Lena Kirchner

Reporter and Writer

Tag: Lindenwood (page 1 of 3)

Food Waste in Campus Dining Halls Gets Composted

Dirty dishes are stacked by Lindenwood students on the conveyor belt and circle out of sight in the Evans Commons dining hall on Monday morning, Nov. 21.

Dirty dishes are stacked by Lindenwood students on the conveyor belt and circle out of sight in the Evans Commons dining hall on Monday morning, Nov. 21.

Most students do not think about what happens to the food they leave on their plate once they put their plate away on the conveyor belt around the corner, out of sight.

In Lindenwood’s Evans Commons dining hall, used plates and bowls, as well as cutlery and cups, are given back to be washed and reused, whereas in the second dining facility, located at the Spellmann Campus Center, all food is given away in disposable wrappings.

According to Nancy Tinker, director of campus dining services, said that the food tossed away by the students goes into composting.

“We do 10 composting bins twice a week at Evans, and six bins twice a week at Spellmann,” said Tinker. “We could probably add to that more if the students would use it more.”

“They did recently start to compost in Spellmann and in Evans, and they have an organic compost where they put their leftovers so they could help to use that, for instance, for fertilizer.” said Matt Ream, a junior biochemistry major and member of the Lindenwood food committee.

Ream started working with Tinker through the food committee on a project that places recycling bins in dorms for a week. He said they collected around 250 pounds of recycling during the week.

“There is definitly need for recycling and I think it is something we need to be pushing for to have full time.” he said. “As Lindenwood University we need to make sure that we are being consciously minded and I think that was lacking.”

 “We encourage students to use the composting bins,” Tinker said, “that does not always happen.”

According to a study in 2015 by Recycling Works, a program in Massachusetts, the average college student generates 142 pounds of food waste a year. College campuses as a group throw out a total of 22 million pounds of uneaten food each year, the Food Recovery Network has found in 2015.

Lindenwood University has not weighed its actual food waste in more than three years, according to Tinker.

“So one of the good things of feeding so many students and having so many meals is that we do have minimal waste as far as what we have for our prepared foods,” she said.

The university also generates food waste through its catering service, according to Tinker. Catering produces more waste than in the dining hall, since  the food sits out in many places and cannot be reused after. 

Lindenwood also has a point of sale system that gives guidelines in how many people to expect. Even though it takes a little while in the beginning of the semester to get the exact number down, it remains pretty steady, said Tinker.

The Spellmann dining hall used to be set up as an all-you-can eat concept with trays provided, and different stations were giving out limited amounts of food at the Evans dining facility either on plates or in disposable styrofoam boxes. With the launch of the national brands Qdoba and Chick-Fil-A as well as Sub Hub and the Grill Spot in August 2016 in Spellmann, Evans became the all-you-can eat option.

All food that is served on reusable plates and bowls at the Evans Commons dining hall since August 2016. Almost all the students are already done eating lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 around 1 p.m.

All food that is served on reusable plates and bowls at the Evans Commons dining hall since August 2016. Almost all the students are already done eating lunch on Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016 around 1 p.m.

“As far as food waste, with the national brands we see a lot less because it is made to order, said Tinker. “And with all the prep work that is done, especially at Qdoba, we get a very fresh product which also results in a lot less waste.”

However, everything that does get wasted from the national brands goes to the composting bin as well, said Tinker.

According to Tinker, wrapping waste increased in Spellmann but it is more streamlined than the waste that used to accumulate at Evans.

The trash cans in the Spellmann dining hall at Lindenwood University are overflowing with trash, wrappings and leftover food from the national brands on Monday night, Nov. 21, 2016 around 7:30 p.m.

The trash cans in the Spellmann dining hall at Lindenwood University are overflowing with trash, wrappings and leftover food from the national brands on Monday night, Nov. 21, 2016 around 7:30 p.m.

“I think getting away from those styrofoam boxes was a big win,” she said.

In terms of cost, Tinker said “anytime you go to using a product that is more eco friendly it’s gonna cost you more money. We have increased our paper costs, but if the program is successful then it is worth it.”

The university also got rid of the trays during that change. Many other universities across the country started going trayless a few years ago, said Tinker.

“The elimination of trays was done to reduce waste and the water usage to clean all the trays,” said Tinker. “It was inconvenient for some, but I have got less complaints from students than we have got from faculty and staff.”

Lindenwood Students Vote at St. Charles Presbyterian Church

The St. Charles Presbyterian Church on 131 Gamble St. in St. Charles, MO served as the polling place closest to Lindenwood University St. Charles campus on Nov. 8.

The St. Charles Presbyterian Church on 131 Gamble St. in St. Charles, MO served as the polling place closest to Lindenwood University St. Charles campus on Nov. 8.

St. Charles Presbyterian Church Polling Place

A few Lindenwood University students took advantage of the close distance of campus to the St. Charles Presbyterian Church and came out between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. to cast their vote.

“It was really fast and easy and they were really nice,” said Andrea Nicholson, a student of LU and first-time voter. “It was a good experience that makes me feel older.”

The church, which is located on 131 Gamble St. in St. Charles, MO, right behind Harmon Hall, is the closest polling place to Lindenwood University St. Charles campus. Voting offcials clearly restricted us from getting closer than 20 feet to the entrance of the polling place, and therefore, no photos and no videos were allowed to be taken inside.

Many voters of all ages found their way through the entrance of the St. Charles Presbyterian Church on election day 2016.

Many voters of all ages found their way through the entrance of the St. Charles Presbyterian Church on election day 2016.

Tyler Moore, another LU student, said that he was both excited and anxious prior to voting his first time. He believed in his candidate, but the election outcome was uncertain.

Besides three millennials, 12 more experienced voters were willing to give a quick interview at the polling place.

“It’s just my duty as a citizen of America to vote,” said Dan Golde, after casting his vote at the Presbyterian church. “I always vote. Every election.”

This year’s voting experience was not any different from the last ones, said Imelda Maurer, one of the more experienced voters. However, she found it just a little harder to fill in the squares instead of punching the ticket like for previous elections.

Most interviewees confirmed that no issues arose at the polling place and no lines formed that early in the day. In fact, voting went very smoothly and voters did not experience any problems at the St. Charles Presbyterian church on Election Day on Nov. 8.

“No line at all and there were no problems,” said Ron Hanson. “Everything was smooth.”

The smooth voting process does not mean that not many people voted at the St. Charles Presbyterian church.

“A lot of people were in there,” said David, who did not want to give his last name. “But they have enough polling places.”

Maurer said after she cast her vote around 10 a.m. she was voter No. 395. In previous years, she was ranked in the low 200s when coming to vote around the same time.

The parking lot of the St. Charles Presbyterian Church was getting crowded as more and more residents came out to cast their vote between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. on election day 2016.

The parking lot of the St. Charles Presbyterian Church was getting crowded as more and more residents came out to cast their vote between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. on election day 2016.

Voting: Right or Privilege?

When asked whether voting is a right or a privilege, most voters answered that voting is a right. Some said that it is both a right and a privilege, and some were certain that voting is mainly a privilege to them.

“It is definitely a right and a privilege, because of the fact that it is our right to vote by law and it is a privilege to get out and vote” said Darrel Moore, who has voted twice before.

Most voters said they gather information about the candidates and their polices on the internet, some voters look at newspapers as well.

So does Maurer, who said “I do [my own research]. I look at [the candidates] history and I go to objective news sites like national public radio or the league of women voters.”

 

The tendency among voters interviewed at the St. Charles Presbyterian church went away from watching and being influenced by political ads. No one expressed a positive opinion on political advertisements.

“Ads no, I tried to stay away from those,” said Tyler Moore. “The ads themselves seem to be biased of course, but I try to have [information] from every point of view.

 

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