Hi, my name is Henry Dambanemuya. I am a senior from Nyanga, Zimbabwe, double majoring in Computer Science and Conflict Studies. I am also in the Honor Scholar Program. During my sophomore year, I interned with the Office for Multicultural Life and International Student Services, planning and organizing social events for international students staying on campus during school breaks and holidays. During the academic year, I planned campus events to promote and celebrate the benefits and importance of international educational exchange such as the annual Artfest "Art Attack" Festival and International Education Week. In my junior year, I served as a First Year Resident Assistant for Bishop Roberts Hall. During this time, I assisted Freshman students to develop acceptable community standards in their living units by encouraging them to act with reason, to assume responsibility for their actions, and to be consistently considerate of the rights and freedoms of others. What I have enjoyed most about DePauw University are the friends I have made and the relationships I have built with my professors and members of the surrounding community, as well as my volunteer experience with kids in local elementary and middle schools. These experiences have taught me what it means to live in a community. I have also had the priviledge to run on the Track & Field and Cross-Country teams. I have not yet done a boulder-run, but I once participated in the Little 5 bike race. My indoor hobbies include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Playstation games. Outdoors, I am an avid runner and cyclists. I also have a passion for photography and good music. I hope you enjoy my blog!
The annual "Energy Games" competition kicks off this week. This year, the competition is a three-part challenge. It includes a dorm competition, Greek competition, and the first-ever Asbury vs. Harrison challenge. Each building will be judged according to its percentage reduction in water and electricity usage. The tie breaker will be determined by the amount of waste recycled by each building. The competition ends on March 10.
If you are one of those people still wondering, "how do I make the biggest energy saving?" It's simple! Challenge your habits. Cut out showers, unplug mini-fridges, turn off the water when brushing your teeth, only do full loads of laundry, and use public spaces that are not part of the competition for studying. These spaces include Roy O. West Library, Julian Science and Mathematics Center, Peeler, Watson Forum, and the Green Center for Performing Arts. Every year students in residence halls compete to reduce their water and electricity consumption. Those who win usually get some form of prize. This year it's exciting to see the competition expand to include Greek houses and academic buildings since the majority of DePauw students live in fraternities and sororities.
Let the energy games begin & may the odds be ever in your favor!
Allison Orjala '14, Intern in the Office for Sustainability contributed to this post. She is a junior Spanish and Conflict Studies double major from Minneapolis, MN.
"If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, and - which is more - you will be a man, my son!", ends a British poem that would inform the title of Craig Mullaney's coming of age story, "The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier's Education".
On Monday, The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics hosted Craig Mullaney, author of The Unforgiving Minute. A Westpoint graduate, Craig graduated second in his class, was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, led an infantry platoon trapped in a deadly firefight in Afghanistan, and returned from war to teach at the US Naval Academy before working in the Obama Administration.
During lunch hour, we had the opportunity to meet Craig and ask questions about his riveting account. Later in the afternoon, we had a reading and book signing session at the new bookstore, Elli Books located downtown before his main discussion event in the Union Building Ballroom. During my time at DePauw, I can testify that special events like these that are woven into academics and student life are not uncommon.
The Unforgiving Minute is one of the assigned readings for Dr. Robert Steele's first-year seminar "This I Believe: Storytelling About Our Core Values" which focuses on stories about the values that reflect our paths and passions in life and the meaning of values on a personal and societal level. Not only do first year students in Dr. Steele's first-year seminar get the priviledge to engage with gripping texts at a top liberal arts school, but they also get the chance to meet and talk to the authors, ask important questions, and grow intellectually. Do you have a book that has had a significant impact on your life?
A crusader for peace and author of the Arias Peace Plan, former two-time president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Dr. Oscar Arias spoke at yesterday's Ubben Lecture in Kresge Auditorium located in the School of Music. The former President's visit and lecture comes a few weeks after DePauw University's first ever International Education Week (IEW) Celebrations themed after the Millennium Development Goals, a topic that reverberated throughout Dr. Arias' speech. After winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Arias founded the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, and the Center for Peace and Reconciliation to work for demilitarization and conflict resolution in the developing world.
"We make our world more dangerous when we invest in war instead of moral choices."
-(President Oscar Arias)
In his speech, Dr Arias asserted that even though we could not have prevented the earthquake in Haiti, we could have prevented what followed. The provision of clean water could have prevented the cholera epidemic. What followed after the earthquake was not inevitable. It was not just unfortunate but immoral, he said. The President also discussed how poverty is a major barrier to education, especially among older girls in developing countries. Dr. Arias' Center for Human Progress helps to promote equal opportunities for women in all sectors of Central American society. He also reminded the audience that the power to eradicate preventable diseases is in our hands. "If we reduced the U.S military spending by only 5%, we could provide enough mosquito nets to protect the entire populations of developing countries from malaria three times over, but we are caught up in military spending," he remarked.
"Moral Leadership has always been about making the choices that enhance Human Life."
-(President Oscar Arias)
Dr Arias also emphasized the need to protect the environment for future generations to come. I had the chance to ask President Oscar Arias what the toughest challenges in meeting the Millennium Development Goals are, what needs to be done and by what means? The President is a staunch proponent for disarmament, cutting millitary spending, and channelling resources where they are needed the most. "We declared peace to the world when we decided to get rid of our army. We chose the right path... We don’t have to spend our resources this way but we do it by choice... The decision to choose life does depend on us and the choices that we make... There is a reason to believe in a better future, a future that our children deserve... What we need is a world guided not by greed but by our ideals... If we all prioritized our moral choices our countries would never, never be the same," he responded.
"As a student, it's very difficult to find free time to get involved, but I think as DePauw students we prioritize and contribute our time to causes that really mean something to us."
-(Molly Nolden, '10)
Last Friday, Angie Hicks Bowman, founder of Angie's List and DePauw graduate of 1995, gave the 175th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Lecture on "Making a List and Checking It Twice: How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur". David Becker '75, CEO of First Internet Bank, moderated the lecture. I had the opportunity to intern for one of David Becker's Companies, RICS (Retail Inventory Control System) Software two summers ago. My internship experience at RICS Software introduced me to the corporate world, and helped prepare me for a Computer Science Career at a Fortune 100 company. It's always motivating and inspiring to see distinguished alumni from a small liberal arts college like DePauw come back to share their experiences with students. It's a great networking opportunity too. This week, Bill Rasmussen '54, founder of ESPN, will be on campus for another 175th Anniversary special event.
In her lecture, delivered on Family Weekend, Angie Hicks shared her personal life experiences as a mother and an entreprenuer helping consumers and homeowners find which contractors, doctors, and service professionals they should hire or avoid for local services. Her secret to success is "working with people I have a lot of respect for and can learn from", she told us, and advised us to take advantage of opportunities in life. What's your secret to success?
Tonight I had the chance to meet CNN's chief political correspondent and moderator for the upcoming presidential elections debate, Candy Crowley. Crowley visited DePauw University today to speak at the Ubben Lecture Series, made possible by a generous gift from DePauw Alumni Timothy and Sharon Ubben, both graduates of 1958. I am grateful for the uncommon opportunities that DePauw continues to offer me everyday. As an international student, I have been following the election campaign from afar, but I am interested in what the candidates have to say about the U.S Foreign Policy towards Africa. So, during my conversation with Candy Crowley, I asked her to ask the presidential candidates -- during the foreign policy debate -- how they are going to ensure that the slaughter of innocent civilians in Sudan does not continue on our watch and with tacit U.S support. A petition is available online. After dinner, Candy Crowley gave her lecture "Campaign 2012: A View from the Frontlines" in the Kresge Auditorium located in the School of Music. My favorite quote from her speech was, "This race really is about what do you want your government to be responsible for?"
Everyone has been touched by cancer in some form or fashion whether they are a survivor, caregiver, or just a friend. There are no barriers of age, sex, ethnic background. Every year, Depauw University hosts Putnam County's Relay for Life annual fundraising event. As one walks into the Blackstock Stadium, they are greeted by a mixing and blending of children, college students, adults, seniors and everybody united to support the cause of finding the cure.
Last weekend DePauw University hosted the annual Relay for Life fundraising event at the Blackstock stadium. Through this event, Putnam county managed raise $126 000 for the American Cancer Society. With 92 teams represented and over 1 000 participants, this 24 hour event began on Saturday afternoon and was a wonderful opportunity to hang out with some friends and walk on the track for a noble cause. Various campus bands played at the event and the Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and DePauw University's President Brian Casey graced the occassion. I attended the Luminaria Ceremony later in the evening with a friend. Each Luminaria bore the name of someone who had battled cancer and glowed resplendently in the dark as we disapperared into the ample crowd of DePauw students and countless other community members who had come together to remember their loved ones lost to cancer, and honor those who have won their battle. Do you have a cause you feel most passionate about and support every year?
This year, Earth Day falls on Good Friday, so happy Earth Day and happy Easter! This week, DePauw Sustainability and the Environmental Club co-hosted several events to celebrate and foster the appreciation of the earth's environment, and to increase awareness on the issues that threaten our environment. On Monday, we watched Matt Demon's "Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilizations" followed by a scintillating discussion from both students and professors. I spoke on Tuesday's panel of discussion on "Conflict Minerals and Electronic Waste." Two guests came to present and talk about their environmental sustainability projects. Art Donnelly presented his work designing and building highly efficient sustainable stoves that benefit Latin American women's health by reducing the risk of smoke inhalation. DePauw University students had the opportunity to build their own stoves after the presentation. Most students enthusiastically showed up to this event, having had prior experience during their 2011 Winter Term In-Service trip to Costa Rica. What I liked about Art Donnelly's work is that besides just building these the stoves, he also educates the indigenous Latin American communities on how to use the technology through training sessions. Professor Julian Agyeman from Tufts University gave a presentation on "Just Sustainability, Equality, and Re-Imagining Communities of the 21st Century." He highlighted the fact that we live in a world where 4.5% of the world's populations owns 25% of the world's resources, which says a lot about our global sustainability and equality. Borrowing John Barrow's words, I learned that while we seem to be consuming without limits and have slowly developed a throw-away culture, we throw away stuff and the natural resources that make it possible. We throw away people by turning a blind eye and we throw away ideas when they don’t fit into our ideological norm. By mobilizing to save civilizations, we are not only trying to make a difference but we are creating a different world where stewardship, resourcefulness and thrift are valued. What do you think can and should be done to promote environmental justice in your local community?
This week DePauw University students took to the challenge of "disconnecting" from their electronics devices and the internet for a day. I'm curious to know how many people actually disconnected, knowing how much digital natives are dependent on technology. At times, I get a little obsessed with tech-gadgets. This past Winter term, I spent at least eight hours a day buried behind my computer screen.
On the day of the challenge, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows came to campus to debate the pros and cons of technology and what the internet is doing to our brains. Most Computer Science students and Information Technology (ITAP) Associates had the opportunity to meet Jimmy Wales during a Q&A session held in the afternoon. I remember walking into the Julian auditorium and seeing Jimmy all "wired up" and ready to answer questions. Wikipedia says Jimmy Wales is a co-founder of Wikipedia. Curious to know who the other co-founders are, I asked Mr. Wales, and even though he indirectly answered my question, he seemed to suggest that he is the sole-founder of Wikipedia. As ironic as it may sound, I'm still a little skeptical about how reliable Wikipedia really is.
Before proceeding to watch the debate in the Kresge auditorium, we had dinner with Jimmy Wales at President Casey's house . President Casey occassionally invites students for dinner and other events at his house. Several professors also attended the dinner and I enjoyed the casual conversations that preceded the delicious meal at the President's house.
As argued by Nicholas Carr in The Shallows, do you think the existence of the online world is making it harder for people to engage with difficult texts and complex ideas?
Do you have one of these? A cellphone, laptop, i-pod, x-box, wii, playstation, or one of those fancy gadgets on Gizmodo? Well, have you heard the news about "Blood Minerals," the 3Ts; Tin, Tungsten and Tantalum and Gold? So, while we have paid a few cents less for our cellphones and laptops, Congo's women and children have paid the ultimate price. Over 5.4 million people have been killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo over the past decade. An estimated 45 000 people are killed every month and tens of thousands of women and girls are systematically kidnapped, raped, mutilated and tortured. And what does this have to do with our electronics?
I recently started learning about the ongoing conflict in Congo. The African country has been at war since 1996 and is currently playing host to the most deadly conflict in the world since WWII. War profiteering as a result of the economic incentive over the trade in conflict minerals has undoubtedly kept this war aflame. The armed militia groups who commit these heinous crimes control the mines and trade routes in Eastern Congo and generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year by trading in the conflict minerals which are used in the manufacture of our electronic devices. The conflict minerals problem is complicated and the suffering in Congo is immense, but there is good news: because we as electronics consumers are tied so directly to the problem, we can actually play a role in ending the violence. Also, Congo is not the only place in the world that produces these minerals, because then we would be in big trouble. I mean, what would we do without these things? They are an essential part of our lives.
DePauw Student Government is among the top liberal arts colleges that have recently passed a Conflict Free Campus Resolution aimed at improving their university's procurement policy for buying computers and electronics. Through this resolution, DePauw University would commit to purchasing conflict-free electronics products when made available and make conflict-free a priority criteria when picking new electronics vendors. Besides this resolution, students can take additional steps to stop this illicit trade in conflict minerals e.g. by e-mailing the top 21 electronic companies and demanding that they clean up their supply chains and produce verifiably conflict free conflict products. If we pressure electronics companies to remove conflict minerals from their supply chains, if we all raise our voices and if we each-one-teach-one, we can help remove fuel from the conflict in Congo. Did you know about "conflict-minerals" before reading this post?
This week has been one of my most productive weeks this semester. It all began with DePauw Student Government passing a Conflict Free Campus Resolution: a campus commitment to favor verifiably conflict-free electronics products when making future institutional purchasing decisions. Many thanks to all the student senators, representatives and every individual who worked in support of this resolution. This resolution is not about boycotting the use of electronics products we depend on daily, but it's about using that very same technology and consumer purchasing power to demand that electronics companies clean up their supply chains and stop using blood minerals from war-torn regions in the world.
Despite the weather being disrespectful of spring season, I rode my bike with the Cycling team to Fillmore on Monday afternoon. I enjoyed the ride even though my toes and fingers were numb by the time I got back to campus. I also had the wonderful opportunity of attending professor O'Bannon's senior seminar class on (Un)Civil War. We spent most of the time discussing the root causes of (un)civil conflicts, why people fight, and the correlation between oil/mineral wealth and civil conflicts.
Wednesday morning was a bit rough. I had a tooth pulled out by the Dentist. Not only did I lose my precious tooth, but I lost my money too -- I hope you get the joke. Dr Mark Umbreit, founding director of the Center for Restorative Justice & Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota was also here yesterday to talk about Restorative Justice practices. We had a training workshop after his talk and I gained a lot of valuable skills on mediating interpersonal conflicts. We also learnt centering meditation skills and it felt extremely relaxing especially after such a busy week.
TGIF: as if that's not good enough, I only had one class today because my other class got cancelled. I'm looking forward to today's "Pizza and Gaddafi" Conversation Cafe. I'm also excited because tonight I'll be watching "Blindsight" with my residents on Bishop Roberts 1. Blindsight is an inspiring documentary about six blind Tibetan teenagers who set off to climb the Lhakpa-Ri peak of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. One important thing I've taken out of this week's experience is that, our greatest conflicts and our greatest fears can be our greatest teachers. Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Mid-1990s: Recycling Tigers begins recycling programs at DePauw.
2001-2: Environmental Geoscience is added as a departmental major.
2005: The Compton Center for Peace and Justice lobbies food services to buy more local food through protests like, "You Are What You Eat."
2006: First Environmental Ethics Course researches topics such as paper procurement, carbon footprints and sustainabilty education in first year orientation and sustainability.
2007: The DePauw Environmental Club (DEC) is founded!
2007: Students advocate for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification for Nature Park building proposal.
2007: Art-Fest with the theme "Art and the Environment" brings the first community bikes to campus.
2007-8: University theme year on Sustainability and Global Citizenship
2008: The Start-Green program is initiated in order to integrate sustainability and environmental discussion into first year orientation and programming.
2008: First Residence Hall Energy Wars competition and first Greek Energy Wars.
2008: President Brian Casey signs the American Colleges and Universities Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) pledging that DePauw University will reach carbon neutrality.
2008: Dining Services Oversight Committee is created to address food issues on campus.
2008: The DePauw Environmental Policy Project is founded. Students testify as environmental experts at the legislature.
2008: First Focus the Nation brings 22 professors from 14 disciplines, students and community members together to talk about global warming solutions for America.
2008: DEC's first Earth Week becomes annual community-wide celebration.
2009: The Energy and Climate working group completes and submits DePauw's first Carbon Footprint Analysis.
2010: Student campaign leads to campus-wide ban on the sale of bottled water.
2010: The Greencastle Community Garden is started through community-wide effort.
2010: DePauw becomes the 7th school in North America to submit its Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS).
2010: DePauw wins the first National Conservation Competition against 40 North American campuses with a 25.8% reduction in electricity.
2010-11: First full-time sustainability position and Office for Sustainability are established.
2011: Greek Sustainability Roundtable (GSR) revives and organizes the Greek community.
2011: DePauw approves Climate Action Plan and sets goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040.
2011-40: DePauw University will strive towards Carbon Neutrality.
My winter term in Zimbabwe came to a nice close. I finished my Independent Study Project in the nick of time. I had the oportunity to develop a computer program for a rural hospital in my hometown. My goal was to prototype an application that keeps track of patient records. My Computer Science adviser was very supportive and even though I was thousands of miles away from him, we always communicated every week via email.
I also had a wonderful time at home, re-connecting with family and friends. Returning home after more than a year was obviously refreshing. It was nice to see how things have changed, re-uniting with old friends and celebrating Christmas with my family. As I returned to campus, I was welcomed by DePauwcalypse, a snow storm that culminated in 2 snow days. I used this free time to decorate my new room since I have just started working as a First Year Resident Assistant for Bishop Roberts Hall. It is a great experience. I get to meet new people, take up a lot of responsibilities, and help maintain DePauw's community standards and university policies.
Last weekend, the The World Association of Music Instruments and Dance (WAMIDAN) hosted a "World Jamz" party aimed at promoting the appreciation of world music and culture. They played music from around the world and there was a variety of cultural food from all over the world. As spring semester begins, I'm looking forward to a wonderful semester filled with new opportunities and more fun times at DePauw University. If you were to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
One of my friends recently pointed out to me the resemblance between the Great Zimbabwe ruins and the Mimi Rolland Center. I occasionally visit the Nature Park and always pass through the Welcome Center on most occassions during cross-country practice, but all this time I had never realized the resemblance between these two structures until my friend told me about it.
The Great Zimbabwe ruins, a huge archipelago of carefully hewn granite stone was once the capital of the ancient Iron Age civilization of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe from 1100 to 1450 AD. The entire monument housed approximately 18,000 people. Constructed without mortar and still standing over 40 feet high, the ruins are remarkably outstanding and awe-inspiring, and the largest single ancient structure south of the Sahara. My friend spent three years in Monrovia, Liberia and I learn something new every time I talk to him. Last week I learned about the founding of Liberia and Sierra Leone in my African Civilization class. Coincidentally, as we were coming back from church, we talked about Liberia's independence and how it's capital Monrovia was named after American former president James Monroe.
I'm glad final exams are over. I am looking forward to spending Christmas at home in Zimbabwe with my family and friends. Nothing beats the sweet melodious sound of Hummingbirds as you wake up in the morning, at home! What's your favorite thing to do when you're at home?
I just got out of a discussion on diversity with President Brian Casey. I've been dying to go to one of his talks. Today I finally got the chance to take a study break and hear the president speak about an issue that has become increasingly important on campus. What is diversity and how has it affected DePauw University's campus relations? It's definitely not just a numbers game: how many international students we have on campus, etc. It's also not just about differences in people's physical appearances, language, skin-color or having a diverse group of people from different parts of the world and cultural backgrounds on campus. Diversity also entails the different perspectives that DePauw University students bring to campus. It's the basis of our intellectual rigor.
As an international student I think diversity also brings discomfort in certain situations, but I guess being uncomfortable is okay at times because sometimes discomfort helps us to adopt to new situations. It is out of discomfort that diversity and variations also emerge.
DePauw is one of the Indiana Colleges and Universities that is increasingly becoming more diverse and international. It is also becoming more national and even more challenging, but how is that being promoted? Our campus has quickly become so diverse that now it's time to ask ourselves, how did we do this and what does it mean to say, we are now more multicultural and diverse?
DePauw is also one of the small liberal arts colleges in America that excels in economic diversity. Our university has first generation students coming from relatively low income communities in the U.S.A , and can still afford the top liberal education offered at DePauw, through Rector gifts and other private scholarships. The same is true for international students who receive prestigious presidential awards and scholarships from the university.
However, DePauw is underrepresented from Africa and South America, and much more can be done to recruit students from other regions in the world and not just focus on one or a few regions. Of course the President loves trees and wants to see more of them on campus but he also hopes for a more diverse community where people are confident to mix and mingle and are not confined to their micro social bubbles.
I love the DePauw moments when students move out of their cultural bubbles and mingle with other students from different backgrounds. Do you think campus diversity is an important factor when applying to college?
1.) All Plastics: #1-7
2.) Clear / Colored Glass
3.) Aluminium, tin, steel
4.) Electronic Devices
5.) Office paper, Colored Paper, Newspapers, Magazines, Catalogs and Steel.
1.) Fruit and Vegetables.
4.) Brown Napkins
NB: Meat and Dairy products are NOT compostable.