SOIL program educates, helps students become sustainable

Sara Levering, Copy editor

A group of new students arrived to campus early to participate in a pre-orientation program that focused on sustainability at Linfield.

Sustainably Orientated Interconnected Living (SOIL) is a pre-orientation program at Linfield that focuses on how new students can be sustainable.

The goal of the program is to educate students how to be sustainable not only at Linfield but also in the McMinnville community.

Duncan Reid, who is the coordinator of sustainability at Linfield, said his main hope for students by the end of the program is to “understand the concept and relate to what is going on at Linfield and to get involved as well as to use resources to make changes as needed.”

During the program, students took part in three workshops that focused on sustainability, food values and the concept of zero waste.

Students also worked in the Linfield garden, took a field trip to a recology center and camped at Camp Smith in McMinnville.

This is the second year the SOIL program has been active and has kept its numbers low in order to build close relationships with Reid and the leaders.

Reid said this year was definitely a success and that they made changes that benefited them well.
Sophomore Gabi Esparza participated as a leader and said she really enjoyed the camp out and her favorite part was the group bonding with the new students.

Sophomore Peri Muellner said her favorite part was “learning to become a leader in sustainability, as well as being a friend to the new students.”

Sophomore Andrew Hampson said that being a leader changed his perspective because it was a quiet but thoughtful group, causing him to make some changes as a leader and to step up.

Hampson enjoyed his time during the program and thinks that the students gained a lot from the program on how to be sustainable.

Freshman Meghan Seifert said “Doing SOIL turned out to be one of the best things I’ve done all summer.”

Seifert’s favorite part of the program was seeing the landfill and recology as well as working in the garden. Seifert also enjoyed working with all the leaders and Reid.