Fall 2016 newsletter

Vasudha had a fantastic Fall 2016! Students participated in a number of engaging activities that were both community building and educational.

The year began with the annual Vasudha community picnic, taking place on the Nason patio, incoming students got a chance to meet and interact with the extended Vasudha community while being introduced to a range of sustainability activities on campus.

Professor Atsushi Akera’s taught his Nature and Society course again this year which gave students a chance to get out into the local community through a couple of field trips. These included a walking tour of Downtown Troy, the annual Waterford tugboat rally, and a trip to Albany’s New York State Museum.

Vasudha TLA Scott Kellogg led a number of sustainability themed workshops at the Nason dorm this Fall. The first one involved reviving the raised garden beds on the Nason lawn that had been built last Fall (they were in desperate need of some weeding and soil massage!). In October, students participated in a mushroom cultivation workshop, learning how to grow edible oyster mushrooms in bags that are small enough to be kept in a dorm room. Later in the Fall, Vasudha members were taught how to build small worm composting bins, one of which now resides in Nason where it turns food waste into soil!
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To round out the sustainability workshops, Vasudha RA Erica Uhler facilitated a class on how to make pesto from the basil grown in the aquaponic system in the Nason classroom, with participants getting to sample the end product!

In October, Vasudha Director Professor Michael Mascarenhas organized the “Toxic Waters Symposium”, a fascinating evening presentation and discussion featuring water rights activists from Detroit and Flint, MI. Open to the public, attendees learned about the ongoing struggles for environmental justice in these communities.
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To wrap up the semester, the annual Vasudha Thanksgiving dinner was had, celebrating community, food, and an ongoing commitment to social and environmental sustainability!
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We’re looking forward now to a great upcoming Spring semester at Vasusdha!