News in Brief

Wellesley students petition against North 40 development

Emily Grandjean ’15 and Hannah Degner ’15 are circulating a petition against the College selling the North 40 to a private developer. The “Save the North 40” movement insists that the College sell to a conservancy instead. The North 40 is a 46-acre woodland across the street from Wellesley College.The petition claims that the sale of North 40 will result in a loss of farmland used by Regeneration Student Farm, increased road congestion and additional light pollution, which will disrupt the view of the stars from Whitin Observatory. The petition has 226 signatures and requires 74 more signatures to reach its goal of 300 signatures. Supporters include some alumni and current students, as well as local Massachusetts residents.

Professor publishes opinion on Hong Kong protests in the Guardian

Visiting Professor Rowena He in the sociology department wrote about the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests in the Guardian on Monday. Professor He drew parallels between the recent protests and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. She mentions her own involvement in the Tiananmen Square protests and explains that the protesters believed that Beijing was open to reform. Student in Hong Kong today “harbor no such illusions,” according to He. Protests broke out last week against the Chinese government, which has reneged its  promise made in 2007 to allow Hong Kong to select its own chief executive in the 2017 elections. Several Wellesley students have organized to hand out yellow ribbons and take photos to show solidarity for the student protesters today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside Pendleton and in the Lulu Chow Wang Campus Center. Students from the greater Boston area will also gather in support tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in Boston Commons.

College will host first annual Hazing Prevention Week lecture

Wellesley’s first keynote address for Hazing Prevention Week will take place tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Tishman Commons. Lauren Phillips, an educator  and speaker from CampuSpeak and the assistant executive director at Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, will give the keynote speech. In her previous keynote addresses, Phillips has spoken about how women haze and has provided strategic and compassionate leadership strategies during difficult situations. Wellesley joins other institutions in holding a hazing awareness week, which takes place around the last week of September throughout the nation.

Seven Wellesley professors receive NSF Grants

Seven professors in six different departments have received research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). With the grant, Physics Professor James Battat will gather more data on the Earth’s gravitational forces, and Associate Professor in Neuroscience Bevil Conway will look at how the brain processes sensory signals into perception in the Macaque monkey. Orit Shaer, the Clare Booth Luce assistant professor of computer science, will study how human-computer interaction affects how people understand information about determinant genetics. In the biological sciences, Assistant Professor Yui Suzuki will analyze how a protein affects insect metamorphosis while T. Kaye Peterman, Susan M. Hallowell and Ruby Frances Howe Farwell professor of biological sciences, will look at plant vascular systems. David Ellerby, associate professor in the biological sciences, will conduct research on the mechanics of animal locomotion in the bluegill sunfish. In the sociology and women’s and gender studies departments, Professor Rosanna Hertz will look at how the internet has affected relationships formed between adopted children and their biological parents.

Preliminary state composting laws take effect today

Wellesley College must comply to the Commercial Food Waste Disposal Ban, which takes effects today. Massachusetts now requires all large institutions and organizations that produce a ton of food waste or more per week to compost. Not a shred of food can go to the already diminishing areas available for landfill. Instead, the organic waste will be processed by compost facilities and energy plants. According to the Boston Globe, the state each year generates 6.5 million tons of waste, of which more than 25 percent is made up of compostable organics. The State of Massachusetts pushed the ban this past July to allow businesses more time to adjust, but composting facilities can only process up to half of the expected organic waste to come. The College already composts in all major dining halls, but students, faculty and staff may see changes implemented at local restaurants and businesses.

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