Green Corner: Rosario Dawson to rave about sustainability at Rider

The colors of the leaves are changing and they are beginning to crunch beneath our feet as we walk to class — autumn has arrived. It was around the same time last year that the wind picked up and guided students to National Campus Sustainability Day, where Eco-Reps were joined by all of their closest friends to enjoy a day of apple cider, pumpkin painting and getting tons of information on how to be more sustainable. This year, National Campus Sustainability Day will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 24 on Bart Luedeke Center (BLC) patio, but something makes this year different from all the others. Not only will the day be followed by the 2012 Presidential election, the day will also include a guest speaker: actress and environmental advocate, Rosario Dawson.
You may have seen Dawson in Seven Pounds, Men in Black II, Rent or Josie and the Pussycats. What you may not know about her is that she is a co-founder of the non-partisan organization Voto Latino. With elections approaching before our eyes, Dawson and Voto Latino are working hard to register as many voters as they can.
“Voting is a collective and historic action that often compels people to really look at and take a stand on the issues that they and their families, friends and communities face every day,” Dawson said in an interview with MTV.
As a student here at Rider, you become one of the 17 million people that receives drinking water from the Delaware River, which may become subject to a process called hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Fracking is a method used to retrieve natural gas from deep within the earth. When it’s used in areas such as the Delaware River, it has the potential to contaminate the watershed. According to dangersoffracking.com, more than 600 different chemicals are used in the fracking process — even chemicals that are known to cause cancer.
Dawson, being a native New Yorker, has become all too familiar with the issue of fracking, and it will be an important topic that she touches upon when speaking to students here at Rider. She is extremely passionate about the issue of fracking, all with good reason.
“Water is life,” Dawson said in an interview with MTV. “Clean water shouldn’t be an option and also shouldn’t be taken from communities so carelessly.”
This is just one topic that shows how important it is to vote this November. When President Obama entered office, he promoted cleaner energy growth as well as less dependence on oil and gas. He intended to do this by increasing the amount of renewable energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, according to cfr.org. His opponent, Gov. Mitt Romney, has different plans. According to the same website, Romney supports shale gas, along with nuclear energy and coal. Instead of gearing toward a future in greener jobs like Obama, Romney believes that there are bigger and better opportunities within the oil and gas industry.
It is up to us to protect our future by choosing the candidate who would best suit our needs as a nation and help sustain a greener future. If this has not inspired you to get ready to vote, join the Rider community and Dawson for National Campus Sustainability Day on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. on the BLC patio to learn more about pressing environmental issues and the importance of your role in this year’s election.
-Danielle Campanella
Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

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