The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Student government sparks sustainability on campus

Summer Chen (’20)
Sustainability cups make an appearance at Theme Nights and Caitlin Pender (’20) takes a sip.

As you throw away your trash and put away your plates, you notice something shocking in the compost bin: a whole uneaten sandwich. You are shocked and sad. Why would someone throw away a perfect sandwich? Why would someone waste food when we, as a school, are trying to be more sustainable? 

Some Webbies might have related with the post that Thomas Jurczak, Science Department faculty, sent to Student News in which he stated that he “was aghast at the state of the food waste bin.” When he was putting his plates away, there was a whole, uneaten sandwich in the compost bin.

Mr. Jurczak said, “We’re coming up on the centennial. We want there to be a Webb for a bicentennial. There will be days that I know that I am really excited about a meal and by the time I get there, one of the things is gone. And then if I see people throwing significant portions of food away, then I’m thinking, well that could have been the food that I would have eaten.” 

Student government aims to reduce Webb’s environmental impact and find ways to give back to the community. At convocation, executives Akira Hori (‘20) and Sydney Wuu (‘20) announced that this year’s theme would be Sustainability and introduced “sustainability cups.” The cups are plastic containers that turn green when they are filled with cold liquids. Students are asked to bring the cups to events like open dorms to earn perks like extra helpings of Sunday Snack and raffle tickets at Theme Nights. 

VWS Dean Sarah Lantz said, “One of the things I’ve wanted to do for a while is bringing a focus to the work the [student government] does on campus, and we thought the sustainability theme for the year would be a great way to involve the student body and make a difference. We want to find a way for student fundraising to give back to the community in a useful way. For example, a chunk of the proceeds from homecoming tickets might go towards something like compost and recycling bins around campus.” 

Armando Amezcua, Food Service Director, is optimistic about the sustainability actions in the Price Dining Hall. He believes that eliminating the use of paper and plastic products and continuing to use the compost bin are two good ways to begin protecting the environment.

Mr. Amezcua, “all dining hall staff have been trying to encourage everybody in the community to be more cautious… We are trying to teach everybody to be more helpful in protecting the environment.”

Señor Javier Valera, Head of WSC Dorms and Language department faculty, has been working to make Webb a more sustainable place for years now. In the dorms, his system includes rewards for recycling through rewards like competitions and extra snacks. 

He said, “It’s not a big effort to recycle and the benefit is all yours because you’re doing a big favor to the Earth.” 

However, he also described how Webb’s attempts at recycling throughout the entire campus has left him quite disappointed. He said, “We recycle cans, plastic bottles, and glass. But we don’t recycle plastic bags or paper. I think we can do a lot better as a school.” 

Ken Rosenfeld, Dean of Campus Life and Jameson dorm head, is pleased with the recent progress being made on campus. From his past 15 years at Webb, he has experienced conversations about “big ticket” items, such as the potential utilization of solar technology and wind technology to generate electricity at Webb, but he is glad that sustainability has become such a strong focus this year. He describes a friendly rivalry among different WSC dorms about their recycling figures and hopes this will continue under this year’s sustainability theme. 

Mr. Rosenfeld said, “It’s these little steps that we’re taking in the dorms and in the dining hall and in the student activities that are really starting to make a big difference.” 

While the dining hall has stopped providing paper plates and cups, there is a plausible solution for those who take food outside the dining hall.

Mr. Amezcua said “They can either bring their own container or we can provide them with containers and rewash those containers.” 

In addition, Mr. Rosenfeld believes that the newly implemented rule restricting food ordering will not only minimize food waste in the dining hall but also reduce the amount of plastic and cardboard food containers being thrown away. 

While Webb has created many sustainable solutions, we still have lots of room for improvement. Even small things like paper waste and shower times can make a difference. Hopefully, the sustainability campaign will create more opportunities for us to make a positive impact on our environment this year. 

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About the Contributors
Summer Chen, Editor-in-Chief
A bonafide Libra, Summer Chen (‘20), the Editor-in-Chief of Webb Canyon Chronicle, believes herself to be emotional, caring, and guided by her intuitions. Her passions include playing varsity basketball, eating chocolate, and watching movies and TV shows, and she finds the shows to be life changing. Like most Libras, Summer is curious and well-rounded, enjoying all subjects, especially psychology and philosophy. Summer aims to leave a legacy by informing and uniting the Webb community through journalism and yearbook. Summer enjoys being a leader in both of those activities as well as in the French Club, and she thinks these are experiences that she will look back at in the future. This year, Summer will be working on publishing her work in an online journal; as a personal goal, she hopes to be more organized.
Patrick Dóñez, Editor-in-Chief
Patrick Dóñez (’21), a day student from Upland, California, is one of this year's editors in chief. Last year, Patrick was the Editor of Opinion, which helped the transition into his leadership role for the 2020 – 2021 school year.  This year, he wants the WCC to lead conversations about different political and social topics in the Webb community. He enjoys listening to hip hop and RnB, and some of his favorite artists are Pusha T, Erykah Badu, and Modest Mouse. Patrick enjoys writing about his opinions and music, which is why joining journalism in sophomore year was perfect for him. During quarantine, he spent most of his time reading, skateboarding, and working on his magazine project Rx. After COVID-19, he is excited to finally get out of the house and nervous for the future of college and higher education.  
Matthew Gaw, Chief Editor of Sports
Matthew Gaw (‘21), hailing from Hong Kong, is currently the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s Chief Sports Editor. With his growing passion for sports, Matthew enjoys watching the NBA, NFL, and the English Premier League. During his free time, he is also an avid lover for hiking, road-biking, and wakeboarding. With the California Wildfires going on nearby, Matthew wants to be an advocate to spread awareness about climate change. In addition to Matthew’s love for the outdoors, Matthew looks forward to being the alamo dorm prefect, along with being aadmissions ambassador. Matthew plans to use these positions to be a role model to his peers, along with helping others feel comfortable at Webb. Before he completes his senior year, he plans on putting up a memorable show in the Spring Musical, which he has been heavily involved in in the last few years. He also hopes to explore a wider variety of topics and venture outside of his comfort zone of writing sports for the Webb Canyon Chronicle.
Laura Haushalter, Public Editor
Enthusiastic, positive, determined, and athletic, Laura Haushalter (‘21) uses her passionate attitude to take on many leadership roles: captain of the VWS cross-country and swimming teams; Student Government spirit commissioner; and the Public Editor for the WCC. As the Public Editor, Laura oversees all the social media accounts for the WCC. In addition to normal Editor-in-Chief  responsibilities, she helps the WCC gain more publicity, making sure Webbies stay informed and updated about the latest articles. Laura is extremely passionate about environmental justice and climate change, which is why her favorite class she has taken at Webb is Honors Global Society and Sustainability. In her free time, you can catch Laura watching Friends or Veep, listening to AJR, Beach House, and Cardi B, or running on Thompson Creek Trail. Her goals this year are to make the WCC’s social media accounts more active, and make the most of her last year at Webb.
Emma Lin, Editor of Culture & Lifestyle
Emma Lin (‘20) will be entering her senior year at Webb. Embracing her new role as the Editor of Culture & Lifestyle for the Webb Canyon Chronicle, Emma hopes to approach more articles with an angle and drive her topics towards a compelling focus. Having lived in both California and Hong Kong growing up, Emma’s experience of contrasting cultures and lifestyles prove that she is indeed the right person for the job. Outside of the classroom, Emma is a devoted environmentalist and founder of the Environmental Club, which makes it no surprise that her favorite class is AP Environmental Science. In her free time, Emma enjoys dancing, watching movies and spending time with friends around Southern California. Apart from her leadership role at the Webb Canyon Chronicle, Emma is also the Vice President of her class and hopes to bring her class together and make the best out of their final year at Webb.
Sunny Yu, Editor-in-Chief
Sunny Yu (‘22) is a prime example of the protagonist personality. As a natural leader, she is active, thoughtful, caring, and serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the WCC, a member of the Chapel Council, the captain of the varsity cross-country team, and a founding member of Webb’s Breakfast literary magazine. Sunny is also vocal and passionate about the enforcement of social justice and representation of marginalized groups: at the WCC, she utilizes journalism as a tool to shed light on many controversial issues, never shying away from the ability to make a lasting impact. During the weekends, you can often find her on a run to “The Spot,” a smoothie shop, playing soccer on Chandler, and occasionally annoying the library staff for borrowing too many books, such as her favorite, Waiting for the Barbarians, a wonderful allegory on human relationships. As a protagonist, she finds joy in guiding young journalists to grow into their best selves. This year, Sunny hopes that the WCC can continue covering important topics and spark conversations while bringing people laughter and keeping them informed. Favorite song: "Sunflower Feelings" by Kuzu Mellow

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