18 September 2012 • Student Council • Jesse Brandow
The 2012-2013 academic year has ushered in an increase in participation in the student-led interest groups at St. Vladimir's Seminary. Created two years ago, the interest groups provide an opportunity for students to pursue common interests and contribute to seminary life in unique ways. One of the groups, the Orthodox Ecology Group, kicked off the academic year on September 18, 2012 with their first meeting, in which they discussed ideas and laid out plans for the coming year.
The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, chancellor/CEO, serves as the group's faculty representative. He opened the meeting by recalling the commitment of St. Vladimir's Seminary to green initiatives such as the installation of solar panels on campus, and the Seminary's recycling program. He also reflected on the deep connection between Orthodox theology and the inherent value of the created world, a connection that makes ecological awareness a necessity for Orthodox Christians. The Ecology Group is excited to continue the Seminary's commitment to green initiatives, practicing stewardship of the world created by God.
The first project of the Ecology Group will be a clean-up of the lakeside area of the seminary campus, which will be planned for the fall semester. In addition, members of the Ecology Group will investigate ways to reduce waste on campus. Looking ahead to the coming semesters, the Ecology Group would like to sponsor a lecture or symposium on Orthodox Ecology, providing an opportunity for reflection on the role of Christians in caring for the created world. In the recent meeting, the Ecology Group also elected officers for the coming year: Seminarian Jesse Brandow (President), M.A. Student Gabrielle Kushlan (Treasurer), and Seminarian Nicholas Roth (Liaison to Student Council).
In addition to planning the year's activities, members of the Ecology Group have also begun collaborating with the Orthodox Fellowship of the Transfiguration . St. Vladimir's Seminary is a member of the Fellowship, one of the leading Orthodox groups focusing on ecological awareness and stewardship. On September 20, four members from the St. Vladimir's Ecology Student Group met with Professor Alfred Siewers, a member of the Steering Committee for the Fellowship of the Transfiguration, and associate professor of English at Bucknell University. Prof. Siewers discussed ways that the members of the Ecology Group could work together with the Fellowship of the Transfiguration in the coming months.