Campus Currents

November 16th, 2015

Native Wisdom: Facing the Crisis of Climate Change

Native American Leaders Share Thoughts on Climate

By Scott Calzolaio ’16, publications intern

Native Americans have preached the importance of respecting the Earth for centuries. Now, in a time of environmental instability, Framingham State welcomed members of this community to share the wisdom of their ancestors.

To discuss the impact of everyday energy expenditures that we take for granted was chairman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, Cedric Cromwell, also known as Running Bear. His concerns about the environment were focused on the carbon footprint that each and every one of us leaves behind every day, specifically in places that we notice it the least. He used today’s construction standards as an example of how enormous our carbon footprint can be.

“Building a building is not just building a building,” he said pointing out the many environmentally unfriendly materials commonly used in contemporary construction methods. Cromwell emphasized the importance of individual impact on preserving the environment, and instilled the ideals of his ancestors into the audience.

“We have maintained our principals of the last 12,000 years while being in the modern world today. It’s important that these concepts that I have spoken about are concepts that you can explore and embrace.”

To discuss the negative impact that commercialized energy and general consumption of fresh water has on the Native American salmon fishing tradition was Yakama Nation Watershed Department Manager of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Aja K DeCoteau.

DeCoteau described her tribe’s “first foods” - salmon, deer, berries, roots and water, as being the essence of life.

“If we take care of our first foods, our first food will take care of us,” she said.

She discussed the importance of the salmon population in relation to the tribe’s integrity, and how the decline in salmon, due to inconsistent and unusual climate changes, has deeply affected the salmon-based culture of Yakama Nation.

“Looking at our first foods, we are a subsistence culture. Our people rely on our natural resources. … The decline in these resources threatens our life, it threatens our religion, it threatens our culture.”

Associate physics professor and department chair, Vandana Singh said that on the level of modern physics, Native American ideals have always been centuries ahead.

“Animals and nature were regarded as machines, a concept that many realized the Native Americans understood generations before,” she said. “It is something that all biologists or ecologists have learned, that everything is connected. If you change one thing the other things change as well.”

The knowledge of this county’s Natives combined with today’s education regarding environmental conservation envisions a bright, admirable future of clean renewable energy.

The panel discussion was part of the President’s Distinguished Lecture Series.

"From Baraka to Rihanna: The Legacy of the Black Arts Movement"

Don't miss the final Fall event in the Stasis and Change Series on Wednesday, Nov. 18th, at 4:30 p.m. in the McCarthy Center's Alumni Room!

Mike Chasar will lead a special discussion entitled "From Baraka to Rihanna: The Legacy of the Black Arts Movement." This history of African American poetry since the Black Arts Movement will begin with Amiri Baraka's famous 1966 poem "SOS" and trace the repeated use of SOS as a keyword cited by many writers and performers including Sonia Sanchez, slam poet Patricia Smith, and hip hop diva Rihanna. What's the significance of SOS in African American poetry, and how does it link today's popular music to the Black Arts Movement? Join us to find out!

Mike Chasar is Associate Professor of English at Willamette University and Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress (2015). He is also the author of Everyday Reading: Poetry and Popular Culture in Modern America (2012) and co-editor of Poetry after Cultural Studies (2012).

FSU Drama Production: Almost, Maine

Don't miss the FSU drama production Almost, Maine by playwirght John Cariani. FSU students under the direction of Dr. Sarah Cole from the Communication Arts Department will perform shows at 7:30 p.m. in DPAC on Thursday, Nov. 19th, Friday, Nov. 20th and Saturday, Nov. 21st. Free to FSU faculty, staff and students (reserved seat tickets available with FSU ID in Game Room). General Public: $10 online at or $12 at the door.


Welcome to Almost, Maine, a town that’s so far north, it’s almost not in the United States—it’s almost in Canada. And it almost doesn’t exist. Because its residents never got around to getting organized. So it’s just…Almost.

One cold, clear Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky above, Almost’s residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. And life for the people of Almost, Maine will never be the same.

ALMOST, MAINE: It’s love. But not quite.

The World in Flicks: The Return

The Return (Russia, 2003) - November 17th, 2015
7 p.m., McCarthy Center Forum

The winner of the grand prize at the 2003 Venice Film Festival, "The Return" is the stunning feature film debut of Andrey Zvyagintsev. The film is a story of the brothers Vanya and Andrey, adolescents who have grown up in a small, depressed town in the care of their mother. Mr. Zvyagintsev creates a most moving tension between his massive, archetypical themes and the bristling specificity of his characters.

Suitable Solutions Fashion Show

Don't miss the Suitable Solutions Fashion Show on Thursday, Nov. 19th, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the McCarthy Center Forum!

About 30 students signed up to take part in the Suitable Solutions Program, which was launched by the Office of Career Services and Employer Relations in partnership with the with a national retail company and the United Way of Tri-County.

The program kicked off on October 22nd with a seminar on professionalism led by Jen Maseda, the Chief Philanthropy Officer at the United Way. Following the seminar, students held one-on-one mock interviews with local corporate recruiters and received feedback on their performance.

Emerging Leaders Nominations

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development seeks your insight for the 2016 Emerging Leaders program. Click here to view the nomination form.

Forms may be submitted electronically through Collegiate Link or e-mailed to by Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Notable Accomplishments

-Former English Department Chair and Professor Emerita Dr. Miriam Levine was recently selected as the Poet Laureate for Arlington, Massachusetts.  Here is a recent video about her.

-Dr. Rachel Trousdale’s book of poems, Antiphonal Fugue for Marx Brothers, Elephant, and Slide Trombone, was published last week by Finishing Line Press. 

Upcoming events

"A Piece of My Heart" Show

Saturday, November 18, 2017

7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Dwight Hall Auditorium 206 (DPAC), Dwight Hall Foyer

Organized by: Dept of Communications Arts

Manisha Sinha, The Slave's Cause: A New History of Abolition

Monday, November 20, 2017

4:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Heineman Ecumenical Center

Organized by: Arts & Ideas

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