This content was published: September 26, 2018. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.
PCC, Sustain Me! Episode #6 ~ Teri Fane and Joe Culhane getting ready to go to AASHE 2018
Teri Fane and Joe Culhane getting ready to go to AASHE 2018
Well now, this episode veers a wee bit away from the more formal format of the first handful of episodes. Teri Fane, the Student Body President of PCC Cascade Campus and I had ourselves a wonderfully candid, honest, and unabashed conversation about sustainability and social/environmental justice both at PCC and in general. We looked at how these seemingly different subjects are absolutely connected and that really the only thing separating them is the illusion that they are indeed separate. So we looked at bridging that gap in our minds between the two and looking at how we perceive them to be connected. This conversation was prompted by the upcoming AASHE 2018 Conference & Expo that is being held next week from October 2-5 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Teri and I will be co-presenting during the Student Summit and during the regular programming as well, our session is titled: Student Funded Initiatives & the Intersections of Social Justice & Sustainability and it looks at PCC’s student funded Eco Social Justice Grant (or ESJ Grant for short ) that was created a bit over ten years ago here and why the recent name change from The Green Initiative Fund to the Eco Social Justice Grant was such a good step in the right direction. We also briefly examined student active fees and the equity issues with students funding and leading sustainability and social justice initiatives for an entire institution and perhaps ways there can be more of an equitable exchange of money and resources between students the schools that they are paying to attend.
Full disclosure and delicate ear warning, a handful of curse words make their way into our talk and some subjects that may not be ideal for young listeners to hear are briefly explored as well. What I appreciate about this particular episode and this caution is that, this interview was the most genuine example of the wonderful and authentic person that Teri is, and because the two of us have been friends now for over a year, you get to experience a very vulnerable look (or in this case listen) at what two student leaders are experiencing without any filters or punches held back. By no means does the conversation ever get out of hand and we both remained respectful and kind to each other and in regards to all the subjects we covered, too. For me though, this vulnerable experience, and the sharing of it with you, is one I feel is very valuable in its honesty and transparency. You get to join Teri and I as we share our thoughts and experiences as if it were a private conversation and I know that is often not the case when you are listening to interviews or podcasts.
As a person who is just getting into this field and medium of expression, this was a hugely challenging and rewarding episode to go ahead and decide to publish. I’m writing and revealing this because, this is for me, personally, a practice in helping dismantling or de-colonizing my own mind. What I mean by this is that, I’m certain there will be some people who may find this episode to be unprofessional and maybe say things like “Our college and Student Body President’s shouldn’t publicly say these kinds of things or use that kind of language.” and I guess to that I say, but they do and we did. Not to be defiant. We simply spoke as we would and do speak to each other any other day of the week. We dropped the pretenses of hierarchy and professional taboo and just had a genuine conversation which was wonderfully refreshing. Not only was it refreshing, what it allowed us to do was be able to bring some humor into these often very uncomfortable, tragic, and troubling aspects of our human story.
Well, thanks for tuning in and having a listen. If nothing else you’ll likely have at least one good laugh with the two of us student leader/goofballs. Sincerely though, Teri does an excellent job of bringing up some very important aspects of sustainability and social/environmental justice and if you aren’t able to make it out to AASHE 2018 next week, this conversation will give you a good idea of the things we’ll be talking about there!