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September 17th is Constitution Day

Happy Constitution Day!

235 years ago the Constitution of the United States of America was signed on September 17, 1787, and nine months later it was ratified and became the official framework of the US government. When the Constitution was signed, the United States population was 4 million. It is now more than 332 million. The Constitution was signed in Philadelphia which was the nation’s largest city at the time, with 40,000 inhabitants.

The National Constitution Center is hosting a Constitution Day Celebration on SeConstitution Day 17 September graphic with flag and capitol building image.ptember 16 and 17th. Some of the events include:

  • A live-streamed reading of the Preamble
  • A Congressional conversation on Common Ground and Compromise
  • A virtual walking tour of historic Philadelphia
  • and much more.

Make a plan to vote on November 8.

Midterm elections are coming up and Augsburg has made election day a holiday during which classes are canceled so that all eligible voters have time to vote. The office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has sample ballots and information about voting. If you have questions feel free to reach out to the Sabo Center staff, we’d love to help.

Earth Month 2022!!

Come rekindle community, self-heal, and reconnect with the Earth through celebrations during Earth Month. These Environmental Action Committee-supported events will allow you further connection to green spaces on campus, engagement with educational experiences by all forms of teachers, exploration of inclusive career paths, and the opportunity to build solidarity with social justice work bonded by intersectionality. Together in community, learn from Indigenous cultures, be rewarded with rest and find its productivity, learn city biking techniques, have a ball with slow fashion, eat local, and then finish the month with a community bonfire into the sunset.

Mii omaa akiing endaayang – The Earth is our Home

For more information: Event details, descriptions, registration links, and virtual Zoom links can be found on this documentFollow @sustainable_augsburgu on Instagram for updates.

Make a contribution! During April’s Earth Month, the ShareShop is accepting donations of gently-used items! These items will be redistributed back to students in the fall or donated to the Sisterhood Boutique. As you move out of your residence hall or do some spring cleaning, drop off your donations with a student leader at Science Hall 8 or place them in a green cart in your residence hall. Checkout the ShareShop website for accepted items and expanded hours.

Support & Accessibility for All Earth Month Events

We want everyone to feel welcome and able to fully participate in all Earth Month festivities. If you are in need of any disability-related accommodations to fully participate in these events, please contact University Events at events@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1104. Remember to have the name, date, and time of the event(s) with you when contacting their office. Please allow for sufficient time to arrange the accommodation(s).

All virtual events will be hosted over the Zoom platform. For the Zoom links, meeting ids, and passwords for virtual events, please refer to the event description on this document. If you are affiliated with Augsburg University, please review these Zoom Articles to ensure that you are able to connect. If you are not affiliated with Augsburg University, you are welcome to participate in all of these events. For Zoom tech support, please refer to the Zoom website’s Resources tab.

If for any reason you are having trouble attending an event, please email the specific event’s contact and/or Augsburg University’s Sustainability Officer, Monica McDaniel at mcdaniem@augsburg.edu. We hope you enjoy Earth Month!!

Augsburg LEAD Fellows Explore Equity and Justice through a Virtual Lens

Augsburg students and staff posing in front of the REM5 studio backdrop.

This year the Leaders for Equity, Action, and Democracy (LEAD) Fellows have been reflecting critically on social issues of justice and equity, and discovering how they can use their own agency to organize and influence change. In the fall of 2021, the students engaged in organizing to raise voter participation and civic education on campus, and connected with Minneapolis City Council members to grow their understanding of community issues and policy. 

This Spring the LEAD Fellows ventured off campus to REM5 Virtual Reality Labs to experience the ways that REM5 and partners at RFTP (Rooftop) are using storytelling through technology in order to create learning experiences and build awareness.

Upon first sight REM5 is a large, warehouse-looking building. As you enter the space you are drawn in by an array of different technology- from big screens to small QR codes that transport you into augmented reality through your phone’s camera- which makes it a very creative space. The group started out by participating in a VR experience using REM5’s headset technology, the experience is titled “Traveling While Black,” and transports participants to different places to better explain what it is like to travel as a Black person in the Jim Crow-era (and beyond) in the US. The experience references the Green book: The Black Traveler’s Guide to Jim Crow America, a publication that referenced safe establishments for Black travelers.

Traveling While Black is an immersive experience that takes participants into well known establishments like the historically popular Ben’s Chili Bowl in Washington DC, sitting them right across the table from people giving accounts of their own travels across the US. Students were able to reflect on what it means to be able to walk into restaurants and shops without fear of discrimination and physical violence, and the fact that the spirit of such discrimination and violence is still very much alive today in many spaces and systems.

A group of students sitting in a circle of chairs, each student is wearing a virtual reality headset.

The VR experience was paired with a live storytelling session with RFTP, a consulting group that creates space for deep reflection through storytelling, active listening and group dialogue. RFTP facilitated discussion about how we view safety in different areas in our lives, and how we all have a responsibility to not only proclaim the spaces we hold and create to be safe, but to intentionally change our environments so that when people enter spaces they actually feel safety, belonging and protection, physically and psychologically. 

“The more you are able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes the more you are able to understand and connect with others. This makes other people feel welcomed and understood, makes them feel heard and that makes them feel safe. That is why it is always important to hear what others have to say and listen with an open heart.” – Barbara Sabino Pina (’23)

 

Students were invited to explore other VR games and activities offered inside the REM5 studio. Below are some of the responses students gave when asked about future topics they would like to see addressed through this platform:

“Success while dealing with trauma, healing from the sociological trauma within BIPOC community, how to cultivate generational wealth with real estate, stocks/bonds, ntfs, etc.” -LEAD Fellow, class of 2023

Hope Kannare (’23) sitting, wearing a virtual reality headset, is engaged in a VR experience.

 

“Mental health and mental disorders. Understand better the perspective of a person who is differently abled.” -LEAD Fellow, class of 2023

The LEAD Fellows look forward to continued learning and integration of technology to leverage social justice.

ESC Communications Team: Learn & Share!

 

ESC’s Communication Team includes Gigi, Grace, and Mercy. The team keeps students and staff up to date on ESC events and projects through our main social media platform, Instagram. Currently, our team is working on introducing ESC’s individuals through a quick Instagram reel. Our main objective is to showcase ESC’s work on environmental stewardship by highlighting important events and activities within each project.

ESC Communications Team: Gigi Huerta Herrera, Grace Koch Muchahary, & Mercy Zou Taithul
ESC Communications Team: Gigi Huerta Herrera, Grace Koch Muchahary, & Mercy Zou Taithul

We believe that by showcasing our progress through social media, we can better influence other institutions and people to continue to be sustainable by sharing information and making viewers aware that sustainability is a way of life rather than a trend. For example, the Communications Team has various videos and posts that show what you can compost and recycle, what is fast fashion, where you can get your Auggie pass, how to upcycle, what some local and sustainable food looks like, etc. 

QR Code linking to ESC's instagram account
Follow us on Instagram!

Our most viewed and liked content was made by Gigi. The video was intended to inform viewers of an alternative way to wrap gifts for the holidays by reducing, reusing and recycling paper bags. Check it out in the link provided below. And don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @Sustainable_AugsburgU 

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CXu2CqtAsRv/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet 

  

Meet the ESC Team!

This academic year our amazing team of Environmental Stewardship Coordinators have been hard at work on a dynamic set of projects that are making immediate and long-term impacts on how our university and neighborhood responds, collaborates, and leads amidst our intersecting challenges of an ongoing pandemic, systemic social injustices, economic disparity, and climate crisis.

ESC Team at the Garden
ESC Team: Gigi, Malachi, Mercy, Monica, Grace, Elan, Alexa, Annabella, Elijah (Not pictured: Nyasa, Alyssa, Reggie, Zoe)

The team of 12 Environmental Stewardship Coordinators are students of differing years at Augsburg and with majors in different departments. Alexa, Alyssa, Annabella, Elan, Elijah, Gigi, Grace, Malachi, Mercy, Nyasa, Reggie, and Zoe all come to our shared work through their identities, expertises, and experiences that shape how we as a team want to make change and impact around issues of environmental sustainability. Our team identifies issues and projects on which we want to work through the lens of the Wellness Model for Sustainability (thank you Bemidji State). The work of our small project groups align with the goals set forth by the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the University Council: Culture & Ownership, Facilities & Operations, Scholarship & Curriculum, and Climate Action.

Wellness Model for Sustainability: Environmental systems act as nest, holding economic, social, and individual wellness systems. If in balance, that's sustainability.
Wellness Model for Sustainability

Our work in 8 project areas, yes 8, is vast, dynamic, and a whole lot of fun! Scroll down for some brief overviews and links to more information.

  • The Share Shop team is addressing issues on fast fashion and student access to free clothes & dorm items. Stop by Science 8b or our Pop-Up Collaboration with Campus Kitchen in the Strommen Center!

    New Share Shop Opening Date January 24th Mon & Wed 9am-5pm Tuesday from 11:30am-5pm Due to increase of Covid cases, we will be implementing new regulations. Updates on this will be coming soon.
    Share Shop Hours
  • Augsburg Local and its Salad Project are advancing institutional goals around local purchasing from BIPOC and women/femme/trans/queer vendors, farmers, and business owners. We’ll be rolling out the next round of student-designed, locally-sourced creations this semester. The Fall Harvest Salad was a HIT!
Augsburg Local's Fall Harvest Salad at The Commons
Fall Harvest Salad
  • The Community Garden team is excited for warmer weather and to get back in the soil! Last year’s student plot produced an abundance of tomatoes and peppers, but I’m most excited for the raspberries, which should be in their second-year glory this coming season. This spring we’ll have ways for the broader Augsburg community to volunteer with the team, join the waiting list for a plot of one’s own to steward, and what we’ll be growing in the student/communal plots this season.

    Harvest from the garden student plots!
    Harvest from the garden student plots!
  • Sustainability Operations is our newest project team and they have identified the need to improve waste sorting and energy use on campus so that our Augsburg community can do its part in the mitigation of climate change. Information has been rolling out on our Instagram channel as well as on digital screens around campus; events coming soon in partnership with the Environmental Action Committee!
What's Compostable! Food scraps, BPI food service items, and some household items
What’s Compostable!
  • ESC's IGThis year our Communications team launched our Instagram channel @sustainable_augsburgu and has been stewarding its content to keep all informed about our work and important happenings around issues of sustainability both on and off campus. Be sure to follow, like, and share!

 

  • The Climate Action Team has been engaging students, staff, and faculty to build support and actions towards Augsburg’s Climate Commitment and Augsburg Day Student Government’s 2030 Carbon Neutrality and Solar and Carbon Neutrality Resolutions. The results of this organizing work has led to creative collaborations with courses in Environmental Studies and Art & Design as well as partnerships with facilities and ADSG’s Environmental Action Committee to implement solid actions towards our collective goals: Permeable walkways, Native perennial plantings, additions of water-bottle filling stations, Community Garden visioning, and the exploration of on-campus solar.

Love Local Water

  • A few students are also working on Research exploring avenues and areas for new work as well as ways for us to engage in broader conversations around climate justice through our Organizing Cohort in partnership with LEAD Fellows and ISAIAH.

Over the course of this spring semester, stay tuned here to the Sabo Center blog for in-depth highlights of the work on these projects. Our Instagram channel is also currently featuring 2 ESC members a week, so follow us to find out more about the team, our work, and the latest happenings! If you have ideas of actions our team could take and/or want to get involved in the work, please email environmentalstewardship@augsburg.edu.

Augsburg Local Salad Team presents their Fall Harvest Salad!

 

Our seasonal salad: a quinoa base with kale, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, and fried parsnips.
Fall Harvest Salad

The Augsburg Local Salad Team and Dining Services are excited to share delicious student-designed, locally-sourced salads with the Augsburg community!

Salads will be available at The Commons and Kafeega November 9th, 16th, and 17th + during Late Night Breakfast and at Kafeega only on November 13th 12-1pm (+ more dates to come).

 

 

Tenzin Rabga chopping sweet potatoes during an R&D session in the Food Lab
Tenzin Rabga (’23)

The Fall Harvest Salad being featured this season by Dining Services highlights the best of this time of year. A quinoa base is tossed with kale and spinach, chopped Minnesota apples, and roasted sweet potatoes, which are garnished with fried parsnips and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and then finished with a sweet + spicy dressing. Tenzin Rabga and Malachi Owens are the creatives behind this particular salad and intentionally thought through their seasonal produce choices, sweet-spicy flavor combinations, and inviting crunch that all come together nicely for a satisfying meal. “When making this salad, there were many things I considered, not just my cultural connection because I also wanted my salad to be very inclusive and open to people’s cravings in winter: sweet, hearty, and slightly spicy.” -Tenzin Rabga

 

The Fall Harvest Salad not only satisfies as a fresh, seasonal meal, but it also uplifts the best of Augsburg and its community. As an anchor institution, Augsburg is committed to contributing to the health, safety, and vitality of the community of which we are a part. In 2020, the Sabo Center for Citizenship and Democracy launched the Augsburg Local campaign to mobilize institutional resources in ways that build strong, mutually beneficial community partnerships and respond to community needs and opportunities. By leveraging Augsburg’s economic resources in the form of purchasing and investment dollars, we can build a stronger, more sustainable local economy in a variety of ways. 

Augsburg Local logo

For example, over 75% of the produce and protein ingredients in the Fall Harvest Salad were purchased locally. This was one of the directives requested by the salads’ creators. The kale and sweet potatoes you’ll enjoy were supplied by The Good Acre, a Twin Cities food hub that partners with emerging farmers, many BIPOC, who grow a variety of crops, promoting biodiversity. Of course the apples were grown in Minnesota, since our state can boast of so many varieties from sweet to tart, crisp to ones perfect for pie – and salads! These apples were supplied by Minnesota-based distributor, Bix, which has a special selection of locally-grown products. The parsnips, coming to you in the form of a chip garnish, were sourced from the Wisconsin Growers’ Cooperative via our neighborhood grocery store, the Seward Coop. And even the honey and Hope Creamery butter were Minnesota produced! Ames Farm honey is single source, meaning that it can be traced back to a hive and floral source, “making it unique to a specific time and place in Minnesota.” You can’t get more local than that! 

The Salad Project was born out of Augsburg Local’s co-creative work with students who wanted to drive this transformational social change initiative. Thanks to an Institutional Innovation Grant from the Office of the University President, the Salad Team has been working tirelessly with Dining Services since the beginning of the summer to create salad recipes that satisfy a set of goals oftentimes at odds with one another: 

  • Salads that taste good and students will want to eat.
  • Salads that feature ingredients seasonal to Minnesota and can be locally-sourced.
  • Salads that reflect the tastes, cultures, and identities of their creators.
  • Salads that are cost-effective for Dining Services to produce and the Augsburg community to purchase.

Logos of: Campus Kitchen, Augsburg Dining Services, Pillsbury United Communities, Environmental Stewardship Committee, The Good Acre, Roots for the Hometeam

Thankfully the team had support from the local nonprofit, Roots for the Hometeam and youth from Pillsbury United’s Waite House. They and other high school youth in Twin Cities garden programs sell their student-developed, locally-sourced salads at Twins’ games (and beyond!). The Salad Project Team also relied heavily on the expertise and support of Augsburg’s Dining Services staff to fine-tune their recipes, think creatively about flavor profiles, and partner in the tedious work of serving these salads at-scale in The Commons and Kafeega. These lessons from our partners fed our fun, interactive research and development sessions in Augsburg’s own Food Lab (Hagfors 108). In these sessions, we worked in small teams, divided based on season, to explore flavors, experiment with ingredients, and learn about food preparation techniques.

Grace preparing chicken for her Bodo Indian Green Salad
Grace Koch Muchahary (’23)

 

Here’s Grace Koch Muchahary’s take on the process: “We practiced in teams to get all the details and be confident about our salad ingredients before we presented them to the chefs from Augsburg’s Dining services. We were really happy to get an opportunity to present our summer and winter salads. It was a really good experience to make our own recipes and share them with others – and now with the entire Augsburg community! We had the challenge to reach each of our goals, but having the salad-making sessions before this final day helped a lot to see the process. It was really fun to work closely with the project team members and to support one another.”

 

 

Enjoy the salads!

The Salad Team: Grace Koch Muchahary, Tenzin Rabga, Malachi Owens, Zoe Barany, Reginald Oblitely, Gigi Huerta Herrera, Alyssa Parkhurst, Natalie Jacobson, and Monica McDaniel

Happy Constitution Day ~ September 17

Happy Constitution Day!

Every September we celebrate Constitution Day to learn more about the Constitution of the United States of America and understand its importance in history and our lives today.

“The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interSeptember 17th Celebrate the Birthday of Our Government Constitution Dayests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.”

Did you know that 2021 is the 50th anniversary of the ratification of the 26th Amendment, which lowered the national voting age to 18 and banned age discrimination in voting?

This is just one of many issues that are covered in this country’s founding document. Voter discrimination and voting rights are critically important issues in our democracy today, just as they were 50 years ago. To learn more about the 26th Amendment, join the Students Learn Students Vote coalition on Constitution Day — Friday, September 17 — with a virtual celebration of the 26th Amendment hosted by the Center for Youth Political Participation at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University.

Constitution Day 2021: Fulfilling the Promise of the 26th Amendment

Friday, September 17, 2021    12:30 PM CT     Register here

Lastly, if you live in Minneapolis, make a plan to vote on November 2.

The League of Women Voters hosted a Mayor Candidate forum on September 13, you can watch a recording of it here. If you need help with registration or figuring out where to vote, contact us at the Sabo Center. You can find out more about what’s on the ballot here.

Bill Ogren Donates to Augsburg Campus Kitchen

Bill loved donating any money he had to SABO and helping with dishwashing, singing and sharing his joy for living. 

He was quite the interesting character so I wanted to share some background on him, especially for any interested students and to expand people’s understanding and appreciation of mental illness. 

 

Bill, William Kenneth Ogren, was born April 6, 1950 in Washington D.C. to proud parents Marjorie and Ken Ogren. Bill, and his two younger siblings James and Jan grew up in Northern Virginia. His father worked as an agricultural diplomat and the family moved to Paris, France in 1967. Bill graduated from the American School of Paris in 1969. While in France he explored The Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and worked a summer at Heathrow airport in London, England. He loved art and became friends with artists and enjoyed showing people around museums. 

 

Both of Bill’s parents grew up on farms in Minnesota and so he chose Augsburg College to be near his beloved grandmother Emma Ogren. He went to Augsburg College in MPLS from 1969 to 1973. He was so well-spoken and well-liked that family and friends thought he might become a diplomat, like his father, or maybe a curator of a museum or art gallery. 

 

But in 1972 his life radically changed. It became apparent that he had some kind of illness that changed his brain function. He couldn’t communicate or process information they way he used to. He was homeless for a while and lost contact with family. Nevertheless, Bill managed to come through this time with a focus on being kind, generous, and helpful. He rarely used a phone, no longer drove a car, and never used a computer in his life. But he could wash dishes, set up tables for banquets, and make people happy. He worked at restaurants and hotels, often receiving recognition as Employee of the Month and in 1977, Employee of the Year for the Registry Hotel in MPLS. 

He reconnected with Augsburg College and was active in the campus ministry and the campus kitchen. He delivered meals with a song and enthusiasm. He loved getting to know visiting students and could remember everyone’s name and something significant about them. 

When his mind no longer functioned as it used to, he opened his heart.  


He died peacefully in his sleep on March 10, 2021 just shy of his 71rst birthday.

Campus Kitchen Alumni Highlight

Nell Gerke

Graduated in 2019 – environmental studies major with an urban studies minor

 

Nell Gerke (2019) holding and speaking into microphone at outdoor food event.

What sparked your interest in Campus Kitchen?

  • I joined Campus Kitchen through the LEAD Fellows Program; I talked with a woman who worked with Campus Kitchen at the time, and she talked about how much she got to work in the community, and I think that’s what really got me interested in it in the first place. I was already pretty interested in food systems, but the whole community aspect really sold me on CK.

What were the biggest challenges you faced working with Campus Kitchen?

  • Finding students to do shifts with me! When there wasn’t a social work class where students needed to fulfill hours or something like that, I didn’t see a lot of people signing up for Campus Kitchen volunteering.

  What were some of the highlights of your time with CK?

  • I can say that usually if I went into a meal shift feeling funky, I usually felt out of the funk after the meal shift, so it was always very healing. I love working in the community garden– that was always a highlight. It felt really good to have that connection with the community, and I had never gardened before. So I learned so much from everyone around me all the time, which was very cool. I loved the garden. I loved hosting the Garden Party food storytelling event too.

Skills you gained?

  • I learned how to build community and relationships.
  • I learned to be pretty scrappy with making food, just because we would always wind up with random stuff, and that would be my dinner. Making something out of what you have around is a great skill- that’s how I still cook my meals.

What are you currently up to and does it connect to CK?

  • I work at a food Coop in Northfield, but I am also running for the Board of Directors, because I want to be more involved in my community and have a larger presence. 

Other things involved you were involved with at Augsburg?

  • I played softball. I was a LEAD fellow. I was an RA briefly.

Campus Kitchen Alumni Spotlight

Many incredible student leaders have worked with Augbsurg’s Campus Kitchen (CK) program over the years. Current CK student leaders Alana Goodson and Chouneng Khang interviewed several CK alumni to learn more about their experiences with the program.

 

Britta Andress

Britta Andress tosses pizza dough in the food lab.

Majored in sociology, graduated 2019 

 

What sparked your interest in Campus Kitchen?

(Andress): I was in the LEAD Fellows program.

 

What were the biggest challenges you faced working with Campus Kitchen?

(Andress): Having to work within our budget was a challenge. We wanted to give the youth at the Brian Coyle Center better quality food but we were not able to afford it. 

 

 What were some of the highlights of your time with CK?

(Andress): The people, especially everyone on the Campus Kitchen student team working together and not being individualized/separated due to roles or titles.

 

Takeaways/Skills you gained?

(Andress): CK taught me that even small acts of awareness and change can have lasting impacts.

Giving back to the community is something I learned to really value.

 

What are you up to now? How does it connect to CK? 

(Andress): Meal prep is definitely something I still use and will always use to this day. So don’t underestimate its value. 

 

Other things you were involved with at Augsburg?

(Andress): I had a job outside of campus and was also a student research assistant for two of my professor independent research projects. 

Advice for current, future, past CK interns/volunteers?

(Andress): I learned to enjoy the process and not to participate just for the result. A lot of times when people volunteer, they do it to have it on their resume or for class credit. With Campus Kitchen, it’s important to stay in the present and see the impact and change happen over time because making a difference isn’t always a linear process.