The New Student Orientation Program

During August of 2014, Colorado College held the first Sense of Place Orientation program for the incoming class.The program was conceived and developed by Alex Suber and Julian Kraus-Polk, both class of 2015. The presentation featured speakers from the Colorado Springs community and films by Alex and Julian. The program provides information on many different facets of our “place” here in Colorado Springs and encourages new students to connect to this region in a meaningful way. The hour-long program was filmed and the videos of the presentation can be found below. The presentation was split into different sections and the structure of the program is as follows:

Program Structure

  1. Cultural History
    1. Bruce Coriell
  2. Natural History
    1. Miro Kummel
  3. Sources of Our Sustenance
    1. Food
      1. Film
      2. Mike Callicrate & Randy Kruse
    2. Waste
      1. Film
      2. Alicia Archibald
    3. Water
      1. Film
      2. Frank Kinder
    4. Energy
      1. Film
      2. Mark Ferguson
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Cultural History // Every place has its people

The Colorado College interfaith chaplain, Bruce Coriell, speaks about the peoples that have inhabited this geographic region. Coriell posits that every place has its people and every people has a rich history.

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Natural History // Inserting ourselves into a geologic timescale

Colorado College professor of Environmental Science, Miro Kummel, speaks about the geology and natural history of the Pikes Peak region. Miro describes how glaciation sculpted the granite of Pikes Peak, and how ancient beaches deposited the layers of limestone that can be found around the city Colorado Springs. He challenges us to find out where we all fit into this high desert ecosystem on the Front Range.

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Food // Meeting the people that feed us

This is a short film by Alex Suber and Julian Kraus-Polk. The film provides a glimpse of the foodscape in the Colorado Springs area. We highlight some of the local farmers who provide food to Colorado College students, including Larga Vista Farm, and the Colorado College student farm. We hope to foster growth of our local food shed by inspiring more connectivity between the community of Colorado Springs and our local food purveyors.

Mike Callicrate, owner of Ranch Foods Direct (a local meat provider on the Front Range), and Randy Kruse, General Manager of Bon App├ętit catering at Colorado College speak about food sourcing at Colorado College. They also discuss how the the food system in Colorado Springs is shifting to foster more local and sustainable agriculture.

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Waste // the path of our trash

This is another short film which follows the path of our trash from the Colorado College campus to the Bestway’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF). The film highlights the economic and ecological benefits of closing resource loops, and challenges us to be more conscious about how our ever day decisions impact the amount of land-fill bound waste that is generated. We are left with the question: How can we eliminate the word waste from our vocabulary all together?

Alicia Archibald, an educator with Bestway Recycling company, speaks about waste in the Pikes Peak region. Alicia highlights some local zero-waste initiatives at Fort Carson Military base, as well as the longstanding relationship that Colorado College has had with Bestway working to increase our diversion rate. Alicia describes how a pile of trash has the potential to generate “jobs, money, and resource conservation”.

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Water // The mystery behind the tap

Another short film by Alex Suber and Julian Kraus-Polk about our water resources on the Front Range. Frank Kinder speaks about issues of water scarcity in this region. The film also includes footage of two Colorado College graduates as they float from source to sea down the Colorado River, one of the most contested water resources in the world.

The Water Conservation Specialist with Colorado Springs Utilities, Frank Kinder, speaks about the extensive system that we have engineered to transport water to Colorado Springs and the rest of the Front Range. Frank describes how the system moves water 200 miles, from areas such as Aspen and Breckenridge, displacing it from its native watershed on the western side of the continental divide.

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Energy // What powers our daily lives?

This film addresses where we get our electricity while living at Colorado College. It unveils some of the complex processes behind the magical light switch. Professor of Environmental Science, Howard Drossman, points out that Martin Drake coal-fired power plant is generating most of electricity that we use at the college. The film also highlights some of our current initiatives to switch to non-carbon-polluting sources of energy and offset our emissions at Colorado College.

The Colorado College Energy Manager, Mark Ferguson, speaks about the current energy use at the college. Mark reiterates that most of our energy in Colorado Springs is generated by coal power. He then proceeds to outline our plan as a college to reach the goal of campus wide carbon neutrality.

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