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Vegetable Soup for the Misanthropic Soul

By Michaela Papa, Columnist

This summer I worked on a farm. I'm a vegetarian. I like granola. I say this to develop a certain crunch-bias off the bat. That being said, this semester I moved in to a house. This means dealing with the schedules and habits and various lifestyles of more than just myself -- which is harder than anticipated. It is very difficult to dance the fine line between "economical" and "pompous jerk."

The dishwasher shouldn't be run for two plates; a reusable K-cup should be used as opposed to plastic; and when there's a breeze outside, why waste air conditioning energy? Again, a fine line to dance. But I make these suggestions to better my house because I think that we can make a difference. If I didn't, the struggle seems worthless. Every person's efforts should not be deemed futile.

Let the car run while you go into the store, or use nine Poland Spring bottles a day while I pretend like I'm a better person and less of an ass while I ride my bike with my Nalgene. Because that's how our interactions work.

 The devil-may-care attitude of many people is understandable. However, Hofstra is actually making an effort to better the economical efficiency of its students. As students in the microcosm that is Hofstra, we need to feel like our changes make a difference. We need to establish the mentality that one person can make a difference.

And, as Disney Channel as it all sounds, one person can make a change. While it's probably not me throwing bread crust out my second story window for the birds as opposed to the trash, I like to think that I'm not a total useless piece of garbage. Wordplay.

 Hofstra is taking on the same attitude as I am. Together, we can make a change. As a university we are attempting to bring in locally grown produce. How largely this is actually enforced is unannounced, though the fact that it exists at all is a good start. Lackmann eliminated one delivery per week, thus reducing the amount of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by 20 percent.

In being a Styrofoam-free campus as well as making metal utensils available, along with other strides we are — as a whole — moving in the right direction. While we should nix the sprinklers watering parking lots and the plethora of receipts after each meal, we are taking the right actions.

 Hofstra's latest endeavor is setting a goal of 1,000 people associated with Hofstra to pledge to go meatless once a week. This Meatless Monday movement begins with a signature sheet outside Roosevelt 209F. For more information, go to If 1,000 people at Hofstra volunteer to go meatless for one day a week we will reduce the meat consumption worldwide by 500 pounds a week.

 The average American eats over 26,000 pounds of meat a year. The USDA in 2008 slaughtered 35,507,500 cattle, 116,558,900 pigs, 9,075,261,000 chickens, 69,683,000 layer hens, 9,005,578,000 broiler chickens, and 271,245,000 turkeys.

So will 1,000 Pride members not eating meat one day a week really make a difference? I think it's worth a shot. Am I using the fact that the editorial section hasn't cut my column yet as an invitation to call others to action? Maybe.

Am I saying that after reading this article you should all be barefoot, oat-eating, curly-haired hippies? Eh…if it's a slow week.


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