On Friday, March 27th, the Ronj kicked off a weekend full of events that appealed to students and community members with a passion for environmentally aware activities.

The Environmental Symposium encompassed such events that ranged from an advertisement of homemade jewelry created from recycled materials to a clothing swap where students could bring their old clothes and pick out new ones from other “swappable” items in a pot-luck fashion. There was even an exquisite display of ceramic creations to represent the more artistic side of the weekend-long event. Oh, and the snacks.

The second floor of the Ronj was packed full of students expressing their love for what was being displayed as well as other artistic or environmental happenings in and around the community.

Claire McGlave ’15 was responsible for providing the popular homemade jewelry. Her mini-corporation, Sincere Irony, seemed to be a hit this weekend with her unique display of fashionable accessories made from materials such as recycled soda cans and various natural materials. With such a rare and artistic talent on campus, it is no wonder why McGlave was a representative at the Environmental Symposium.

“Sincere Irony started as a hobby,” McGlave explained. “I made jewelry for friends and family all through high school, and only gave it as gifts or for fun. When I moved to Portland last summer a friend dared me to go into a boutique and offer to sell my jewelry there. I did it, thinking of course that the owner would say no, but she called me in for a showing and ended up buying about 20 of my necklaces to sell! I still sell with her, and she has been a mentor and a guide throughout the process of starting Sincere Irony as it expanded to other stores, Etsy, and the Bates bookstore.”

Junior Julia Riback, the organizer of the Environmental Symposium, saw some of McGlave’s jewelry in the bookstore, on Etsy, and at the Trashion Show and asked if she could come and sell at the event.

McGlave expressed her love and excitement for the activities of the weekend. “The Environmental Symposium was so much fun,” she exclaimed. “It was great to see people from all different groups on campus come together to eat food, look at art, and talk about what’s going on with environmental activities at Bates.”

With an event such as the Environmental Symposium being held all weekend long on campus, it is incredible that the Bates community can be so receptive and supportive of all that has been offered through this artistic movement.

McGlave added, “as a senior at Bates, I am struck by how wonderful this student body is. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such smart, accomplished people every day. The more people I meet the more excited I get about what our class will accomplish, and events like this let me meet a diverse group of new people, which is always exciting.”