Population Awareness Day makes a difference

Sam Houston’s Department of Sociology hosted presentations for Population Awareness Day last Wednesday.

There were four separate presentations in the LSC Theater that ranged from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The presentations consisted of several parts, focusing on pertinent world issues and their relation to the environment. There were two short films shown, concerning social issues, a demonstration, and some lecture.

“Generally what we’re trying to do, especially since this is our first time and we’ve got a lot of new people here, is to get across while trying to get new people involved, sustainability and not just thought but action with people in the community,” Travis Miller, presenter, said.

The first film, “Ihla das Flores,” translated into Island of the Flowers, was a short piece tracing the movement of a simple food item, the tomato, from it’s growth to when it’s fed to low-income families. The film connected many different concepts, from economy to agriculture to nutrition, demonstrating the problems of the Island of Flowers, essentially a trash dump.

The second short film, “The Corporation,” was about the struggle for water in fascist Bolivia, and the surrounding social issues.

During the lecture, a demonstration of the earth’s arable land was presented using an apple. By carving and discarding different proportions of the apple, the audience was presented with a relative and example of the earth’s small amount of arable land.

The presentation ended with an interactive activity using colored slips of paper and Snickers bars, demonstrating proportions of the typical American economic distribution and providing an early-morning sugar boost.

The first three segments were the same, but the noon portion featured guest speaker Dan Phillips from Project Homestead.

“He [spoke] about sustainable housing. With sustainability, we talk about recycling, but sustainability includes all sorts of things: race and gender relations to recycling to housing.

Project Homestead is a non-profit organization that builds low-income housing out of recycled materials. Dan Phillips builds houses in the Huntsville area out of recycled materials.

“We’re trying to give him more exposure because that can really put Huntsville on the map as a model, surprisingly people don’t think of it as sustainability,” Miller said.

The program is open to volunteers, and is free for anybody willing to join. In addition to helping to build the low-income housing, participants get the chance to learn skills like wiring and piping.

Population Awareness Day presented students with an opportunity to face some of the world’s problems, and become aware of social and environmental issues.

“We need to use our resources wisely, for the sake of others,” Kelly Chumley, freshman participant, said. “If we don’t start caring about the issue now, it will be too late.”

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