During his two years at Ohio Wesleyan, Sean Kinghorn accomplished a number of successful green projects, according to many of the protesters.
Erika Kazi worked as a StAP (Student Assistantship Program) intern with Kinghorn last year and worked with him on a number of projects, including starting the composting program, OWU free store, ‘Green Week’, recycling and lighting surveys and installation of more-energy efficient lights around campus.
In addition to having Kazi as a StAP intern, Kinghorn also worked with two recycling interns, Sarah Alexander and Reed Callahan, both graduates.
The three intern positions also lost funding after the grant ran out and are no longer active, leaving only the two composting interns and the sustainability task force.
Amstadt also listed the hydration stations in Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, expanded recycling, installation of water-efficient toilets, and the controversial low-flow showerheads, which she said saved the university $75,000.
“You have to determine if it’s worth it, and I think the answer is yes.”
– Karli Amstadt
Hughes said that in addition to his work spearheading projects around campus, Kinghorn was also “a great mentor” who listened to student’s ideas and helped act on them, and its hard now without someone filling that role full-time.
She said she wasn’t involved in these efforts as much as she wishes she was last year as a freshman.
“He (Kinghorn) did some great stuff and he started some awesome programs,” she said.
Amstadt and Kazi both echoed Hughes, saying Kinghorn had helped in classes as well.
“(He) worked with a lot of students on projects related to their classwork,” Amstadt said.
“He was a mentor. In my environmental geography class, he came in and he helped every single student – there was a class of like ten students – he helped every single student on their project that was designated to help make this campus more sustainable.”
– Erika Kazi
She added that he also worked with all the Tree House projects and other SLU house projects focused on sustainable efforts and helped WCSA and the Service Learning Office in other efforts.
“He was a huge advocate of sustainability being more than just the techno-buzz of building, you know, a green building,” Kazi said. “…It’s more than just that, it’s about creating a community and educating people through conversation and through experience and through digging through compost together.”
Senior Ashley Taylor, a protester, E&W treasurer and Tree House resident, said that the coordinator position also “becomes the connection that students and faculty need to promote and actually make sustainable projects a reality.”
Kinghorn now works as a sustainability coordinator at Otterbein University. Despite this, the protesters still said that sustainability is an important thing to strive for, both in college and in the world.
“To me, and I feel like to a lot of other students and faculty, the position is the number one priority at this point.”
– Ellen Hughes
She said that in the absence of a full-time coordinator, many of the responsibilities were delegated to other personnel to balance with their official role.
Kazi said that not even 20 faculty, staff or students, handling sustainability efforts part-time in addition to full-time work, could fill Kinghorn’s role.
Amstadt said that the current group of students and staff are doing the best they can but are fighting an uphill battle.
“Does it make up for the loss of the position?” she asked. “Of course not and we never thought it would, but we’re just trying to basically put a bandage on the situation, (and) hope things will change for the future.”