News for the Campus Community
SLURP pilot project takes off
There are 32 students in SLURP, and Farnsworth said the program is so successful that it will run again next year. For their research projects, students will include a hypothesis to be tested, a research methodology, and criteria to measure results. They’ll present their findings during the spring quarter and receive academic credit for their work.
According to Farnsworth, the research projects involve “real-life” issues and situations at SCU. For example, a team of four freshmen will explore the question of bottled water versus tap water, assessing the environmental impacts, conducting blind taste tests, analyzing lab results, and monitoring bottle recycling.
Campus administrators, who are looking for information on better ways to practice sustainability, have suggested projects, too, like studying transportation issues or the notion of composting on campus. Other ideas involve collaborating with Bon Appetit to conduct energy audits on SCU’s food service areas and evaluating how a local food producer meets, exceeds, or falls short of sustainability goals that have carbon impacts.
“What I find so thrilling about SLURP is the integration of academics with a ‘lived’ experience,” said Farnsworth. “This is really what an RLC is all about: taking a class is good, but actually living the concepts of that class is what’s so exciting.” SLURP, he said, is “a model of what a sustainable residential community would look like.” In the future, Farnsworth hopes to pair faculty mentors with student research teams, a plan that would “reach far beyond what happens in a lecture,” he said. “To be able to do that with undergraduate researchers would be mind-boggling.”