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at Naropa University September 1, 2010 The Sycamore Vol. II No. 1 Welcome Back! www.thesycamore.org As we embark upon this new academic year, we must be conscious of the chang- es that have been recently brought to bear at our university. Our future has been described by the administration as auspicious. But the significant events that took place over this summer – most nota- bly the layoffs of 23 employees – should serve as a permanent reminder to all that these difficult decisions were made with the explicit promise of a better to- morrow. And while this promise can be interpreted nebulously, it is the respon- sibility of the entire community to de- mand tangible improvements to the qual- ity of the student experience at Naropa. To be specific, the areas in which en- hancements should be most notice- able include: Diversity, Academic Experience, and Service Learning. On Diversity: we have been promised by the President as well as by other members of the Cabinet that Naropa will begin to follow an institutionally integrated model of enhancing diversity. In fact, during his Convocation speech this semester, the President noted that this model would re- quire “thinking about diversity as a univer- sity-wide responsibility.” This approach both sounds attractive and makes sense, but beyond rhetoric, we must see results. Under the array of categories that classify types of diversity – race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ideol- ogy, etc - Naropa must demonstrate mea- surable improvements. Quantifiably, this means recruiting new students and staff members who come from backgrounds that are currently seriously under-rep- resented. Furthermore, we believe that the administration should outline each metric that is being used to measure di- versity, and indicate where the institution currently stands according to all such measurements. Thereafter, in each year subsequent to this one, results should be posted showing where Naropa, at least quantitatively, has bettered itself. Diversi- ty obviously cannot be boiled down to just numbers, but the promise of improve- ments cannot be without accountability. Academic Experience: Naropa distin- guishes itself in the field of higher edu- cation because of its broad based focus on contemplative learning. While we recognize the importance of our in- stitutional hallmark, the space for aca- demic enhancements is vast. This past semester the Provost said that students could expect foreign language courses within “three semesters.” Though the clock is officially ticking on that prom- ise, at the present moment, the adver- tised academic option that is the CU- Consortium – a program offered to students who are seeking courses that Naropa does not have – is beyond vapid. Under this so called “consortium agree- ment” Naropa students must do the fol- lowing: register as a new student through CU’s Division of Continuing Education, pay CU directly at in-state rates without being able to use their scholarships to- ward their tuition costs, and be respon- sible for coordinating all communica- tions, which would be typically handled by a registrar, between CU and Naropa. The reality is that under this arrangement a Naropa student is no different than any other resident of the state of Colorado seeking to enroll as a continuing educa- tion student at CU. The only difference for our students is added cost and ad- ministrative responsibilities. This situa- tion is both unfortunate and correctable. Bilateral consortium agreements between universities that are cost neutral and non- cumbersome exist throughout the coun- try. Two notable examples include the MIT-Wellesley College Cross Registration Program and the Four-College Exchange Program between Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Haverford College. Service Learning: The most commonly quoted segment of our mission state- ment is “to meet the world as it is and to change it for the better.” However attractive this may sound rhetorically, it is in our opinion a substantially over- stated and functionally under-practiced mandate. It is true that many current and former Naropa students are doing amazing things in the world. But as far as institutionally facilitated service learn- ing projects go, our university is simply unimpressive. From New Orleans to Ni- caragua, Naropa’s limited service-learning opportunities are largely a consequence of the work of impassioned students and professors seeking to a make a differ- ence using whatever resources they can gather rather than a resultant of direct institutional leadership. Our President has cited community service as a “prac- tical application to [students] academic endeavors.” His analysis is perfectly ac- curate; however, the reality is simply lukewarm. Naropa students need to be more robustly deployed into the world by the university so that they can begin to learn how to change it for the better. Naropa’s future should, indeed, be auspicious. But to manifest our envi- sioned tomorrow into a reality requires persistent efforts today. Our univer- sity cannot afford to rest on lofty vi- sions of brighter days ahead – we must be ceaseless in our call for action be- cause inaction is simply not an option. After all, promises must be fulfilled. The Promise of a Brighter Tomorrow Editorial Board Mary Mouser of The Sycamore Interested in joining The Sycamore’s all stu- dent staff? Want to ask questions or share your feedback? If so, email us at: edito- [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

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Page 1: The Sycamore Issue 3

at Naropa UniversitySeptember 1, 2010

The SycamoreVol. II No. 1

Welcome Back!

www.thesycamore.org

As we embark upon this new academic year, we must be conscious of the chang-es that have been recently brought to bear at our university. Our future has been described by the administration as auspicious. But the significant events that took place over this summer – most nota-bly the layoffs of 23 employees – should serve as a permanent reminder to all that these difficult decisions were made with the explicit promise of a better to-morrow. And while this promise can be interpreted nebulously, it is the respon-sibility of the entire community to de-mand tangible improvements to the qual-ity of the student experience at Naropa.

To be specific, the areas in which en-hancements should be most notice-able include: Diversity, Academic Experience, and Service Learning.

On Diversity: we have been promised by the President as well as by other members of the Cabinet that Naropa will begin to follow an institutionally integrated model of enhancing diversity. In fact, during his Convocation speech this semester, the President noted that this model would re-quire “thinking about diversity as a univer-sity-wide responsibility.” This approach both sounds attractive and makes sense, but beyond rhetoric, we must see results.

Under the array of categories that classify types of diversity – race, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ideol-ogy, etc - Naropa must demonstrate mea-surable improvements. Quantifiably, this means recruiting new students and staff members who come from backgrounds that are currently seriously under-rep-resented. Furthermore, we believe that the administration should outline each metric that is being used to measure di-versity, and indicate where the institution currently stands according to all such measurements. Thereafter, in each year subsequent to this one, results should be posted showing where Naropa, at least quantitatively, has bettered itself. Diversi-ty obviously cannot be boiled down to just numbers, but the promise of improve-ments cannot be without accountability.

Academic Experience: Naropa distin-guishes itself in the field of higher edu-cation because of its broad based focus

on contemplative learning. While we recognize the importance of our in-stitutional hallmark, the space for aca-demic enhancements is vast. This past semester the Provost said that students could expect foreign language courses within “three semesters.” Though the clock is officially ticking on that prom-ise, at the present moment, the adver-tised academic option that is the CU-Consortium – a program offered to students who are seeking courses that Naropa does not have – is beyond vapid.

Under this so called “consortium agree-ment” Naropa students must do the fol-

lowing: register as a new student through CU’s Division of Continuing Education, pay CU directly at in-state rates without being able to use their scholarships to-ward their tuition costs, and be respon-sible for coordinating all communica-tions, which would be typically handled by a registrar, between CU and Naropa. The reality is that under this arrangement a Naropa student is no different than any other resident of the state of Colorado seeking to enroll as a continuing educa-tion student at CU. The only difference for our students is added cost and ad-ministrative responsibilities. This situa-tion is both unfortunate and correctable.

Bilateral consortium agreements between universities that are cost neutral and non-cumbersome exist throughout the coun-try. Two notable examples include the MIT-Wellesley College Cross Registration Program and the Four-College Exchange Program between Bryn Mawr College, Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Haverford College.

Service Learning: The most commonly quoted segment of our mission state-ment is “to meet the world as it is and to change it for the better.” However attractive this may sound rhetorically, it is in our opinion a substantially over-stated and functionally under-practiced mandate. It is true that many current and former Naropa students are doing amazing things in the world. But as far as institutionally facilitated service learn-ing projects go, our university is simply unimpressive. From New Orleans to Ni-caragua, Naropa’s limited service-learning opportunities are largely a consequence of the work of impassioned students and professors seeking to a make a differ-ence using whatever resources they can gather rather than a resultant of direct institutional leadership. Our President has cited community service as a “prac-tical application to [students] academic endeavors.” His analysis is perfectly ac-curate; however, the reality is simply lukewarm. Naropa students need to be more robustly deployed into the world by the university so that they can begin to learn how to change it for the better.

Naropa’s future should, indeed, be auspicious. But to manifest our envi-sioned tomorrow into a reality requires persistent efforts today. Our univer-sity cannot afford to rest on lofty vi-sions of brighter days ahead – we must be ceaseless in our call for action be-cause inaction is simply not an option. After all, promises must be fulfilled.

The Promise of a Brighter TomorrowEditorial Board

Mary Mouser of The Sycamore

Interested in joining The Sycamore’s all stu-dent staff ? Want to ask questions or share your feedback? If so, email us at: [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

Page 2: The Sycamore Issue 3

September 1, 2010Page 2 The Sycamore

NEWSBike Shack Creates Alliance with Local Non-Profit Rebecca Koval

Staff Writer

Students Commence Net-worked Supercomputer Project for Research

The Naropa Bike Shack has un-dergone a fairly dramatic shift within the past few months. Paul Montgomery, former Transpor-tation Coordinator for Naropa, is no longer overseeing the Bike Shack. In his place, Don Ras-mussen, Director of Facilities and Operations, will be working closely with Community Cycles, a local non-profit organization, to service the transportation needs of the Naropa Community.

Montgomery, whose position was one of the 23 that was cut over the summer, explained that Naropa and Community Cycles already have a history as they maintained a relationship throughout his time as Trans-portation Coordinator. There-fore, according to Montgomery, “It’s really natural that Commu-nity Cycles is taking on the Bike Shack. We’ve had a very mutu-ally supportive relationship. There could have been no better match. I think they’re really great and their resources will probably take the Bike Shack to another manifestation than what it was”.

He also mentioned that Rich Points, current Executive Direc-tor of Community Cycles, was a graduate from the environmental leadership program at Naropa.

According to Don Rasmussen,

after Montgomery’s position was cut, Naropa University and Community Cycles reached out to each other and entered into a partnership. Because both the Bike Shack and Community Cycles are non-profit entities, there was no competitive bid-ding process. The contractual agreement that both parties cre-ated is set for a one-year term, which also provides perfor-mance and quality expectations that Rasmussen will oversee.

According to Rasmussen, the new partnership will “provide a more cost effective way to man-age the bike fleet and service the needs of our community”. It is estimated that the new program will save the university approxi-mately $15,000 per year which represents approximately a 50% reduction in overhead costs.

Rasmussen, who is not affili-ated with Community Cycles, stated that he will be work-ing with them both “long term and during the transition pro-cess to assist Naropa as it em-barks on this new alliance”.

Founded in 2006, Community Cycles is a non-profit collective in Boulder that repairs and recy-cles old and used bikes in order to make them usable again for low income and/or high needs

community members. Accord-ing to its mission statement, the organization aims to “educate and advocate for the safe use of bicycles as an affordable, vi-able, and sustainable means of transportation and personal enjoyment within our commu-nity”. Community Cycles also operates outreach and advocacy activities in order to educate the community on bicycle repair and maintenance. Other current partnerships include Boulder Food Co-op, GO Boulder, and Boulder Valley School District.

The Naropa Bike Shack main-tains a fleet of 120 bikes that students and staff can check out for free with a valid Naro-pa ID card. Bike rental for alumni and visitors is $5. The Bike Shack also provides ser-vices for students who want to learn how to repair bikes. With membership, students can be paired up with a Community Cycles mentor who will teach them basic bicycle maintenance.

As of now, the Bike Shack hours for this semester are as follows:

Monday- 9 AM-2 PMTuesday- 9 AM-2 PMWednesday- 12 PM-5 PM

On the door for Bike Shack a sign does read “more hours soon.”

Erik LendermanContributing Writer

Mohammad Usman of The Sycamore

This fall, all students are be-ing asked to contribute their unused computer resources to the Naropa Community Grid – Naropa’s first cloud supercomputer for Clean En-ergy, HIV, and Cancer research.

Some students are already fa-miliar with the World Com-munity Grid, an umbrella organization that makes the Naropa Community Grid pos-sible. Here’s how it works:

At the turn of the 21st cen-tury, IBM (International Busi-ness Machines) discovered that by networking large groups of personal computers together on a secure server, a virtual supercomputer could be cre-ated which could increase the speed of smallpox research – and subsequently, find a cure.

By installing the application developed by Berkeley Uni-versity researchers, volunteers could seamlessly connect their computers and immediately begin working on the smallpox project. While they were away from their computers, the ap-plication would kick into action and start running calculations.

Volunteers returned 100,000 re-search results within the first 72 hours of the project. This cloud supercomputer subsequently produced 35 million potential drug molecules, which combat-ed a number of smallpox pro-teins. The World Community Grid was created on November 16, 2004, and universities have been partnering on it ever since.

Last year I began coordinating the creation of a Naropa branch of the World Grid, which would use the same networking model that is being used by oth-er universities in order to create a Naropa cloud dedicated to re-search on a variety of projects. By working closely with IBM’s regional coordinator and our own I.T. department, we suc-

cessfully confirmed that the network is secure and ready for public use at our university.

During that time we also learned that once we had enough active members, Naro-pa could officially partner with the World Community Grid campaign. We would join the team of universities, which includes institutions such as Harvard and Berkeley, who have implemented networks based on volunteer resources.

To date, the Naropa Commu-nity Grid has already been ac-tive for 144 days and has pro-vided 707 results for a number of research projects ranging from Clean Energy to Mus-cular Dystrophy. There are currently 7 members on the grid, but more are welcomed.

With the Naropa Community Grid, students are requested to simply visit NaropaGrid.org and download the secure appli-cation. Once they have installed the secure application and se-lected which projects they want to donate their unused com-puter time to, they need not take any further actions – the application runs during idle time and keeps track of per-sonal and group contributions on the Naropa Grid website.

The goal for the fall semester is to find 200 willing students and alumni to volunteer their computers’ unused resources to the Naropa Community Grid. Once students have signed up, they can actually see how their personal computers are accelerating research on Naropa’s network in real-time.

Once you are plugged into the network, please tell one or two of your friends to join, and before fall end, we should have a powerful network of personal computers work-ing on a variety of projects.

For questions on how to get involved, email: [email protected]

Naropa Bike Shack

Page 3: The Sycamore Issue 3

Page 3 September 1, 2010The Sycamore

Sudan has no public libraries. Even the capital’s university li-braries rarely offer Internet and there is little access to contempo-rary thought or discourse. Stu-dents are expected, in courses where texts are required, to pur-chase photocopies of materials obtained by the instructor. These materials often outdated and usually rife with language errors.

The Agora Project is a new Su-danese non-governmental orga-nization (NGO), co-founded by a Naropa alumna, that is estab-lishing a public library system in Sudan. The library focuses on Sudanese writing and culture, sup-porting literacy, and using litera-ture to build bridges with writers and thinkers from around the world.

The Agora Project is founded on the be-lief that basic literacy, access to books, and free spaces for artistic debate are hu-man rights that strengthen civil society through critical examination. Sudan, a nation that has been affected by colonial-ism, dictatorships, and civil war for hun-dreds of years, is now in an unparalleled position of instability and uncertainty. Agora, referring to the ancient Greek “place of assembly,” aims to address ongoing conflicts through encouraging freedom of expression, creative thought, and exploration of diverse opinions.

Through programming such as reading groups, lectures, and artistic performanc-

es, The Agora Project endeavors to pro-vide a forum for patrons and library mem-bers to cultivate community skills and democracy by evaluating and responding critically to materials in the public sphere.

Sudan, in spite of its ethnic diversity – it is home to 19 indigenous cultures, which are comprised of 597 subgroups, 142 distinct language groups – is gov-erned by a national policy that promotes Arabic-language superiority. As a result, the Sudanese government exercises a broad national censorship policy that de-prives the public of materials published outside of an “Arab” cultural purview.

Further, because of the nation’s politi-cal instability and economic insecurity,

the average Sudanese citizen lacks both the space and resources needed to ac-cess news and information outside of what the government has sanctioned.

Acknow ledg ing this, The Agora Project believes their activities are changing the dem-ocratic context of Sudan by em-ploying literature to address peace, economic and so-cial development, and respect for hu-man rights. “Lit-erature is never connected to an isolated political or religious agenda, and access to texts from around the world is in itself a manifestation of freedom of ex-pression and com-munication,” assert Agora’s founders.

The task of de-mocratizing Sudan and building peace is particularly enor-mous, especially as the country re-cently had its first multi-party elec-tions since 1986.

At this crucial time, The Agora Project’s leaders

believe that by providing pub-lic facilities such as libraries, Sudanese citizens will be bet-ter equipped with the skills needed to develop their own choices about Sudan’s future.

As co-founder Mamoun Eltlib has said, “Literature, as opposed to political cam-paigns, has the ability to af-fect people’s hearts and minds through narrative. It illustrates the vivid realties of war, pov-erty, and other inequalities by demanding readers take a position in relation to a char-acter, and it is a basic ground for building peace between disparate communities.”

Amelia Charles, Interdisciplinary Studies ’07, is the co-founder of The Agora Project and currently lives in Khartoum, Sudan. The proj-ect may be reached at [email protected].

The Agora Project in SudanAmelia CharlesContributing Writer

Libraries for Literacy and Peace

Courtesy of The Agora Project Courtesy of The Agora Project

Courtesy of The Agora Project A typical classroom in Sundan’s Khartoum area public schools

Instructor (left) and student (right) in Sudan posing for photo. Sudannese locals at journalism workshop

Page 4: The Sycamore Issue 3

Page 4 September 1, 2010The Sycamore

The ceremony began in style; with each trustee, staff and faculty member walk-ing down the aisle to classical music in the background. They were all smiling in their peaceful manner, excited to be part of the beginning, again, and proudly wearing sashes, bearing Naropa’s colors.

Everyone in the room stood and applaud-ed as soon as the last honorary member took their place in the first three rows. Once every person took their seat, Father Alan Hartway, the Chair of the Interdisci-plinary Studies department, commenced the ceremony by quoting the English Poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins. He ended his speech by exclaiming that “we want to meet the world as she is and change her for the better,” with a powerful “Amen” which was matched by an equally resonating “Amen” from the audience.

Stuart Sigman, Provost, took the stage as the host of the event, introducing new things and initiatives, such as the new smarter classrooms, which have been started through University funds to bring technology into the classrooms.

Next on the podium was Phil Battos, the current Student Trustee. In his “Wel-come to the Year” speech, Battos talked about celebrating the beginning of the new school year. “…Why are we really here?...We have come here from all walks of life, seeking knowledge, peace, com-munity and the opportunity to reinvent ourselves… It will be your activities out-side the classroom that will define your Naropa experience…Naropa is a labora-tory for relationship building, small class, more intimacy, more opportunities to connect with the teachers…Get involved, join a student group or start a new

group…,” were some of the key points that Battos presented in his articulate and eloquent speech.

In her Faculty Address, Susan Burggraf, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Edu-cation, led a guided meditation and talked about complex systems, with fear being the biggest enemy of participating in those systems. She made a point that it was necessary to accept all of the perspec-tives around us. “Some valuable insights – get involved in genuine dialogue…It’s genuine, only if it changes you, ex-pressing the values that you share…”

After her, Reed Bye, the acting Chair of Writing & Poetics, continued a famous Naropa tradition by proposing to create a “spontaneous poem.” Eight random individuals later, creating one line at a time, and the masterpiece was complete:

Shit, wow, open, love, expandsBrief pause and elm trees walking silently in the

breeze and inhale, deep breathAs it What not Why infuses every cell of your

being

So answer me fool, nowRowing through the stars, the ground shifts be-

neath meLiving uniquely, cells unite, blue amber skies

abovePurple sycamores, wind blew, bow broke, cradle

fell, babies growLand, dirt, ground, plant, seeds, water, nourish,

grow, UP!

Following was a bone thrilling musi-cal offering of voice and piano, recreat-ing Meredith Monk’s nine minute piece, performed by Ethelyn Friend, Assistant Professor of the MFA, and Gary Grun-dei, an associated artist of the MFA.Michelle Frieswyk-Johnson, an alumnus of the MA Transpersonal Counseling Psychology, gave the Alumni Address. “Taking the vision that we have and mov-ing it to form…How well do you know your vision...How do you nurture and grow this vision from this vibrating place that you are in, this very moment…What are the tools you need?” She mentioned different principles which were brought to light for her at Naropa: mindfulness, passion, fierce discernment, and gratitude.

Sigman, and James Robinson-Long, Direc-tor of Human Resources, took the privi-lege of introducing the new staff and fac-ulty members, who were kindly welcomed by loud applause from the participants.

Last but not least, President Stuart Lord took the stage. He remarked,“We are shaped by our thoughts and we be-come what we think…When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves…Welcome! We are em-barking on a sacred journey to discover ourselves and our passions…We must be active learners, committed to participa-tion, engagement and transformation…”

President Lord proposed five goals that will shape the contemplative think-ing of the upcoming school year:

1. “To enhance diversity in the orga-nization. Diversity our university wide responsibility….We believe in the in-herit goodness of every individual…”2. “To enhance service learning…a Naro-pa education is a passport to the world...”3. “To create dialogues on issues of sustainability and social justice…”4. “To responsibility manage the resources of the University…”5. “To make contemplative practice a priority in how we function is ev-ery area of Naropa’s community…”

He continued by declaring that “the world needs people who are the products of contemplative education...What af-fects every one of us, affects all of us…We are a community. GO NAROPA!”

Lord ended his powerful speech quoting Sy Miller and Jill Jackson, “Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me,” and a humble bow, commencing the be-ginning of the new academic school year.

Student-Sustainability Coordinator Shares a Few Words

Convocation Ceremony Strikes a New Tone

Jennifer Voggesser of The Sycamore

Ania ChapskaStaff Writer

My name’s Nathaniel and I’m Naro-pa’s Student-Sustainability Coordi-nator. As the new school year be-gins I wanted to give you all a break down of all things Green at Naropa.

Last semester Naropa was recognized by the Princeton review as one of the 286 “Green Colleges” in the United States. Only 5 schools in Colorado were recog-nized. This is a great achievement and is proof of Naropa commitment to becom-ing a Carbon Neutral Institution. So what has Naropa done to garner this attention?

In February Naropa finished its Climate Action Plan. The CAP was officially fin-

ished in February by an outside consultant and Naropa’s Green Team. It is made up of recommendations and goals that are aimed at making Naropa a carbon neutral institution by 2050. In Naropa’s attempt to be a leading sustainable institution having a completed CAP is a necessity.

Check out all these cool initia-tives that have already been taken:

At our Bike Shack, which is now run by community cycles, you can get a free bike to use during your time at Naropa.

We have zero-waste stations with com-post, recycling and trash. There is a beau-tiful Greenhouse located on the Arapa-hoe Campus. We have an energy efficient lighting system, power saving measures in

the computer labs, water saving sprinkler system and an amazing sub surface irriga-tion system on the Paramita Green. This is only the tip of the iceberg of all the mea-sures taken by Naropa’s excellent facilities crew, landscape staff and the Green Team.

There will be a green lecture series bi-weekly happening on Monday evenings on the Arapahoe Campus. Some of the notable speakers who will be coming to Naropa this fall are Hunter Lovins, Linda Mearns and Todd Jones.

Look for new green boards in each campus’ student lounge, which will have a full list of guest speakers in the lecture series with dates and times. The new green boards will also keep you up to date on the latest environ-

mental related happenings at Naropa.

Naropa has also connected with 350.org’s national climate change day and will be hosting several events on 10/10/10. Watch out for the Carrot-mob after-party! www.carrotmob.org.

Student Groups will also have the op-portunity to sign up as a Green Group. As a green group you’ll receive spe-cial privileges and benefits by reaching certain standards of Zero Waste and Environmental Stewardship for your student group. Look for more info com-ing your way from Naropa’s Student Group Coordinator, Jaime Gonzalez.

If you are looking for a new student

Nathaniel Janowitz Contributing Writer

Continued on Page 5

Reed Bye speeching at Convocation

Page 5: The Sycamore Issue 3

Page 5 September 1, 2010The Sycamore

Creative Naropa

group to join that is engaged in sustainability at Naropa and in the Boulder community consider The Honeybee Society. Honey-bee has reformed and has loads of cool things they are work-ing on at Naropa. It’s a great way to get engaged and share your passion for the environ-ment with like-minded students.

Naropa is working towards being Zero Waste. Are you? We can help you and you can help us by keep-ing the following things in mind.

All our plates, cups, napkins and coffee cups are compostable! So when you’re finished put them in one of the many marked compost bins on campus. RE-MEMBER; coffee lids are not

compostable. They are trash.Please keep plastic bags out of the recycling and compost. If you have compost or recycling in a plastic bag please dump into the bins then throw out the bag or better yet reuse it! For com-post you can buy special green bags that are compostable.

Scrape your plates into the com-post. Food scrapes going into the landfill causes serious problems.We can help you with certain hard to recycle items. There will be special locations in each stu-dent lounge where you can re-cycle your batteries and you can bring your used ink cartridges to the Mail Room on the Arapahoe Campus. We can also take Sty-rofoam and some other hard to

recycle materials. Email [email protected] to find out if we can help. At the very least we can instruct you on what to do with your hard to recycle materials.

When in doubt check the signs above all bins which give de-tailed instructions about what goes where. All information is also available online at ecocycle.org. Think before you throw!

If you ever want to talk envi-ronment and learn more about the goings on in Naropa and in Boulder come find me or send me an email at njanow-i t z @ s t u d e n t s . n a r o p a . e d u .

Sincerely,Nathaniel Janowitz

Sustainability in ActionContinued from Page 4

Jennifer Voggesser of The Sycamore

I am asking you, dear reader, what thoughts would cross your mind if you were in the same situation as me? Walking in someone else’s shoes isn’t easy, but I’ll try to guide you through it. Place yourself in the middle of an unknown coun-try; a country that doesn’t speak your language, but demands of you to speak their own perfectly, although you’ve been there for such a short period. Why you went there? A great job oppor-tunity came up, or you just made the decision to study abroad. You went there on your own. You feel lonely and isolated from every-thing you once had. Friends and family are always on the other side of the phone. You know it. But you don’t want to worry them each time you feel like you won’t survive another day. Because deep down you know that you are go-ing to make it. It’s the first month or two of being in this country that suck. Every morning you face the same challenge: you’re trying to pull your lips up, but instead of a smile, you get something indefinable. Rather scary I’d say. How many times per day would you say that the thought of giv-ing up would pop into your head?

Everybody at your new occupa-tion gives you a break; are they trying to help you, or get rid of

you gently? Either way, you end up having too much free time in your hands. There are no friends to wait for you at the pub to have a beer with. No lover is sleeping at your bed, keeping it warm un-til you return. You end up walk-ing up and down the few familiar streets around your apartment, trying each time to find the cour-age to go a bit further. At least you get some good exercise.

And one day, while you are standing in front of the sponge-shelf at the market round the corner, trying to figure out which sponge is the best for you – this one is organic, but the other one has live cells that are completely compatible with your skin’s PH – you listen to some-thing familiar. There is a voice that talks in your own language – no, there are two voices. And they are fighting. Think of that, my dear reader: what is more possible? That there are actually two people behind you having a small fight in your own native language, or are you simply beginning to lose your sanity? Let’s face it: you’ve been alone for almost two months, struggling with this new language, and suddenly, while your mind is busy thinking about sponges, you see your people. Could this all be happening in your fantasy? How confident would you be about

your mental health at this point?

You stand there petrified, and you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. And then, you make the decision to turn around and face the reality; it takes a lot of courage, but you just have to know. There are two girls walking behind you, which is a good sign. You are wait-ing in agony for them to speak: this will either prove that you’re crazy, or it will make any doubt si-lent forever. You stand there like a fool, piercing those girls with your gaze. Finally, they speak again, and redemption comes. “What the hell is she looking at?” Never before had swearing in your lan-guage sounded so sweet. The re-sults just came: you’re not crazy.

This is my story, and it is true. I found a nice family when I least expected it. I don’t believe this would ever happen to you, but if you ever end up in a strange country that no one is familiar with your native language, just celebrate it. Start singing out loud all those silly songs you know with a very serious face, or ask for directions with a heavy ac-cent, just to see how people re-act. Play with the fact that you are different; don’t doubt yourself for any reason. Life is a game. Don’t be a mere, chinless pawn.

People are StrangeEvangelia PapastergiouContributing Writer

What am I to say of this world?

It is an Elegant discord,A beautiful falling awayA gutter and an asylum,

A palace and a graveyard,An unspeakable dream

Gazing deep into night-mares,

It is a sunset uncertainAnd a bastard child of time,A legless man dancing in the

rain,Beneath a rainbow.

Untitled 1Cherry blossoms fall

All around youAnd still you do not seeall this living and dying

I have no opinion

Untitled 2The wind seems long full

As it reaches for me,It says

“Enlightened one atLast you have come”

But it speaks not to meBut to the flowersNewly bloomingFor the spring

One Night in BoulderI walked to the corner and

sat by the street lamp.My feet were bare and they

touched the cold earth.

My old wooden staff that my friend

Found once by an old river-bed,

Has been with me for years.I read haikus

And the rain softly fell.I know nothing,

Know nothing of Zen

I need keysI need keys

to the prison of my heartso that you will possess me

no longer.I write of the rain

And of rivers, of waterfallsAnd music but somehowI always write about you.

I need shovelsTo dig you from my body,

Fire hurts less than your touch

take your axes and picksand cut out the sweetest part

of methe part I never owned

Untitled 3Awoken from a dream

about dying,I sat and listened

to the birds.

Suffering EdenSeth DennisContributing Writer

Naropa’s new “Green” trash bins

Page 6: The Sycamore Issue 3

Let’s think that you own a car. A mod-erate in size, red car; a car that pleases your sight, and it really makes you want to drive it. It invites you to sit on its comfortable seat. You accept the invi-tation and sit on it. Now, listen to the sound the door makes when it closes, and leaves the rest of the world outside. Smell the air in it: it’s been so long in there, suffocating the dashboard and the lever, so roll down the window and allow some fresh breeze to enter. You’ve been driving this car everyday to work, changing the gears but never reaching the third one. You nearly for-got that you fell in love with this car when you first laid your eyes on it; it’s not there just to run your errands, but because it wants to share things with you. Now it’s time to give back something to your relationship with it, and offer your friend some adrena-line. You want to feel that this vehicle is not dead. And neither is its driver.

First, find the most comfortable posi-tion for you: the one you probably have now is a relaxing one, because you’re usually driving mechanically to work at seven o’clock every morning, half-asleep most of the times. Now you’ll have to adopt a new one that keeps you straight and alarmed. You’ll have to be able to observe the whole road in front of you, but the road behind you as well. Change the settings of your air condi-tioner too: I suggest that you should have the windows open, but be pre-pared to have some cool air coming to your face if needed. Check your mirrors.

You can’t have a proper drive if you don’t have the suitable music. The sense of hearing is a very important one, and you should not neglect it. When your playlist is well chosen, it can uplift your experience to a completely new level. Pick the songs according to your taste, but don’t be afraid to experiment: classic music is known to transmit a tranquil feeling, but if allowed, it can give you more excitement than a rock combination of songs. Well, you can always combine those two by listen-ing to Queen, but this is just my point of view, don’t let me influence you.

Keep small change somewhere near you: once you’re behind the wheel, you might discover that the road in this city is not enough, and you want a bigger one to fit your appetite for driving. Don’t let the tolls prevent you from experiencing the feeling that lies outside the borders of this town. Re-member, you’re here because you want to just drive. Don’t let anyone stop you, unless they’re wearing government

uniforms... or maybe not even then.

I think it’s time to hit the road. Feel the cool wheel stealing the warmth from your hands. Listen to the en-gine waking up: this monster will roar, ready to swallow miles for you, just because you have the matching key to its vibrating heart. Feed your mon-ster if it needs it, and it will pay you back in lots of various feelings. Get some food and water for you too. Healthy appetizers are not a requisite.

While you’re still in your neighbor-hood, don’t do anything stupid. If you wake the people that live near you, they will remember you and your car. Wait until you’re on a wider street, or somewhere where people don’t know you, at least not yet. Loud music at this point is not recommended as well. People might love Freddy Mercury, but they probably won’t be able to get the “I want to break free” subliminal mes-sage, so don’t use it as an excuse the next day when you receive angry calls.

At last, it’s just you and your 4-wheeled friend that carries you gently into the night. Turn off the music for a while, and listen to the sounds of the city. It is midnight, so you already got rid of the angry traffic-horns. Most of the peo-ple that are driving next to you are just cruising as well, or they are returning home after a late dinner, or a party. Ob-serve them: some of them are alone, and some have company; some are relaxed, and some are troubled; some are in a hurry, and some are driving on the right side of the road, enjoying the ride as you do. Can you see yourself in any of them? If the answer is yes, do you like what you see? If you do, keep that. If you don’t, grab this chance and allow change to happen. Relax. Feel the energy of this city, because this is her true face, and it reveals it only to those who stay awake and keep her company. This is your prize. Don’t forget that you’ve earned it. Keep it in your mind when later you set your head on your pillow, and even more when the alarm clock wakes you up.

Try to put this experience you just had in your everyday life, whether this means you’re going to work or you’re just picking up some friends. Don’t let this bonding you have with your friend be forgotten again. Have the com-bination of songs you chose for this particular night always handy, maybe somewhere near your change. You never know when the city will call for you again, so you’d better be prepared.

Midnight Appetite

sweet sweet sour that isAmerica

where we can all do each our own thing

together!united individualismgrants free reign to

bridled shrinking trinket organ

called loveunleash the beast intocloud of bubble bath

til the last bubble burstsnaked truth squirms

under sober microscopeknow betterknow worsethat I might

measure my inseam againless steps and wider paces

stilts splinterbetwixt palms

platonic tweezerskeep me from

burrowing a human bot fly

into my own skintangle with mosquitoesparasite becomes host

to tunnel vision thoughtsnot a question of light

more a merewonderment at synthetic

bulb suspendedfrom glass ceiling

or organic rays between peaksa ruse?

a rose!bud

bloomwilt

well thatwas quick

to the wickpractice makes perfectthe promised seasons

but to account forpolar shifts

neighbor estrangertry on the voyeur’s tophatsport the mane of alleycat

take stocktake form

that you mayswan dive

out of ugly duckling downinto literary body of water

deeper and downsleep in mysteryunder fingernails

accumulates historymontage of self-sabotage

urge to swimelementary backstroke

out of color intoshades of gray

betwixt black and whitedelight and fright

of meekness and mightblindfolded and bound

more swords than one ought wield

alonecall

a sight without eyes

witness the splitnessof hairy ends

to five o’clock shadow means

was it threeor four pitchersthe dark drafta curve ball

to the sensestriad dynamicspaint me wedgedraw me cleaverwhatever’s clever

miss the dartboard entirelymetal nose drills drywall

for highschool locker com-bination

in a minicoolerbeneath chilled cream soda

preserved and reservedheart

indigenous plant valvescall for

indigenous groundsprickly pear cactus juice

drips down chinroots shallow and wide

or must I abideby silver maple pride?

bent on bustingbasement foundations

a lesson instarting over

Come Again

Page 6 September 1, 2010The Sycamore

balderdash screams the teakettle silly and the pot says I told you so while first grade love affairs end in gender segregation

somewhere between jump rope rhymes and basketball courts lost puppydog eyes warrant out for your affection

taxes for breakfast meetings for lunch and homework for dinner thought for food food for bot

stark raving red roverrun me right over with the fur in your palm touching

what have you not indecent decencyplease pass the pepper additional additives for unpalatable domesticityraptor release Saturdaybring one bring all what of the clipped wings? what of the wildness stilled in time out grounded for life detention hall? just wait until your dad gets home act up to speed up little silver wheel you run in get the beating over with that you might eat in peace

amen

Say GraceLora FikeStaff Writer

Evangelia PapastergiouContributing Writer

Page 7: The Sycamore Issue 3

Page 7 September 1, 2010The Sycamore

Opinion

It’s common knowledge that Naropa Café’s chai is sweet and wired, sparking a creamy high. Due to its delightfully large amount of sugar and black tea (and if you’re not vegan, the milk fat) most of us end up on the tip of our wits trying to meditate in class or stomach the next hour or so.

Well, if you’re looking to try another chai in town Tandoori Grill, Kathmandu, and Tibet Kitchen all have their own little twists to our favorite authen-tic, Indian sub-continent tea. Tandoori Grill (off of Broadway and Table Mesa) has chai that’s just plain good, plus the food is above par. Kathmandu (the second best Indian food in the area), though a bit of a drive, surpasses both Naropa’s and Tandoori’s chai in it’s ability to subtle down the sweet -- but still

be a treat. It’s well worth a visit if you find yourself in Nederland. Or if you’re feeling particularly lucky, waltz yourself over to everyone’s favorite little Ti-betan eatery on Arapahoe, Tibet Kitchen, and ask if they’ve got butter chai. It’s simply the most buttery, scrumptious, and subtle experience you can find in a chai tea. They don’t always have a batch on hand so don’t get strung out if they have none to share.

Some might say Bhakti Chai gets the job done, or even Third Street but that’s just Western, local ca-fés unsuccessfully recreating a classic with mixed-up combinations of spice and sugar with way too much ginger. Make a trip, drink some chai, and soar high about on a sweet and spicy beverage excursion.

Usually I am the first one out there ad-vocating for change. Unfortunately the recent changes at Naropa have not sat well with me. Since the recent adjust-ment in administration multiple “restruc-turings” have occurred at Naropa. One in specific was the decision to eliminate all Diversity positions, the coordina-tors for the students of color and LG-BTQI students, as well as the advisor to the President’s Cabinet. The two-co-ordinator positions were created in re-sponse to the demands of the students via the student government in 2001.

President Stuart Lord held many commu-nity meetings over this summer to help answer questions, ease concerns, and talk about his new vision for Naropa Univer-sity. These were heated discussions, there were many rumors flying about concern-ing this and that program being cut or dismantled. However, the question about the Diversity positions being cut was re-occurring time and again. On June 16, 2010, 23 positions at Naropa were dis-solved, and on the 18th I partnered with a fellow student Joni Mitchell to organize a gathering called “23.” The event was orga-nized to allow the community to come to-gether and voice concerns, as well as send good wishes to the people laid off. After the gathering President Lord invited us to have a discussion around the concerns and questions brought up at the gathering.

When finally confronted with the ques-tion “how are the needs of the people that use the services going to be dealt with?” President Lord had multiple re-

sponses. Some response had encourag-ing outcomes, others were left lacking, and some felt a little unaccountable.His first response was, “we are put-ting together a Task Force for Diver-sity that comes with a real model, that again attacks and goes after this (di-versity) in a different way than we have done.” In another meeting he said that all upper faculty and staff would un-dergo mandatory diversity training. I agree that these are great ideas and I

sincerely hope that there is follow through and for this training to bring us closer to real progress around Naropa’s Diversity issues. My dilemma is that until this plan of ac-tion is actually implemented what do these students do for support? In addition, even if this Task Force is created and people are trained, it does not necessarily mean that a safe space is created or that there are resources for marginal-ized students. Why weren’t these well-resourced people used to aid this transforma-tion in our diversity mission? I asked this question at the meeting in the student lounge on July 8, 2010. This time I was told to ask the Dean of Students why these positions were eliminated, and that this Dean was now the respon-sible party for a decision that has great impact on the mar-ginalized students of Naropa.

I spoke with multiple re-cent alumni; one was Dan-

iel Pinedo about the changes at Naropa regarding diversity.

We discussed the 2001 demand from students to have these positions imple-mented and how we no longer felt our voices were being heard. This is what Daniel a, student of color, said, “Some-one says, ‘but we are all one, why do we need to focus on our differences’ which is the majority position, but those who have actively faced oppression, i.e., minority’s, voices are eventually drowned out or sup-pressed because those representing the

majority eliminate their programs. That is the problem at Naropa, the majority clobbers the minority position, especial-ly because it is seen as “good” and un-intrusive. So they shut down El Centro, fire the two positions that were started because of student demands, and put up a webpage with links dedicated to veter-ans, ok problem solved discussion over.”

It is no secret that I disagree with what is happening at Naropa regarding diversity needs and because of that many people in the community have approached me with questions and concerns. I have had dialogue after dialogue with new, current, and alumni students regarding the re-structuring of Naropa. I have encouraged many of them to write our President and ask the same questions and concerns they posed to me. Out of the three I know who have done so, none of them have received responses. This is where I see an area of unaccountability. I feel pushed aside and sent into a circle of pointing fingers, each pointing at the other for answers.

The Naropa mission statements states that, “It embraces the richness of human diversity with the aim of fostering a more just and equitable society and an expand-ed awareness of our common human-ity.” As a queer identified student I have repeatedly needed the support and re-sources the Diversity coordinator and El Centro had to offer. With those positions gone and therefore no one left except the students interested in running El Centro, I feel yet again not apart of the com-mon humanity. Marginalized students need clearly defined allies and resources.

Expand Your Chai PalateMary MouserStaff Writer

Mary Mouser of The Sycamore

Diversity and Accountability: What are our Resources?Tisha WilderContributing Writer

Courtesy of Amy CarlsonTisha Wilder speaking at “23” event.

Page 8: The Sycamore Issue 3

Page 8 September 1, 2010The Sycamore

Conversations with the Board

Naropa University’s most distinctive fea-ture alongside the array of over 4000 public and private colleges and universi-ties throughout the nation is its empha-sis on contemplative education. This is what attracted me to Naropa, the notion that an institution could courageously deliver a holistic education that blends inner and outer knowing and designs a dynamic learning experience that al-lows students to experience heightened awareness, insight and compassion for oneself and others. The world needs an institution like Naropa; the world needs students who will lead with knowledge, compassion, social consciousness and

wisdom. It is a privilege and an hon-or to serve as a trustee in an institu-tion with such noble, remarkable goals.

Currently, I am in transition from serv-ing as Chair of the Department of Edu-cational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University to becoming a professor of higher education at the University of Texas-San Antonio. My research includes studying how colleges and universities can foster access, re-tention and graduation for underrepre-sented students such as those who come from low-income backgrounds and are among the first in their families to at-tend college. I have also written a book, Sentipensante (Sensing/Thinking) Peda-gogy: Educating for Wholeness, Social Justice and Liberation, which connects the sentir of intuition and inner life and the pensar of intellectualism and the pursuit of scholarship. I have also been a Fellow of the Fetzer Institute.

My dream for Naropa is that the insti-tution can serve as a leader in develop-ing a clear vision of contemplative edu-cation backed by solid research which documents its impact on student learn-ing and development. Higher education needs more contemplative educators, more of us who are willing to take risks in the quest to transform teaching and learning, more of us who speak the lan-guage of heart and mind and the truth

of wholeness, harmony, social justice and liberation. Along these lines, my vision of a contemplative education in-cludes attention to diversity and social justice. For me, social justice involves:

• Having what Paulo Freire termed, a “critical consciousness,” where individu-als are able to recognize social and eco-nomic inequities and take action to eradi-cate such inequities.• Taking action to ensure that all people have equal access to resources and op-portunities.• Acting with love and compassion to work with people who have less privilege and resources.

I advocate a socially engaged spirituality where individual seek to improve both themselves and the larger collective. I would hope that a contemplative educa-tion results not only in gaining individ-ual self awareness, but also in using that heightened awareness to provide hope and healing for all people, especially those who are victims of social and economic inequities. I am very pleased that Naro-pa’s new President, Dr. Stuart Lord, has reinforced the concept of service learn-ing, a powerful experiential community service education, which, combined with a reflection component, can heighten stu-dent awareness, promote deep learning and address real-life community needs.

As Naropa plans for the next 10 years, I hope that students, as well as trust-ees, faculty and staff, become deeply engaged in addressing critical ques-tions that frame the future of Naropa. I offer the following five questions as a means to start the conversation:

1. What is the skill set (very broadly de-fined) that students should have when they graduate from Naropa?2. What does it mean to have experienced a contemplative education?3. What is the theoretical/spiritual frame-work for contemplative education?4. What is the impact of contemplative education on student learning and per-sonal development?5. What is the relationship between con-templative education and social justice?

Naropa is blessed to be a truly unique in-stitution that in my view holds the key to releasing the full power of a contempla-tive education for individuals who seek to transform themselves and the world around them. At a time that the world seeks new leaders, new visionaries and innovative ideas, Naropa’s distinctive em-phasis on contemplative education awak-ens and tips our collective consciousness toward a dream of education that em-braces multiple intelligences and ways of knowing. For a contemplative scholar like me, I am delighted and humbled to have participated in Naropa’s evolution.

Reflections of a Naropa University TrusteeDr. Laura RendónContributing Writer

Courtesy of Dr. Rendon

Upcoming Events JOIN THE SYCAMOREThis Newspaper Need You!

• Student Journalists• Op-Ed Columists• Artists• Cartoonist

• Print Layout Designers• Web Designers• Creative Writers• Guest Contributors

We’re looking for:

Interested?

E-mail us: [email protected] Or

Visit us on the web at: www.thesycamore.org

• CASINO NIGHT on Friday, September 10th from 6-11PM in PAC.Casino games, prizes, mocktails bar, and a free buffet. Also, moving showing of “The Hang-over.”

• FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT on Monday, Sep-tember 20th from 6-10 PM on the Naropa Green.This outdoor movie night is a kid-friendly dou-ble feature for students as well as local families. We will be having fresh grilled foods, drinks and snacks.

• BEGINNING OF FALL FESTIVAL/FAMILY CARNIVAL on Monday, September 20th - all day- on the Naropa Green.Kick-off event for the Fall Festival. Features: prizes, snacks, carnival games, and family-orient-ed events.

• TEAM GAMES & SPORTS DAY on Tues-day, September 21st – all day – on Arapahoe Campus.There will be sports and team games such as football, capture the flag, a scavenger hunt, play-ground games and more.

• NAROPA PET WALK on Wednesday, Sep-

tember 22nd from 5-7PM on the Naropa Green.Beginning on the Naropa Green, all Naropans with dogs are invited to come out for a walk around our city’s pet-friendly parks! The first 25 attendees get a free ‘doggy bag’ with pet items and other fun prizes.

• FREE DRIVE THROUGH FAST FOOD, KIND-OF, on Thursday, September 24th from 6-11PM in the Student Lounge/Parking Lot (Arapahoe Campus).‘Naropa Style’ sit-down/drive-thru fast food res-taurant – meaning healthy versions of fast food favorites like burgers, shakes, salads and more. And it’s all free!

• SCARY MOVIE NIGHT on Friday, October 8th from 6-10PM in the Student Center.A fright-filled double feature with snacks and drinks. Movies TBA.

• MURDER MYSTERY DINNER on Sat-urday, October 30th from 7-Midnight in PAC. Watch a mystery unfold over dinner and try to collect clues with your tablemates in order to solve the case! As always this event is free and dancing/music will follow the conclusion of the mystery.

Editor’s Note: The Sycamore is a bi-weekly publication released on the 1st and 15th of each month. Beginning this semester, issues released on the 1st will be available in print and online at www.thesycamore.org. Issues released on the 15th will only be available online.

Check out our table at the Naropa Resource Festival on September 8th from 11:30am to 1pm on the Naropa Green.

Laura Rendon