Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink...is this the fate humans face in the future as oil leaks, pollution and other environmental changes impact clean drinking water?
From Fall Convocation on Aug. 25 with the free, public talk by Elizabeth Royte, the author of Bottlemania: How Water Went on Sale and Why We Bought It, to events on and off campus, the university will celebrate the Year of Water.
Sponsoring Year of Water, the exploration of one of earth’s most important resources, are the Division of Student Affairs, CWRU Climate Action Plan, CWRU Plant and Facilities Services, Engineers Without Borders, Squire Valleevue Farm, Student Sustainability Council and the Sustainability Alliance.
The focus on water is patterned after the Year of Darwin celebration two years ago that coincided with the Common Reading selection, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin by David Quammen where monthly events celebrated the life of Charles Darwin, whose travels and private scientific experiments inspired evolutionary science.
Events can range from talks, like the one Katie Spotz, the Mentor native who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by rowing from Africa to South American, will give on Oct. 22 at 12:30 p.m. in Ford Auditorium, to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s boat race. Year of Water welcomes events of all kinds.
The celebration will be introduced to the first-year students through Royte’s investigative report on the bottled-water industry and its impact on the environment. She will deliver the keynote address at Fall Convocation during the university’s first major event to open the new academic year. Convocation begins at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 25, in Severance Hall.
During orientation, students will have an introduction to Year of Water by participating in special community service projects, organized by the Center for Community Engagement and Learning and focused on the environment.
According to Mayo Bulloch, who directs Orientation, each student will also receive a metal reusable water bottle to support the campus’ sustainable efforts to reduce campus waste that goes to landfills or is recycled. During the first days on campus, new students will also receive water bottles that change colors depending on the temperature of the liquid.
After the success of the “Pennies for Peace” project that raised funds for the philanthropic work of Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea (last year’s Common Reading book), the incoming students will kick off this year’s philanthropic drive to benefit Charity: Water Students and their families will be encouraged to support the efforts of the nonprofit organization, which works to bring water to developing countries where there is a shortage.
The wider campus community will have an opportunity to participate as Charity: Water jugs will be stationed in places like the library, bookstore and other general public collection sites.
The Year of Water committee seeks input from the campus to let them know what events are planned that this initiative can promote online or by becoming a friend on the Year of Water Facebook site. Submit a program or event to the Year of Water calendar by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.