Sweater Days last throughout winter quarter

Western Today staff

The WWU Society for Photographic Education student club is collaborating with the Office of Sustainability, shooting professional-quality photographic portraits of Western students, faculty, and staff as a part of the Western Sustainability 10x12 Winter 2013 Energy Awareness campaign. All members of the campus community are invited to participate in the photo sessions. Photos will be published on the Sweater Days website.

The next photo session is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25. Optional donations will be accepted by the student SPE club, raising funds to attend the Society for Photographic Education National Conference, March 7 to 10 in Chicago.

"Sweater Days” is an energy awareness and engagement campaign taking place this quarter on campus. The campaign emphasizes the campus target winter temperature setting of 68 F, promotes layering clothing to regulate comfort indoors during the workday and shows that sustainability can be creative, comfortable and fun. Thermostats should not be set lower than 68 F.

Fine Arts students Crista Dougherty, Joe Rudko, April Hayden and other student SPE members are shooting professional-quality portraits of Western staff, faculty and students wearing sweaters. Portraits are on Sweater Days posters and the Western Sustainability website promoting energy awareness during the winter 2013 "Sweater Days" campaign. Everyone on campus is invited to participate in the photo sessions. Models can receive a digital copy of their portrait for their own use. University President Bruce Shepard, Director of Compass 2 Campus Cyndie Shepard and dogs Andy and Lucy posed for their portraits in sweaters and are featured on the Sweater Days poster. Staff in the president's and provost’s office, Design Department faculty, students, Sustainability Office staff and Western Libraries staff also are featured.

"It's creative and fun to express yourself and keep warm by wearing a sweater," said Crista Dougherty, the student spearheading the portrait project. "Photographic portraits of a local population will add to my portfolio, which I plan to submit for review at the SPE national conference. This is a perfect example of community engagement for Western, located as we are in Bellingham, 'the city of subdued excitement.'"

Other Sweater Days partners with Western Sustainability are the Associated Students Office of Environmental and Sustainability Programs, K-VIK Television, the Western Gallery and Western Libraries.

Upcoming Sweater Days Events:

  • Weekly noon "Lunch & Learn” sustainability discussion groups. Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesdays through March 12 in Wilson Library Room 265. Tea available, bring a lunch. Open to campus community and public.
  • "Open Knit Night” Wednesday evenings at the Western Gallery through March 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Handcraft and discussion sessions are open to all. Knitting, crocheting or mending optional.

"Sustainability, as defined by Western's Sustainability Committee, is environmentally sound, economically viable, socially equitable and healthy," said Carol Berry, Campus Conservation program manager. "Sweater Days includes all of these values; there is a sweater for everyone. The Western Sustainability energy awareness campaign encourages everyone to 'Think of your sweater as portable personal heater you don't plug in.'"

To sign up for a photo session during winter quarter, contact carol.berry@wwu.edu.