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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly


Carleton College continues to make a name for itself in the news. Just last week, Forbes Magazine named Carleton one of the 10 Greenest Schools in the United States. Carleton, among five other schools – Harvard, Dartmouth, Middlebury, the University of Vermont, and the University of Washington – earned an A-, the top grade in 2008, on the College Sustainability Report Card of the Sustainable Endowments Institute. The article acknowledges that Carleton was the first college in the country to own a utility-grade wind turbine, and was the first Minnesota college to offer “single-stream” recycling. The Carleton community has been a pioneer in the field of sustainability in the past decade, and this is national news reinforcing that fact. Carleton has done a great thing in paving the way, and that is a trend that will continue into the future. The college is considering sustainabile and LEED options for the projections, including solar domestic homt water heating and the future use of photovoltaic panels. The building envelope is designed to be extremely energy efficient, and the college is seeking a LEED Gold certification for the dormitories.

The Bad

The position of Director of Campus Activities, which has been occupied on an interim basis by Chris Rasinen after Robin Hart Ruthenbeck was let go last term, remains to be filled. The search continues, but students are anything but happy about the way that the search has been conducted. The Division of Student Life made the mistake last term of deciding to eliminate the Pre-Frosh Trips without seeking student input, and many are complaining that the same thing is happening again. Is it wrong for students to believe that they should have a part in making decisions that affect them? The college seems to think so.

The Ugly

It has become clear in the past year that Carleton dearly needs more on-campus student housing. Students have actually been experiencing a housing crunch, which has driven many students off-campus into Northfield neighborhoods. The college made it known that it was a priority to create more housing to cut down on Northfield Option to improve the on-campus community, and moved forward with plans to build a new resident hall to be completed the Fall of 2009. The dorms will accommodate 230 students, and will enable the college to reduce the number of “over-capacity” buildings on campus.

On Monday morning, students awoke to discover that work had begun on the new construction zone. By Monday afternoon, all trees in the construction zone had been cut down, and the area immediately looked bare.

Clearly, housing is important to this college and this community, and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. The loss of trees in the construction zone, however, is a sad sight. True, several of the trees that were cut down were diseased or weak, and would have been removed in the future anyway, but the loss of any trees on this campus is an unfortunate occurence.

In the future, however, the college has said that new trees will be planted once the resident halls have been completed.

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