Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Interview by: Mikalia Hoffman
Bradley Hamilton (OC class of '17) hails from South Carolina. He is majoring in Neuroscience and is on both the track and cross country teams. Bradley currently volunteers with the America Reads program and has been involved with college-run activities such as STEM Night to get Oberlin kids more interested in math and the sciences. He sees community involvement as a very important and rewarding part of his time at Oberlin College and hopes that others are inspired to get involved in any way they can.
Q: What words would you use to describe Oberlin?
A: Id say thoughtful, in that what people ultimately do may not be quite so different as other places, but people tend to actually consider what theyre doing more so. Im from South Carolina, and people dont tend to consider their actions as much, and certainly not look back on them as much as it happens in Oberlin.
Q: What made you choose Oberlin College?
A: I picked Oberlin largely because it was a small college, because I started my search looking for colleges that were under five thousand. I found out that I wanted to be a more well-rounded student, so I picked Oberlin because of [liberal arts]. Once I found out that they had a Neuroscience department, which isnt that common that was a really big draw for me. And also I'm an athlete here; Im on the track and cross-country teams, and the coach and teams were really welcoming.
Q: What does sustainability mean to you within, and in your life outside of Oberlin?
A: When I think about sustainability at Oberlin, I cant help but think of the Green Edge Fund. I know they do a lot of really awesome projects around campus. A big one they did is, in the freak garbage truck fire accident, they helped incentivize buying new, more efficient trucks. I know that theyre available if I have any ideas. Outside of my life at Oberlin, I think its about being cognizant of the small things, like turning off the water and lights and just thinking about things, really.
Q: Do you think you live differently outside of Oberlin? In terms of sustainability and how much Oberlin makes that a message?
A: I think its a very clear message that Ive picked up on, but I wasnt that unsustainable before. I was already pretty into that, which is probably a lot of the reason why I work with Oberlin, because I already share a lot of the ideas that they support.
Its about being cognizant of the small things like turning off the water and lights and just thinking.
Filling the community with better prepared people is certainly contributing to social sustainability.
Q: Do you think that America Reads contributes to social sustainability in Oberlin?
A: Yeah, absolutely! Literacy is such an undeniably gigantic part of life nowadays. Its also not strictly reading, I also work with writing and helping them through whatever problems theyre having, [like] focusing. I really think that in the end, building strong literacy skills in all senses of the word absolutely makes you more up to date on whats going on, and better prepared. So I think filling the community with better prepared people is certainly contributing to social sustainability.
Q: Have there been any times where youve seen the effects of Oberlins sustainability measures and goals that youve worked with? Do you ever hear [the kids] talking about it, like during Ecolympics?
A: Well, Im involved in a lot of things that involve kids on campus. Im a Neuroscience major, so Ive been involved in going down to the middle schools and just performing, andshowing them what a nerve impulse looks like in worms, or actually showing them real brains. We performed evaluations on that to try to quantify if it was actually helping and we saw a marked increase in interest in these things, so I really do think that a lot of the community involvement is helping.
Q: Do you think that theres more stuff that people could do on a daily basis that you see people talking about and not go through with?
A: Well, I know in the dorms, we tend to be pretty wasteful. Overall I think probably the one that affects the most peoples lives is just lights! Its so simple but so many people dont turn lights off, and thats part of the reason why the AJLC is so awesome because it has so much natural light. Making it easy to make things sustainable; people tend to be lazy, but when you can help, it always goes a long way.
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