As I sat waiting for musical rehersal to begin yesterday, I started talking with my comrade in quick-changing, Lauren Clapp. She and I are both on costume crew for Titanic (the muscial) this term, so our job consists of making sure people are fully clothed in a new costume before re-entering onto the stage. This also means we have to sit around before the show waiting in case a costume malfunctions and we usually find some time to chat. I had seen on Facebook that Lauren was involved in a Campus Kitchens presentation on Symposium Day and I was curious.
(And yes, that is Lauren in a trash bin.)
What is your role in Campus Kitchens?
My official title is Shift Coordinator. I’m on the leadership team for Campus Kitchens. I’m involved with a lot of the planning that goes on behind the scenes. My main project this year was the sticker program.
Tell me about that!
The sticker program is just like Safe Zone or Faith Zone on campus. It’s a 45 minute session with faculty or staff that basically covers what food insecurity is, what it looks like nationally among college students, what it looks like in the Quad Cities, on Augie’s campus, why we don’t hear about it- the stigma surrounding food insecurity, red flags to look out for with students, and how they can be a resource to students and how they can find resources on campus and off campus for students. After the program they get a sticker (pictured below) and they can put it outside their office space to let students know that if they’re having any troubles with food insecurity that this is someone who is been through the 45-minute program and know the proper resources. There’s also three immediate offices that are extremely dedicated to the problem of food insecurity on Augie’s campus: the dean’s office, Keri Bass’ office in CORE, and Campus Ministries.
I’m just dipping my toe into looking into research opportunities to get a better look of what food insecurity looks like on Augie’s campus.
I’ve been also helping Janelle Norden, she’s our cupboard director. We are opening our campus cupboard in the fall hopefully, hopefully. It’ll be on the third floor of Olin and it will have non-perishable items for students, which is going to be really helpful. It’s probably something that’s really overdue. A lot of other college campuses already have cupboards.
Really? I had no idea.
It’s surprising. We visited a hunger banquet in Iowa City, some of the leadership team members went, and they just opened up their pantry. They were talking about statistics with us and they (the University of Iowa) were one of two schools in the big ten that didn’t have a pantry already on campus. We’ve been travelling around, talking to different schools about what they’re doing and working on connections with them for setting up events to get our name out there a little bit more next year. Also, I went to Summit in Ohio for a weekend- which was basically a Campus Kitchens and Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH)- it was a big conference where I spoke to a bunch of different people, did a lot of networking, learned about super cool things that are fighting food insecurity already and things we could utilize in the future.
That’s awesome! Anything else we should be on the lookout for with Campus Kitchens?
Our next meal is May 9th in the Brew at 7pm! It’s our last for the year.
We launched in November, we’ve only been around 6 months and we’ve already recovered I think it’s 582 lbs of food and served 483 meals. Considering that approximately/very roughly 10% of Augie college students are at high risk for food insecurity, that’s about 250 students- looking at how small Augustana is, that’s appalling.
What else do you do on campus that you enjoy?
I’m in choir. Jenny Lind is pretty awesome. We have a concert coming up on this Saturday (May 6th) for anyone interested!
Oh! I know what I was going to ask you. You work in admissions, don’t you? What made you want to work there?
I’m a people person, I’d say. I like working with people. I’m an ambassador so I do office work and if you see an Augie kid guiding other people around campus, that’s my job. So it’s always fun when you tour a kid that comes early on in the process and then you see them at a big event like It Begins with ‘A’ and they remember you. I definitely remember the tour guides that toured me. It's not a deciding feature, but it definitely helps get the vibe of the school.
I like being at Augie and I like being around the people at Augie, so I think I just want to share my experience with potential incoming students. I know I was so undecided about college. I had no clue what I wanted to major in. I had no idea what I was supposed to base a college on. I was just lost in the process. So if I can help people through that- tell them I was in their shoes- I enjoy that the most.
Also, just the atmosphere in the admissions office is awesome. The students that work there are the best.
What made you attracted to theatre? We’re sitting here before Titanic starts the rehearsal for tonight. I mean, I know you’re just working costumes this time, but you were in Crimes of the Heart last term. Why acting/theatre?
I got into theatre in Jr. High. My brother was in theatre (he’s two years older than me, he’s a Senior here actually). I went to a small school where you’re basically involved in everything, so I thought “I’ll do this.” I always liked looking at things from other people's perspective, so physically putting myself in someone else’s shoes- a character’s shoes- was interesting to me. It was interesting how I portrayed this other person on stage. I fell in love with it right from the start.
What's your favorite food?
This is such a hard question!
Okay, top five.
I have two go-to favorite foods: potatoes (of ANY sort) and watermelon. But thing that pisses my friends off is that watermelon is not my favorite fruit.
How does that make sense?
I don't know!
What's your favorite fruit then?
Apples. I can wholeheartedly say that. But watermelon is one of my favorite foods and I have no qualms with it. Internally, I'm fine with it.
I guess food is just magical like that.
Ooh, pasta is also up there. Also frozen yogurt- specifically mango frozen yogurt.
Girl, same. What's your favorite color?
Gray. It's so ambiguous. There's so much behind it and people only ever think of it as dull. There's so much more to gray.
And there is so much more to you Lauren! Thank you for letting me shamelessly interview you for Her Campus. Much love to you!