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Move Out Day 2009, May 11-15

May 8, 2009

On Sept. 15, 2008, DePauw President Brian W. Casey signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. He pledged that DePauw will help neutralize greenhouse gas emissions on campus and make environmental awareness a key component of campus life.

Melissa “Missy!” D. Orr ’09 stood beside President Casey on that day. She had been working diligently to uphold DePauw’s commitment to protect our planet long before President Casey’s pen reached the paper.

Orr is a French major and an environmental geoscience minor. She is a Sustainability Intern, and her most recent title is Move Out Day campus coordinator.

Move-out-banner1.jpgMove Out Day is a new initiative at DePauw. It will take place May 11-15 from 4-8:00 p.m. each day at four locations: South Quad at Longden Hall, North Quad at Reese Hall, 109 W. Hanna next to the cemetery, and the alley off Hanna Street across from Peeler Art Center between Jackson and Indiana Streets.

It is a joint initiative between DePauw and various Greencastle community organizations. Orr says, “The idea is to salvage some of the ‘good stuff’ that would normally get tossed in the dumpsters in the rush of moving out and also make sure that we recycle as much as we can.”

The DePauw and Greencastle community volunteers are collecting items that are clean and functional, including coats and jackets, furniture, appliances, canned and dry food items, and electronic waste to be recycled. Greencastle community and student volunteers will be at each of the four locations to assist students.

“Move Out Day is a huge experiment, so we want to keep it as simple as possible for the first year. We have no idea what’s going to happen. We could receive two or 40 couches,” Orr says. “We’re really excited. Our hope is to make Move Out Day a campus tradition.

“Sustainability is a powerful connecting factor between campus and community,” Orr says. “We wouldn’t have been able to start this without the community’s involvement and passion.”

Joanne L. Haymaker, associate director of financial aid, is in charge of the community side of the project. Haymaker, who has been a Greencastle resident for more than 20 years, says, “The idea just came together. No one I asked said ‘no’ to being involved in this project.”

Haymaker says, “We have received funding from the Greencastle Civic League, Kiwanis, Rotary, Elks Club and Moose Lodge to help rent U-Haul trucks to transport the donations to those in need. Everyone wants to see this project succeed.”

Haymaker and Orr have brought together a larger group to coordinate the campus and Greencastle community-wide effort and met with the involved parties several times during the spring. The group includes Richard A. Shuck, director of business services at DePauw, who is overseeing E-cycling: Matthew L. Demmings, DePauw public safety officer, who is collecting coats and jackets for Family Support Services: John Garner, Greencastle High School science teacher and Environmental Club adviser, who is helping coordinate volunteers: and a representative from the Senior Center is facilitating donations of furniture, appliances and food for families in need.Environmental Club 2.JPG

Orr is involved in Move Out Day, she says, because “I love DePauw. I passionately want to pursue sustainability initiatives on campus because I believe in them. We can be competitive, too, and attract other environmentally minded students. I am very invested.”

Although she graduates from DePauw this spring, Orr will return in the fall to be a Fifth-Year Sustainability Intern working with Carol S. Steele, associate dean of academic affairs and sustainability coordinator.

“In working with representatives of DePauw and the Greencastle community to develop Move Out Day, Missy! has shown qualities often seen in DePauw students involved in sustainability - a high level of enthusiasm, creativity, knowledge about the subject and leadership in bringing people together to do important things,” Steele says. “She truly understands and models the importance of doing as much as we can - individually and collectively - to reduce our carbon footprint and ensure economic well-being and social justice for others. And she does it all with such panache!”

Orr (see photo below) is thankful to DePauw and for the education she has received. Orr recalls one of her most memorable classes was Environmental Ethics taught by Jennifer ”Jen” J. Everett, assistant professor of ORR,-Missy-6.jpgphilosophy. “Jen has been instrumental in developing strength and passion about environmental issues in students and on campus,” Orr says. Orr has great respect for Everett and for her commitment to DePauw’s sustainability initiatives.

“Before working as a Sustainability Intern with Carol Steele and myself," Everett says, “Missy! was one of the students in my first Environmental Ethics class at DePauw, and absolutely a standout. Everyone who knows her would put enthusiasm, heart and determination at the top of the list of her qualities, and that's certainly true. Her class project was a proposal to incorporate sustainability programming into new student orientation, and after the class ended, she worked relentlessly to get it implemented. This program, I’m sure, is one of the most effective components of our sustainability efforts at DePauw, because it ensures that each incoming class recognizes that social and environmental values are part of our institutional ethics and campus culture.

“So I would say that communication skills, strategic clarity and comprehensiveness of vision are what really make Missy! such a powerful change agent, because she has always understood the University as a complex system and has been able to bring the right mix of evidence, argument and inspiration to build support for her initiatives.”

Everett says, “As Sustainability Intern, Missy! has spearheaded more projects than I can keep track of. Move Out Day is just one of them. I’m excited that, thanks to Missy!'s leadership, DePauw is going to take such a big step to reduce waste, cut consumption and exercise positive institutional citizenship in the wider Greencastle community.”

To learn more about sustainability at DePauw, click here.

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