by Madeleine Danusiar|Staff Writer
Last Saturday, Kipos had a Harvest Festival to celebrate their season of growing produce. Although the community garden produces fruit and vegetables free to students on campus, Kipos president and senior Anne Marie Noll said Kipos provides more than just produce.
“We are not just a garden, which sometimes people get confused about,” Noll said. “It’s students advocating for environmental justice in general. We want to be advocates for a variety of topics.”
As Kipos plans for the future, it has set its sights within as well as beyond campus.
“We want to do a balance of focusing on Whitworth and engaging with the community,” Noll said. “As students and as a club, our goal is to impact the culture of Whitworth.”
Kipos’ mission of sustainability is supported by both ASWU and Sodexo. Senior Whitney Jester, ASWU Sustainability Coordinator, works to increase environmental mindfulness across campus.
“The ASWU team is absolutely fantastic and all really care about sustainability,” Jester said. “They are making sure that I can do my job the best I can.”
ASWU has a sustainability coordinator position because of Kipos’ encouragement for better environmental sustainability.
“Kipos approached Sodexo about the need for more sustainability on campus, and Sodexo helped create the Sustainability Coordinator position,” Jester said. “Sodexo is really supportive”.
Although Kipos and the sustainability coordinator position are separately funded programs, both do considerable work on campus in the area of creating a sustainable community.
The goal of bringing fresh produce and a community garden to campus was celebrated this past weekend at the Harvest Festival. Noll saw the festival as a celebration of the end of the growing season, after planting in the spring and taking care of the growing plants all summer.
“The main thing is celebrating what it means to be in community, celebrating all the hard work,” Noll said. “You are learning the importance of knowing where your food comes from and who is working with it.”
Garden manager junior Jaelee Cruz values Kipos’ ability to bring people together.
“Our community has grown a lot,” Cruz said. “Before, it used to be political science majors and environmental science majors, and now there’s still the environmental science majors, but there’s also me, a physics and math majors and everything, so it’s really cool,” Cruz said.
Cruz is encouraged by the dynamic that is brought to the club by a diverse group of majors.
“I love to see other people that aren’t in the environmental/biology department explore sustainability and see what they can do with their discipline that they are learning,” Cruz said.
All students are invited to join the club. Kipos meetings are held in the MPR Sage Corner on Sundays 6-7 p.m., and garden work days are on Saturdays noon-2 p.m.
Contact Madeleine Danusiar at email@example.com