The Arizona Desert Lamp

ASUA Senate Meeting, 21 October: Stayin’ Green

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 22 October 2009

Sustainability funding for the Senate. The main action item for yesterday’s Senate meeting was the approval of $895 from the Senate kitty for Sen. Katherine Weingartner’s project. The money will be used to further her campaign’s focus on sustainability and other “green” measures – in this case, providing non-disposable water bottles for the Tucson community.

Except, of course, that none of the $895 will actually be used to purchase water bottles. Instead, the money will be used to “raise awareness” of a fund-raising effort to purchase the water bottles. This includes a $300 ad in the Green Times (the latest issue of which has a page 1 article on ASUA’s sustainability program), $200 for a table on the Mall, $175 for one week of table toppers, and $120 for fliers. Sen. Weingartner mentioned that she had set up a PayPal account for donations to the project.

As far as sustainability goes, this is far from the most repulsive of measures (see some nominees here and here), although it would be nice if the money were spent actually purchasing bottles. Also, what groups exactly are being targeted for an ASUA Nalgene?

While sustainability measures are certainly more popular among The Youth than they are for the writers at this site, there is a case to be made that sustainability is second only to concerts when it comes to bureaucratic fervor. For the UA as a whole, it is probably first. Does this really reflect the preferences of ASUA’s – or the UA’s – constituency? There’s a paucity of polls (and a near absence of well-conducted polls) on student views on the matter, but there are certainly other issues – General Education, police enforcement priorities, ZonaZoo availability – that perhaps merit more focus.

Part of this reflects the difficulty entailed in making even the slightest modifications to the GenEd program, and the inability to have anything to show for one’s efforts at the end of the term. Thus, the Senate tends to move towards the provision of new products – be it the “SAPR scholarship” of Sen. Andre Rubio, the analog breathalyzers (HT: Connor) of Sen. James MacKenzie , or Sen. Fritze’s USA Today readership program – rather than focusing on structural changes in policy. This leads to the problem that Sen. Brooks alluded to when he asked, “Will the project continue past this year?”

Sen. Weingartner, slightly caught off guard, replied, “It depends,” but that of course isn’t the point. In some cases, this is a good thing: the one-year experiment of safety cards was more than enough. Yet in aggregate this leads to a sort of attention-deficit Congress, flitting from one focus to the other from year to year, marking off their resumes without setting any main direction for the university. Scholarships rise, readership programs fall, and only the provision of concerts maintains through the years.

Committee Reports. These committee reports used to come from internal committees, but in the past couple of weeks the Senate has shifted their focus towards reporting of the campus-wide committees on which they sit – the Undergraduate Council, the Campus Recreation Center Committee, etc. This is a rather underrated role of the Senate, and reflects the majority of their policy-making capabilities. A few notes:

-Sen. D. Wallace reported that the Undergraduate Council (UGC) just added eight more classes for Tier 2 GenEd eligibility.

-Sen. Atjian has urged the Health/Rec Center Fee Proposal Committee to present their proposal of “one big fee” before the Senate as whole.

Other Items of Note

-The Elections Code will be presented before the Senate on November 4. Also, the November 18 meeting will be held in the Rec Center, to unveil the new Gardens of Babylon Rec Center Expansion.

-Club Advocate Kenny Ho is now Chief Club Advocate Kenny Ho. You know what? That makes sense.

-President Nagata emphasized, perhaps in oblique response to this editorial, that the forthcoming Special Events survey would contain a question asking whether bringing a concert to campus is, in fact, a campus priority.

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More truth in t-shirts: eco-chic edition

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 20 October 2009

American Apparel Sustainability Edition

In case you thought that the green expended on “green” expenditures was anything more than getting excited about eco-chic, allow Family Weekend Director Lauren Carter to correct you:

ASUA also searched for shirts that were made of environmentally friendly material, so they selected the American Apparel “sustainable edition” T-shirt with organic cotton. This was one splurge that they did make, but “you get what you pay for,” she said. The shirts cost a bit more to produce, but Carter said they will last longer because they are better quality than previous Family Weekend shirts.

Still, though, such a gesture might be inspiring to someone less skeptical/cynical. Perhaps another club on campus might want to go “green” – in all senses of that word – as ASUA. Well, that’s too bad – because according to club funding request regulations [doc]:

T-Shirt Funding

Nice little duopoly that they’ve set up, no doubt in order to “help” the students. Perhaps if ASUA itself was forced to hew to the same restrictions that they impose on others, we might have avoided a whole lot of trouble. (Then again, if the government possesses a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, perhaps it should also possess a monopoly on illegitimate hipsterdom.)

Don’t go green – go Orange.

Posted in Campus, Culture by Evan Lisull on 25 August 2009

CatTran

So, Parking & Transportation loves them some sustainability – goes down real smooth a tall glass of Budweiser. Yet a non-editorial editorial from the Star included this somewhat astonishing tidbit:

The university has 16,767 parking spaces in around [sic] the main campus and an additional 1,515 at the Health Sciences Center. The total comes to nearly one space for every two workers and students.

With this many spots, surely the green PTS would have a policy of maintaining the current number of spots, if not reducing them and turning old lots into People’s Gardens. As ABOR made clear last fall, however, this was not the case:

FLAGSTAFF – The Arizona Board of Regents unanimously approved the 2010-12 capital improvement plans for the state’s universities Friday, including the University of Arizona’s request to spend $30 million on a new parking structure.

While overall spots dropped (the Wildcat link is broken for now), would it have so horrible to use the $30 million elsewhere and – horror beyond horrors! – allow the student/employee per spot ratio rise to three? Or four?

In striving for sustainability, PTS has implemented, among other things, a new Hertz rental program. Judging by their Twitter feed, PTS is really, really excited about it, as they should be – it’s a great option for a good number of students, at a more affordable rate than seemed possible. Yet the program, for all its merits, fails entirely to address the largest group of car-using students – commuters.

The commuter problem is compounded at the UA by several factors. The campus is relatively small and enclosed, resulting in less property that directly abuts campus. Further, the campus is cordoned off by heavy traffic roads, further dividing students. Tucson itself is a sprawling city in comparison to others, and as a result houses are even further away than they might have been elsewhere. And yes, walking or biking in the Tucson heat sucks, dry though it may be.

The CatTran currently only provides two basic services: rides to garages, and rides around campus. Curiously enough, neither of these really cuts down on emissions – the former adds bus emissions to the emissions from the cars that drove to the garages, while the latter provides for routes that are generally walkable (if unpleasant). As a result, the vast majority of CatTran rides are underutilized.

The Orange line stands as a notable exception. Yes, its ultimate destination are parking lots on Ft. Lowell, but along the way the route has several spots along Mountain. These stops often include bus shelters. Unlike its peers, the Orange Line appeals directly to students in the neighborhood who use the bus primarily as a way to get to campus.

The CatTran system is the implement through commuters can find a genuine alternative to driving everyday. Students who feel uneasy about using the SunTran rarely feel the same way about the CatTran. Routes to garages and lots could be rerouted in the style of the Orange Line, passing through and stopping in student neighborhoods.

How to fund such a program? Start by ending the SunTran subsidy, and using the money for the UA’s own transit. Get rid of greenwashing gimmicks like “bio-diesel golf carts.” Reduce the funds allocated to SafeRide, in proportion to the reduction in services required as a result. Rather than simply selling spots by zone, host live auctions for spots, increasing both the optimality of spot allocation and funds received. One could even sell off off the entire PTS piecemeal, using some of the funds for a stand-alone system. In fact, you could really do it up and actually sell CatTran passes to off-campus students – although I freely admit to not knowing what such a pass would even cost. CatTran buses could be chartered – as a tour bus for visiting groups, and as a party bus for Greek and non-Greek life.

The list goes on – ideas, after all, are easy. Unfortunately, PTS’s latest innovation for the shuttle is the Green Line, which essentially encircles the north end of Campus.

Your afternoon hallucination comes courtesy of arizona.edu

In praise of the ivory tower

Posted in Campus by Evan Lisull on 29 April 2009

Ivory TowerMark Taylor’s piece on graduate school was apparently quite the popular column in the Times, but hopefully not for the merit of its ideas. This proposal in particular struck me as wrong-minded:

2. Abolish permanent departments, even for undergraduate education, and create problem-focused programs. These constantly evolving programs would have sunset clauses, and every seven years each one should be evaluated and either abolished, continued or significantly changed. It is possible to imagine a broad range of topics around which such zones of inquiry could be organized: Mind, Body, Law, Information, Networks, Language, Space, Time, Media, Money, Life and Water.

Consider, for example, a Water program. In the coming decades, water will become a more pressing problem than oil, and the quantity, quality and distribution of water will pose significant scientific, technological and ecological difficulties as well as serious political and economic challenges. These vexing practical problems cannot be adequately addressed without also considering important philosophical, religious and ethical issues. After all, beliefs shape practices as much as practices shape beliefs.

A Water program would bring together people in the humanities, arts, social and natural sciences with representatives from professional schools like medicine, law, business, engineering, social work, theology and architecture. Through the intersection of multiple perspectives and approaches, new theoretical insights will develop and unexpected practical solutions will emerge.

It’s easy to bash the “ivory tower,” but this proposal reminds us why the epithet was originally positive. If you really want to see Horowitz go into a rage, wait until we start having graduate studies on the ethical implications of opposing the stimulus package, or the Lyotardian perspective on the tea party demonstrations of 2009. Do we start reading the Iliad to learn about ancient Greek attitudes towards a single-payer health care system? While the sentiment against parochial departments is nice, the proposed solution – essentially, department formation on the basis of media focus – is even worse. Even today, we see our own university moving towards renaming the architecture college the “College of Sustainable Design.” Had we the same attitudes in the 1950s as we do now, would it be the “The College of Atomic Design”?

This isn’t to say that the university should be completely aloof from the here and now. The ivory tower is a great metaphor here, because it describes exactly what the university, as an institution, should be doing: taking in the bird’s-eye view, looking at things in the long run and considering their place in a broader scheme.

This dovetails nicely with the new public-private education lobby in Arizona, Expect More Arizona, which states in its “Facts” section that:

There is a competitive shift occurring around the globe and in local communities that highlights an increasing need to strengthen education in our state.  Arizona’s students are falling behind their national and international peers in academic achievement, high school graduation rates and postsecondary degree attainment.  And our students who do graduate on time are increasingly unprepared to succeed in college, work or life.

In a world where the best jobs will go to the most knowledgeable and skilled workers regardless of where they live around the world, we cannot afford to let another day go without making education our state’s top priority.  It’s up to all of us to raise the bar, expecting more from ourselves, from our students and from each other.

We shouldn’t be surprised when the private sponsors of education lobbying efforts emphasize the economic aspects, but this has quickly become the only justification for the university. This represents a sort of debased utilitarianism, in which everything is weighted based on the jobs “generated” or the appropriation’s “multiplier effect” (multipliers, animal spirits, and liquidity traps, oh my!). If economic concerns are primary, then the proper legislative action should be to boost support for community colleges, which provide cheaper, professional education, that allows those earning median income ranges and below to acquire the skills necessary to get a new job.

The university at its best, in contrast, is marked by nothing if not its impracticality. Here is the place for reading the Greek philosophers, for pondering theoretical concepts in physics (how would Einstein have managed at a ‘jobs-oriented’ university), for allowing the baroque fantasies of the mind untethered to manifest themselves. This attitude is not inimical to societal contribution – today’s musings on futarchy might be tomorrow’s expositions on legal reform. But it does stand in stark contrast to any form of short-term “stimulus.”

NB: This post is a somewhat haphazard sequel to thoughts in an earlier post.

Greenwashing at the UA

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 23 April 2009

Green BeerThe absurdity of ‘Carbon Down Arizona’ and the green movement as a whole reveals itself in this hyped press release from UANews:

The goals of the solar project are to add 500 kilowatts of solar generating power to campus rooftops, heat the UA’s large swimming pools with solar energy, and generally advance the cause of renewable energy on campus.

. . .

The solar thermal technologies that will be installed for use at the Hillenbrand and Student Recreation Center pools are an example of the partnership’s sustainability and cost effectiveness. The Hillenbrand pool holds approximately 1.1 million gallons of water. The Student Recreation Center pool has 600,000 gallons. The Center’s expansion also will give the UA its first silver LEED-certified building.

What is God’s name is sustainable – in any sense of the word – about 1.7 million gallons of water being dedicated to swimming pools in the middle of the Sonoran desert? This makes Dubai look like Endor. Even Pontifex Gore’s blessing of the water would do little to mitigate its impact. The article is noticeably silent on the cost of the project. Meanwhile, University Blvd. was closed until 7 PM yesterday for the Earth Day ‘block party,’ and boy howdy were those some traffic jams on Park. In listing his accomplishments, President Bruce managed to slip in the establishing of the sustainability director and the expansion of the Rec Center.

It is interesting to note how environmentalism has done a complete 180 from one extreme to another. Once, the face of environmentalism was an animal-liberating extremist; now, it is the “Green Hummer” and Shelton’s “sustainability.” Neither of these two options work. The former approach comes at too high a cost, sacrificing the order of civilization for the chaos of Nature, and what’s more is suicidal at its core – after all, what better way to effectively reduce one’s carbon footprint? The latter, however, does little more than polish the brass on an overheating Titanic, its net impact dwarfed by the size of the problem. Of course, like the Titanic, the beauty of meaningless gestures are how chic they can be. Contra Kermit, it’s very easy to be green.

A third option presents itself: accepting your fate as a mortal, subject to forces so far beyond your control or comprehension that you resolve yourself to modest, unpretentious actions and hope for the best. This option hasn’t been very popular recently.

Unsustainable usage of the word ‘sustainable’

Posted in Campus, UA Transformation Plan by Evan Lisull on 4 March 2009

Panda, ConfusedWhen the white paper that proposed to devote an entire college towards sustainability was released, I chortled in disbelief, certain that this proposal would get dumped along the way. Sadly, this proposal has gone on. From today’s Wildcat:

While the UA continues to undergo various changes, students in the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture might have one more matter to become accustomed to: a name change.

At a Dean’s forum Tuesday, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Dean Janice Cervelli announced to architecture students that the new name of the college might soon be the College of Sustainable Design.

“We’re really trying to focus, I mean like a laser, on sustainable design,” Cervelli said.

Of course Dean Cervelli would refer to ‘laser vision‘. After all, the year 2029 is only a couple of decades away; and seeing how humans are as a species unsustainable, logic naturally dictates that robots will eventually have to blow them away by means of nuclear war in order to save the planet.

Anyways, I wrote the following hypothetical dialogue at the time of the white paper’s release, :

HAY: Golly gee, Robbie, this paper sure uses the word “sustainable” a lot.

SHELTON: Silly Meredith, of course it does –  Sustainable means ‘budget neutral’ !

HAY: Oh, right — it means that it can be sustained on the budget.

Sometimes, sarcasm reveals kernels of truth:

The idea for the name change came from Provost Meredith Hay, Cervelli said.

“She highly suggested – which, when your boss says that to you, you know that it’s serious – that we work the title of sustainability into the college somehow,” Cervelli, said.

. . .

“We said that it’s really important … that we never let people forget that we do architecture, landscape architecture and planning,” said Cervelli.

Well, gosh – if you do “architecture, landscape architecture, and planning,” might it not behoove you to to refer to yourselves as the “College of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Planning”? If ‘sustainable design’ is indeed a subset of ALAP- for, presumably, you have to learn how to build horse before you can learn how to make a house ‘sustainable’ – shouldn’t it fall under the broader title?

It’s also useful to remember that ‘sustainable’ and its relations are a rather trendy term, much like their forefather of ‘environmental’. Imagine if this push had occurred a decade ago – would the architecture go by the title of the ‘College of Environmental Design’? Would the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences be refered to as the “College of Empowerment”?

Forgotten here is the fact that these schools should not be teaching policy positions, but skills and ideas. To rename the school from ‘architecture’ to ‘sustainable design’ is to replace a word that describes a skill with a word with a political agenda – “sustainable” architecture is not a politically-neutral position, as popular as it may be.

Yet even worse than all of these objections is the fact that ASU already has a School of Sustainability. According to the school’s “About” page, the school “embodies the design aspirations of the New American University.” In wake of the UA’s plan (to be fair, dictated by ABOR) to increase enrollment, it seems that administration is intent on turning the UA into ASU-lite.

The white paper proposed to incorporate the art school under the college’s control, but the art community managed to avoid this fate by incorporating themselves far more sensibly into the Colleges of Letters, Arts, and Science. Yet Sustainability needs food, it must be fed! – and so Provost Hay proposes to instead offer the College of Engineering. Mercifully, Dean Cervelli shot this idea down:

For the CALA, being in the same college as engineering does not appear to be favorable.

“We have nothing against engineering, they’re fine folks, great profession, however … it can create negative perceptions across the country that you are technologically oriented, almost to the extent where your design emphasis is suffering,” Cervelli said. “It’s a prejudice, it’s a perception, but it’s real.”

According to Cervelli, only three out of 120 architecture programs in the country are in the same college as an engineering program: Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University and Washington State University. None of those programs are ranked, she said.

Readership Program Update

Posted in Campus, Media, Politics by Evan Lisull on 5 January 2009

Way back in December, Sen. Emily Fritze (who has been in contact with the Desert Lamp before) emailed an update on the Collegiate Readership Program:

I have been in discussion about the choice of newspapers for the program. Turns out, the New York Times will be hard to get because they are difficult to work with. The USA Today program invests in electronic kiosks that can be stored outside; protecting newspapers from weather and restricting access to those not paying for program. They ask that other newspapers split the cost of the kiosks with them. The New York Times has recently stopped paying for the electronic kiosks.

Unfortunately, facilities management will not grant USA Today access into the insides of most buildings which eliminates the potential use of wire cage kiosks. Additionally, facilities management does not want wire cages on the outside of buildings around campus, for fear of littered papers everywhere [Emphasis added — EML]. They agreed that we could use them for the pilot program but not for additional time after. Electronic kiosks will be necessary to appease facilities management and ensure that students are getting the newspapers.

Good thing that the Wildcat existed before Facilities Management — I can’t imagine that all that “waste” they manufacture would be approved today. For the record, FM’s mission statement reads as follows:

The Mission of Facilities Management at the University of Arizona is to effectively and efficiently provide services that support the faculty, staff, and students in pursuit of excellence in their individual and institutional, academic, research, and community objectives. These services are directed toward the pursuit of sustainability in the maintenance and operation of all facilities.

So, essentially, they’ve decided that adhering to “green” standards is more important than helping students gain a broader sense of current affairs, establishing reading habits, and encouraging extracurricular learning. Lovely.

The shortsightedness of this decision is dumbfounding. You can almost hear the condescension in the administrator’s voice, allowing for the kids to try out their nifty little idea, but making it perfectly clear that this will not be allowed to go on after the trial period. You can’t help but to love the forward-thinking, innovation-encouraging bureaucracy.

There is, however, good news:

However, other national newspapers like the Wall Street Journal can be used. We are going to use USA Today and a local paper for the pilot program, and then survey to see what national newspaper is most popular among students. I seriously doubt that USA Today is the most popular newspaper on this campus, but we will make changes according to the survey.

The Journal not only is a great paper (frankly, I find the Journal more erudite than the Times), but choosing the Journal might help to get Eller involved. Already, many classes require or “encourage” students to sign up for a semester’s subscription to the paper.

Environmentalism without the environment

Posted in Politics by Evan Lisull on 9 December 2008

It started with Matt’s post — which I mostly agreed with, but left me with uneasy feeling. Then, over at the New York Time’s Lede blog, the paper highlighted a story on the environmental impact of the conflict in Darfur. Finally, in Thursday’s paper, there was this editorial on how “holiday dinners worsen global warming.” Combined, these arguments left me with a reaction that I’m usually at the receiving end of: “You callous bastard, people are losing their jobs!”

To clarify: it’s no accident that the rhetoric over global warming and other environmental issues were largely ignored over the last few months of the campaign. It is a luxury good to be able to worry about the environment, and thus it was ignored in wake of bigger issues, like the economy and the war.

The key for environmentalists is to remember that environmentalism is not about the environment. Nature for nature’s sake is not a cause that humans should ever fight for — nature, for all intents and purposes, has waged a no-holds-barred war against Man for its entire existence. As anyone who lives outside of society’s comforts knows, Mother Earth is not a docile beauty being raped, but a vicious she-monster, barely contained. Instead, they must fight for the environment insofar as it is an element of human society — an environment beholden to man, and not the other way around. You can already see these sorts of activists getting away from the tree hugging with the overwhelming replacement of “sustainable” for “environmental,” the former channeling a socially conservative message that the latter never had.

Thus, in arguments about public transportation, you need to talk about providing a superior transportation option for workers and students, not about “cutting down on emissions.” We can see this already in posts by Matt Yglesias and Ryan Avent, who emphasize the role that transit can play in helping struggling economies, as opposed to their environmental impact.

This applies to campus environmental/sustainable efforts as well. I can see an argument for a campus-wide bike program on the basis of (hypothetically) reducing bike theft, but not on the basis of reducing the UA’s “carbon footprint.” Sustainability for sustainability’s sake, at the expense of taxpayers and families, is never enough of a justification.

White Paper: College for Design and the Sustainable Environment

Posted in UA Transformation Plan by Evan Lisull on 22 October 2008
Sustainable Housing

Sustainable Housing

Not getting enough sustainability in your life? Well, you’re just in luck — the Dean of the architecture school, Janice Cervelli has a proposal for you — an entire college dedicated to sustainable design! What the Arizona Research Laboratories did for “interdisciplinary,” this white paper attempts to do with “sustainable”:

HAY: Golly gee, Robbie, this paper sure uses the word “sustainable” a lot.
SHELTON: Silly Meredith, of course it does —  Sustainable means ‘budget neutral’ !
HAY: Oh, right — it means that it can be sustained on the budget.

Today’s world is confronted with challenges of immense environmental scale and complexity.
Global climate change and unprecedented population growth are putting many societies under stress for such basic human needs as food, shelter, and water.  Turbulent shifts in geo-political and economic structures have spawned threats and instability.  Our dependence on oil has led to an urban infrastructure that is highly resource consumptive and unsustainable.  The state of Arizona faces the multidimensional challenges of globalization along with those uniquely its own.  As the second fastest growing state in the nation, Arizona is limited by an economy that is precariously dependent on growth, a resource consumptive construction industry, strained urban infrastructure, and limited water supply.

I didn’t realize that they had Al Gore ghostwriting white papers for the UA. Anyways, we’ve seen the basic thrust of this kind of argument before — department proposes “interdisciplinary” new program, touting how it will bring in the top talent, and then proposing to execute a few administrators and use their blood as a zero-emissions source of energy for the new school. Or something like that.

This, however, proves to be even more revolutionary — like the word “sustainable” itself, it threatens to devour everything in its path. The first school would contain the present accredited degrees for Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Planning. The second school, of “Human-Environmental Studies,” is the weak link, containing among others the Arid Lands program (who seem, shall we say, indisposed towards such a relocation).

The third school proposed, however, encapsulates the absurdity of this proposal, and deserves to be quoted in its entirety:

3. School of the Visual Arts
Description:  The School of the Visual Arts represents the former School of the Arts in the College of Fine Arts and presumes the establishment or transfer of the performing arts disciplines as a distinct unit.
•Accredited Degree
Home Academic Programs Collaborating Programs
•Studio Art                                          Architecture
•Graphic Design & Illustration             Landscape Architecture
•Art History                                         Architectural History
•Art Education

So the School of the Arts would be now be under the aegis of the College of Design & the Sustainable Environment. Read this out loud a few times to let it sink in. Imagine, for instance, an art history class on medieval art that emphasized the unsustainable use of eggs in the making of tempera. Or a class that criticized Christo and Jeanne-Claude for the environmental impact of their “Running Fence.”

Broadly, this is another case putting the cart before the horse. You can’t build a sustainable building before you can put four walls and a roof together without it collapsing in on itself. Certainly, there will be greater demand for “sustainable” buildings as marginal costs of alternative energy goes down, and the UA should offer a class or two dedicated to this purpose. But to completely absorb the School of Arts and the School of Architecture into this scheme is akin to the Women’s Studies program absorbing the English and Education departments.

The budget section focuses on the gains from centralization and integration, as well as yet another volunteer scheme:

The School of Architecture and the School of Landscape Architecture faculty are currently considering initiating a graduation requirement for all students to complete a semester or year-long study abroad program and/or a full co-op education experience.  The departure of students from campus during the school year will reduce basic overhead costs of instruction.

The school also falls for the Deus ex Alumnis fallacy, claiming that increased support will draw a shower of money from Beyond.

Your humble author would offer a modest proposal: this sustainability department, with the associated programs, could be sent off with a backpack into the forests surrounding Mt. Lemmon. There, driven by sheer necessity, they would be inspired to create some of the most environmentally sustainable architecture known to man — under a more than budget-neutral program.

Rise of the Ecotariat?

Posted in Campus, Politics by Evan Lisull on 6 October 2008

Over at Dartblog, Zak Moore picks up on a useful parallel:

The first questioner, a student, opened with a question about sustainability. His concern the “future green leader of our Big Green.” The manner of questioning and pre-planned question was very trite, and someone humorously commented to me that “hearing ‘sustainability’ today is like hearing ‘proletariat’ when I went to school.”

Hat Tip: Volokh Conspiracy