The annual Freshmen Convocation welcomed the largest class in CSUN history to the lawn of Oviatt Library Thursday evening to learn about the importance of “Garbology”, a book written by Edward Humes.
President Dianne F. Harrison, along with college department heads and Associated Student (A.S.) representatives, welcomed freshmen as they arrived.
Edward Humes book “Garbology” is on this year’s freshman common reading list. Humes addressed students and explained the concept of garbology, the study of trash, and why it is important for CSUN to learn.
“Trash is the biggest thing we make, it’s our leading export,” said Humes. “The amount of trash we make in a year would be equal to every car manufactured in Detroit since World War 2. That’s one years’ worth of trash in America.”
Humes offered strategies to combat waste such as recycling and going vintage, and asked the audience to keep waste reduction strategies in mind.
“Garbology is not about supplying all the answers, it’s getting you to question the status quo and look at the absurdities that we now consider to be normal,” Humes said. “How is Cal State Northridge, how are you fired up new members of this great community, going to help the rest of us redefine normal when it comes to our trash cans?”
Michelle Becerra, a freshman English major, thought the convocation was a nice gesture for the freshman class. “I thought it was nice to see that the principal cares about us. Usually when I go to a school there’s no introduction speech or anything and it was nice that there was this whole orientation after freshman orientation,” Becerra said.
Becerra also noted Humes’ speech, as she said “everyone should be aware of those things, and I think that it’s important these matters are being brought up at a public event like this.”
Though the core the convocation was about understanding the importance of Garbology and eliminating unnecessary waste, there were also speakers present to encourage freshmen and to offer advice for the beginning of their college experience.
CSUN alumna and current USC graduate Angela Lara Lomel encouraged students to not be afraid and to help each other out.
“College is a place where if you want or need something, you need to go after it. Please, do not be afraid like I was. It is absolutely okay not to know,” Lomeli said. “After all, this is a learning institution. Beyond all the circumstances you have faced, insecurities you might have about yourself, and what others expect of you, you can do it.You are part of CSUN’s largest class in history. Help each other out, and make the best experience possible.”
Madalyne Handy, the first recipient of the Harrison Leadership Award by President Harrison also spoke at the convocation. Handy is a sophomore studying kinesiology with a 3.6 GPA and a member of the softball team. Following the ceremony, Handy said she was honored to receive the award, and thought that the advice given in the ceremony was especially influential for freshmen.
Freshman Kevin Truong, a Public Health major, felt the speech by Lomeli and the award given to Handy were inspiring to the freshman audience. “It makes us want to work harder as freshmen, it’s inspiring, it’s definitely something to look forward to,” Kevin said.
Students and faculty were entertained with the CSUN Jazz “A” Band and vocalist Erin Reagan. Regan played jazz and swing standards, as well as film scores and the CSUN Alma Mater at the end of the convocation.
A spread of sandwiches, strawberries, and water bottles were opened in front of the library following the convocation as students got the opportunity to speak with President Harrison as well as the heads of their departments and other school representatives.
A.S. senior volunteer Austin Hernandez noted that the convocation was a simulation of commencement for freshmen, allowing freshmen to visualize what it would be like to graduate in four years.
“I want this to be their driving motivation,” said Hernandez., “Our goal is that they see this and they realize this is where they want to be in four years.”
Watch as the class of 2017 attends Freshman Convocation.