that by us collecting we have lost 1/3 less than what we would normally use. There is concern that this would promote people not ever having to bring their stuff back it has happened. What Steve has heard is there is growing sense of frustration from students in regards to a sense of entitlement. Steve discussed how the mug program got started. 300 mugs were lost in one weekend. Coicindentality there was a mug painting contest that Saturday night. There were a significant number of mugs gone and they had already been back ordered from the company. Kevin said we should just bring our mugs from home as we all have a million in our cupboard. And so it began. And how may this spread; Molly from the Bookmark said, hey do you think people have extra grocery bags that they might want to bring in. What do you have that I can take from you vs. what do I have that I can share with you, so it is a different way of thinking. ¼ million paper boxes per year – if you can reduce that by 8-12% that is still significant. We are still good but we could get better.

Coke Recycle bins – Warren was going to fill the applications out and one of the bin types is exactly what we wanted this summer. Plastic, glass, cans, paper – 5 bins across campus – this is a significant investment. And it is a Physical Plant and custodial issue. We can’t comingle as we have a different recycler than the city. All our students are coming from comingled communities. All our goods are compostable – you are paying a premium for compostable straws, soup containers, etc. but they are not being composted. We are moving in that direction but right now we are dumping a bunch of money down the drain. It is a cost issue single sort vs. comingle.

Big Hill Farm planning – They are meeting with Jake to determine timing of when those crops come in and what those crops should be. We will continue to use the Food Hub in Mankato and coordinate with them.


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