Tufts Gets Green

Office of Sustainability's Blog

Date: June 26, 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Tufts Dining responds to online petition for cage-free eggs

On June 26, an online petition on Change.org was started by Tufts student Jeremy Goldman asking Tufts Dining to switch to cage-free eggs.

The petition inaccurately suggests that Tufts Dining does not offer cage-free eggs nor did they respond to previous requests to do so, stating that “Hundreds of students have signed a petition calling for the switch, and we have passed a nearly unanimous Student Government Senate resolution in support of the switch as well. Our concerns have fallen on deaf ears, and we Tufts students are devastated to see our school lagging so far behind in standard sustainability and public health efforts.”

Tufts Dining does in fact offer offer cage-free shell eggs and egg whites. For over 10 years, they had also purchased cage-free liquid eggs at an annual premium of $30,000 but switched back to regular eggs about three years ago due to mounting pressure to reduce costs. The cage-free shell eggs and egg whites are available to those who want a cage-free option.

On the resolution passed last April by the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate calling for a switch to cage-free eggs, Tufts’ Director of  Dining and Business Services, Patti Klos, told us via email that while  the TCU Senators informed her of their awareness of the issue, they did not indicate that they were going to bring it to a resolution, nor share the outcome of the resolution with her.

Below is  Tufts Dining’s response to the petition, which unfortunately is not posted online:

Tufts Dining Service efforts are aligned with healthy eating, extensive variety, sustainability and ethical animal practices and we champion sustainability wherever we can. We are sympathetic to this particular issue and in fact, we used cage- free liquid eggs – which account for the majority of our eggs — for about 10 years. Unfortunately, the cost-differential between conventional and cage-free eggs grew to the point that it was costing over $30,000 a year– the equivalent of a student scholarship covering one-half of a student’s tuition, fees, and room and board.

Currently, we do use cage free whole eggs and cage free egg whites, so students have an option. We are always looking for ways to increase cage-free egg use and to find suppliers who can meet both our quality and budget needs, recognizing that cost is a growing concern for many students and their families.

While the economic climate does not yet enable us to use only cage free eggs, we continue to implement many other sustainable dining initiatives. We source locally and increase our sustainable food procurement every year. We have also made great strides in recycling, composting and waste reduction. We do our best to thoughtfully balance costs with the need for an extensive variety of fresh, nutritious food choices produced with as little impact on the earth as possible. Our practices will continue to evolve and we are always open to thoughtful suggestions and discussion.

- Patti Klos, Director of Dining and Business Services

For the record, Dining has responded positively to student petitions in the past – Trayless Dining and banning the sale of single-use plastic water bottles from Hodgdon Good-to-Go were student-led initiatives that got the green light. Both were started by students from the Ex-College class on Environmental Action, going through a long process that involved careful research, meetings with administrators, and campaigns to raise awareness as well as support implementation.

Dining is one of our office’s strongest partners for sustainability initiatives at Tufts, and while we applaud the students’ passion and initiative to make change, using an online petition in this manner casts a distinctly one-sided and unfair light on Dining – not to mention Tufts as a whole.

My biggest concern is this type of tactic is how it may affect other student initiatives that are in the process of being responsibly vetted, planned and executed. The petition cc’s 21 people, including all Dining managers, the President’s Office and Public Relations. Every time someone signs the petition, an email falls into several inboxes. Needless to say, the petitioners have gained attention – but what did this exercise cost them in terms of respect and credibility?

Green Classroom Coordinator – AmeriCorps (Bellingham, WA)

The AmeriCorps member will have the opportunity to create the framework for and implement a Green Classroom Certification program for Whatcom Country. The classroom certification process will have the goal of engaging teachers and students in energy, waste and water conservation measures in their classrooms and beyond. The program will be piloted with elementary schools in Bellingham School District, with the exception that the framework will be designed to be replicable for other school districts after the pilot year. Depending on the success, it may be adapted for middle and high schools as well.

Member Duties:

  • Develop the specific requirements for a Green Classroom Certification process that includes 4-5 required tasks
  • Work with Bellingham School District personnel to recruit at least 100 teacher and/or staff volunteers
  • Design a teacher workshop to be held in January 2014 – The workshop will train 1-2 Lead teachers and/or staff members from each participating school on the details of the program, avaliable support materials and other information to bring back to their schools for other teachers and/or staff
  • Prepare and provide classroom presentations on energy efficiency and climate change for grades K-6 in each participating classroom
  • Design and distribute chosen forms of acknowledgement for program participants, based on Community-based Social Marking techniques
  • Create an eNewsletter to send to Green Classroom participants

To find other more about this position, click here.

CDBG Project Manager – Brockton Redevelopment Authority (Brockton, MA)

The successful candidate will possess some community development and program management experience and graduation from an accredited college or university. An advanced degree in Planning or Community Development is preferred, or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the essential knowledge, skills and abilities.   Experience with state and/or federal grant programs, grant writing, public procurement laws, and contracts are desirable. Starting salary is $40,000 – $45,000 depending on qualifications and experience. In addition to competitive compensation, the BRA offers a great work environment in an exciting community.

Please submit your cover letter and resume on or before 4:00 p.m. July 15, 2013 to: Marc Resnick, Director of Community Development, Brockton Redevelopment Authority, 50 School Street, Brockton, MA 02301, Or Via e-mail: mresnick@brocktonredevelopmentauthority.com

Energy Intern – Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Boston, MA)

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) seeks an Energy Intern to work in its Boston office starting in August or September 2013. MAPC is a regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in Metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional cooperation, which includes protecting the environment, supporting economic development, encouraging sustainable land use, improving transportation, bolstering affordable housing, ensuring public safety, advancing equity and opportunity among people of all backgrounds, and fostering collaboration among municipalities.

Examples of Duties:

The energy intern will have significant research responsibilities and will work directly with the Energy Division team to develop and implement MAPC’s energy projects throughout the MAPC region. Projects that the energy intern may work on include researching best practices in municipal-level energy efficiency and renewable energy development and assisting in the development and implementation of energy programs for municipalities in the Boston region.

Qualifications:

The energy intern must be personable, have strong writing skills, and excellent research capabilities. Experience with data analysis and visualization, graphic design and/or building energy audits is a plus. The ideal candidate will be a graduate student studying urban planning, engineering, public policy, architecture, or another related field.  The intern should be willing to commit 20 hours per week and must be enrolled in school during the internship.  This is a paid position.

To apply:

Please attach a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and two references.  Position open until filled.  Review of applications begins immediately.  Candidates must have legal authorization to work in the USA and a valid driver’s license and/or the ability to arrange transportation to meetings in different parts of the region.  MAPC is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer.  Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Research Assistant – Tufts Feinstein Center (Medford, MA)

The Feinstein International Center is looking to hire a research assistant during the months of July -September of 2013 in order to create a program that automatically downloads and processes rainfall, NDVI, and other climate variables for the Dar Sila region of Chad as part of a research project on early warning. The climate data represents a first step of analyzing potential drought and flooding in the area. The program has to be completely automated and incredibly simple to use. The program has to produce two outputs (at least initially): 1) a map showing the research area and how rainfall deviates from a twelve year average for that location and time of year and 2) a table that provides the amount of rainfall for that month (for the location as a whole and for specific villages in the region) and how it deviates from a twelve year average for that location and time of year.

Required Skills: ArcGIS, python scripting, strong cartography skills. Preferred Skills: Statistical analysis, proficiency in STATA.

Please contact Anastasia Marshak directly with your CV at anastasial.marshak@tufts.edu

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