By Luxi Sun ’25: Summer Fellow

Disclaimer: All views in this post are completely of my own, including and especially the controversial ones. In the belief to protect individual freedom of speech, my office allowed me to share these views, so please do not peg Wes into trouble.

Most importantly, my bold, underlined opener in the largest font, most persuasive of all—Wes called my Guide “hip”.

A guide named "Sustain the Herd: Amherst Living Guide" with a graphic of a mammoth next to a globe.
But also…

  1. It’s instilled with our sincere dedication to scientific accuracy. Our office had a one-week debate about whether pizza boxes are recyclable alone. **They are! As counterintuitive as it may sound, our local recycling facilities confirmed that you CAN recycle pizza boxes without food scraps.**
  2. It’s accustomed to Amherst life. We all know beer cans or alcohol bottles are recyclable, but wasted alcohol containers have been a very serious issue on campus that make many custodians sad (I’m looking at you, the Triangle party people!). To best help guide intoxicated individuals, I polled our office (with all class years, including graduates, represented) to see what beer is perhaps the most common here. **Check out the Guide for the eventual result. Hint: I’ve heard it tastes pretty bad and plain.**
  3. Originally in the Climate Action Plan section, I included the headshot of our new, beloved president, Mr. Michael Elliot, with a smidge of political satire cartoon style, only to add some comical effects to it. My direct supervisor, Wes, persuaded me out of this dangerous game, because it is the office’s firm belief that admin is on our side when it comes to sustainability. So, we all warmly welcome and actively count on you, Michael! Great to have you back here. **Still, I insisted on including some kind of personality image there. Did you find out “who” I used instead? Hint: it’s not Wes, though I did propose to him that I could substitute him there for Michael instead. Needless to say I don’t think he was married to this idea.**
  4. The “Advocacy” chapter is very informative. I included all photos for the MA-related politicians we hoped to introduce to you, whom you should hold accountable. So, if you see Paul Bockelman (Amherst’s current town manager) at Wholefoods, or wander into Elizabeth Warren in Antonio’s Pizza (if, big if), make sure to tell them to, like, make Amherst greener or stop exporting US LNG or something.
  5. There’s a chapter “You can't take it with ya!” with advice I personally find the most enlightening to my college career, especially after living through several poignantly brutal move-outs.
  6. I’m pretty proud of my “sexy” puns. Make sure to catch all of them. **I’m concerned you’re still not persuaded enough to read the guide at this point, so I’ll have to give you a little tease here that’s too good to be missed. Also in the “Advocacy” chapter, there’s a person holding a slogan that reads “Make Love, Not CO2”. Smart, right?**
  7. After finalizing our guide, I had the opportunity to meet with Susan May and learned how to make our Guide accessible to as many people as possible. I’m very thankful to know now how to accommodate different crowds that I didn’t previously know, which I believe may also be the case for many other campus orgs. Accessibility should be a concern that our campus needs to be aware and mindful of. **Therefore, as you will see on our website, we included two versions of the living guide, including an accessible, text-based one.**
  8. There’s many yummy, happy breakfast/ plant-based/ lunch hacks in the “How to Val” chapter. **Shoutout to our dear Joe for the title inspiration, using “Val” as a verb: very hip.**
  9. There’s pretty colors and shapes in this guide.
  10. It’s my proudest baby of this summer. It’s a culmination of hundreds of hours of work by me, my colleagues, past fellows and dedicated staff that keeps our college running (Joe Flueckiger from dining, Kenny Lauzier from Facilities, Susan May from IT, and all the other people who have helped and supported us along the way). It’s pretty awesome. Go check it out.

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