The Sustainably Conscious Community, a residential living and learning community at Ithaca College, has undergone a name change to the Organic Gardening and Cooking Community in hopes of better describing its purpose and attracting more students.
Anne Stork, assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Science and the community’s garden manager, said the former title, Sustainably Conscious Community, mislead students because it was broad and vague. The decision to officially change the name to reflect the community more accurately came from the Office of Residential Life.
Samantha Guter ’16, Terraces 7–13 residence director, said students were also developing a stronger interest in both cooking and gardening, so the change was part of an effort to cater to that interest. She said the community will still incorporate similar content surrounding sustainability.
Guter said she hopes the change to the community will improve it and draw in more students.
“I am really excited that this is a change a lot of the students wanted to make, and I am glad we are catering towards those interests,” Guter said.
Using locally grown food or ingredients that the students harvest themselves from the Terraces rooftop garden, students in the community hold a group dinner every other week, Guter said. Members of the community also hope to continue bringing in speakers to discuss issues tied to sustainable eating, Guter said. She said the topics typically discussed are beyond what many students would learn in a classroom. For example, a senior environmental studies major who works with bees on campus visited the community to discuss the current environmental threat to bees.
Chase Lurgio, a senior resident assistant for the Organic Gardening and Cooking Community, is in charge of facilitating programs and inviting speakers.
Lurgio said she tries to create events pairing with on-campus organizations such as IC Environmentalists, IC Eco-Reps and other residential learning communities such as the Outdoor Adventure Learning Community. Recently, the residential community and IC Environmentalists, a student organization, worked together to donate leftover packaged foods from dining halls to the Ithaca Rescue Mission, Lurgio said.
The community has only existed for two years and is still in its beginning stages, but Stork said her hope has always been that students will be leaders in their community.
“My hope is that the students will be leaders and encourage others to participate in growing, harvesting and cooking in the garden,” Stork said.