BY MICHAEL PEÑA
Commencement just got much greener. Traditionally, up to 10,000 color brochures and 13,000 of those cream-colored foldouts are printed for the big weekend. This year, just 2,500 pocket-size guides will be ordered in lieu of the brochures, while the foldout will be available only as a download from the event's redesigned website, http://commencement.stanford.edu. The site boasts specific sections for students, family and friends, as well as one for faculty that replaces the 2,000 packets traditionally printed for the professoriate. The site also lists the entire weekend's events and, of course, contains a section on Commencement going green. In addition to reducing the amount of printed materials, the effort entails encouraging individual departments to buy locally grown food and hire caterers that use compostable plates and utensils. ELAINE ENOS, executive director of Stanford Events, and her staff are coordinating the campus-wide campaign and may have more environmentally friendly moves to announce in the weeks ahead.
That said, paper is a fact of life around here. But at least we know what to do with it afterward. And for that, the American Forest and Paper Association has awarded Stanford with its top honor for recycling on college and university campuses. The win was announced on March 24, and a fact-loaded summary of Stanford's efforts and achievements is online at http://paperrecycles.org/recycling_awards/stanford.html.
No comic strips in this paper. But since our last issue, Sprocket Man—the masked crusader for bicycle safety and mascot for Parking & Transportation Services—paid a visit to the Children's Center of the Stanford Community on March 18. The caped hero (played by junior Jordan Knox) towered over the 4 and 5 year olds, and the bike bags and reflective pant-leg straps he handed out were more like Mommy and Daddy size. Nonetheless, the tykes all rode bikes. So he went on to list age-appropriate safety tips such as wearing shoes, making sure the laces are tied and always riding with a guardian. The highpoint, however, was when he asked how many of them wear bicycle helmets. This is, by far, the cause to which Sprocket Man devotes most of his strength—mostly because he need not fly nor fight hulk-like mutants at Stanford. So, when every hand went up, he beamed with pride and knew his job there was done … at least until they get to college.
Write to Michael Peña at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail code 2245.