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Student Spotlight: Dalia Rodriguez Caspeta

Eco Rep Mama, Dalia discusses working with 21's, the beauty of community and how Dartmouth has helped shape her passion for sustainability and social justice.

Question: Where you are from, how/why you chose Dartmouth?

Dalia: I am from Los Angeles Ca. Both my parents migrated from Mexico before I was born. I chose Dartmouth because of its size and how drastically different it was from my own home. I had never heard of it until a mentor of mine introduced me to Dartmouth Bound. I fell in love with the potential of what Dartmouth could be.

Q: What are you studying/did you study here at Dartmouth? How do those studies relate to sustainability?

D: I am studying Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Environmental Studies. I am interested in the intersections of power, identity and food accessibility. Sustainability is focused on local food and sustainable food practices and I am interested in how this space is created and who it involves, who it leaves out and how accessible it is.

Q: Why did you become involved with the sustainability office?

D: I became involved with the sustainability office because I have always been interested in green groups but never had access to them in high school. I knew I wanted to study environmental studies and being involved with the office would help me apply what I learned inside the classroom.

Q: You participated in a study abroad trip to South Africa. What was that like and how did it enhance your sustainability studies?

D: It enhanced my sustainability studies in many ways and also redefined sustainability for me. I got to organize with communities around sustainability issues from cattle grazing to viable eco-tourism ventures. I saw the sustainability world through people rather than practices.

Q: What else are/were you involved with on campus?

D: I am involved with OPAL working with Sexuality, Women and Gender programming. I am also part of Epsilon Kappa Theta. Along with that I am involved in Sugar Crew and currently one of the two eco-reps program manager.

Q: How do you incorporate sustainability into your daily life? What else can Dartmouth students do to be more sustainable?

D: I incorporate sustainability in my life through its various forms and manifestations. I practice personal sustainability by taking care of myself physically mentally and emotionally. I create sustainable study practices that allow me to reduce my stress levels during peak times of the term. I also do the typical sustainability things such as carrying a water bottle, spork, and going thrift shopping for clothes.

Q: Favorite thing about Dartmouth? What do you do for fun?

D: I love to go on walks, and enjoy sunsets for fun. They help ground me and help me enjoy the beauty that is New Hampshire. I feel like I’m sharing an intimate moment with the natural world.

Q: Favorite class you've taken so far? Recommendation for future students interested in sustainability?

D: My favorite class so far has been Modern American Poetry in the 20th Century taught by Melissa Zeiger. I love poetry so being able to read it, discuss it and partake in it through a class was like heaven. I got to read and write about amazing women poets.

Q: What, in your opinion, is the best thing we can all do to encourage universal environmental sustainability?

D: I think the best thing we can all do to encourage universal environmental sustainability would be to understand that there are different ways in which different communities operate and their social structures may be different. Understanding that one set definition of sustainability is not a ‘one size fits all’ but unique and tailored to every single society.

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