What is Asbestos?

Think back to your environmental science classes. Did your professor ever bring up the topic of asbestos?

If not, you’ve probably heard of it by now – even if it was only on a late-night commercial during your last all-night study session. You’re not entirely sure (Hey, you were sleep deprived – it happens! ) but you vaguely remember the commercial mentioning something about cancer and lawyers . . . nothing you need to worry about, right?

Unfortunately, asbestos is a serious threat – even for college students.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was heavily used as an industrial material until the 1980s. It was found to be an excellent fireproofing material, and it was mostly used as insulation for drywall, tiles, pipes and various other construction products. Several hundred widely used products were all made with asbestos as a primary ingredient.

Unfortunately, this mineral flakes apart easily. When that happens, tiny fibers are released into the air.

They can be released through any sort of structural damage to the material, such as scraping up asbestos caulking, chipping off asbestos paint or renovating buildings with asbestos-contaminated insulation.

Once asbestos has been released into the air, people can inhale it easily.

Inhaling or ingesting asbestos can lead to cancers such as mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as other serious diseases such as asbestosis or pleural plaques. Although asbestos is a natural mineral found in the environment, it is still recognized as a Class A carcinogen for causing cancer in humans.

Asbestos in Universities

Many asbestos-contaminated construction products were sold to colleges and universities, where they still remain today. However, asbestos products in universities are not considered to be a risk for students unless the fibers are released into the air.

Recently, some universities have revealed toxic asbestos on their campus.

In February 2012, asbestos was found in the fitness center, library, lab and residence halls at California State University at Northridge, and students and staff were advised to take special care around these areas. Florida State University, Wesleyan University and the University of Rhode Island are other major universities to report asbestos in their structures.

Even on campuses that have not had a public asbestos issue in the past, it is safe to assume that buildings constructed before the 1980s contain asbestos products and that any sort of disturbance to the structure could cause a health risk.

To ensure the safety of their students and staff, most universities are required to enact an asbestos management plan. If you encounter potential sources of exposed asbestos on your college campus, be sure to report it to administration for proper care.

Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistant (VITA)

Saturday, March 10

Vanguard University
55 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Time & Place
Tech 101

Why Go?: GET YOUR TAXES DONE FOR FREE!!! A trained VITA volunteer will help you file your taxes for free! You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident & have earned less than $49,079 in 2011. Call 88-434-8248 for more information and to make an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome, but an appointment is preferred. Please bring the following with you to file your taxes: social security #, W-2 forms, 1099 forms (if applicable), 1098 E & T forms (if applicable), a copy of your 2010 tax return, and picture ID. We hope to see you there!

See attached flier for additional information. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through our website.


Environmental Sustainability Conference Schedule

Hey All,

Here is the official schedule for our 2012 Environmental Sustainability Conference! I hope that you’re as excited as we are and we look forward to seeing you there! Don’t strain your eyes – click the photo below to see a larger image!

Chapel Credit at Friday’s Conference

Students of Vanguard,

We have heard your requests loud and clear and we are happy to report that we will be scanning ID cards and giving chapel credit at the conference this Friday, February 10 from 9am-4pm.  Will you still need a ticket to attend?  Yes, but for less than a quick meal at Dairy Queen you can:

-Meet industry leaders of the Orange County business community

-Help yourselves to a fully loaded, catered lunch buffet

-Learn about ways to be environmentally friendly in your home and dorm lives

-Network with Vanguard Alumni (who love helping out VU Undergrads!)

And if for no other reason,

-Receive chapel credit!

So come join SIFE at NMC for the 2012 Evironmental Sustainability Conference, this Friday from 9am-4pm.  Follow the link to register now:  http://vugreenconf.eventbrite.com/

Feeling Lucky?- Don’t Miss Out on Our Raffle Prizes!

Who doesn’t love free cool stuff?  Especially when that stuff includes fun, sustainable products from local Orange County green businesses.  The prizes range from jewelry made of 100% recycled paper and burlap laptop cases all the way to açaí berry energy drinks and dinner for two at Stonefire Grill.

The best part about this raffle is that it’s totally free!  Seriously- no purchase necessary.  No need to buy a little red ticket, just drop your business card in the bowl and you could be the lucky winner.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of the prizes you could get your hands on at the 2012 Environmental Sustainability Conference.




Don’t forget about the auction!  You wont want to miss this.

You could win 2 business strategy and marketing consulting sessions with Orange County’s finest-the creator of the anti-mall, Shaheen Sadeghi.  Our guests will have the chance to gain insight and pick the brain of the President and CEO of Lab Holding, LLC.  How do you win?  Simply do not miss the lunch hour of the conference, when the live auction will be held.  The winner and a couple of lucky students will be able to mingle over lunch to arrange when and where the sessions will be held.  Each session will run for one hour- think of all the priceless  ideas you and Shaheen can generate in that amount of time!


Don’t miss out on this annual Orange County event, register now at:  http://vugreenconf.eventbrite.com/.

















I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Sorry Bing Crobsy- we’re taking your white Christmas and turning it green!  Christmas is a holiday that upholds so many traditions we’ve all loved since we were kids  There’s nothing better than waking up on Christmas morning to bright colorful lights, decorations all over the house, and a big gorgeous tree with presents stacked up underneath .  How can we start to make our holidays more eco-friendly without compromising the iconic Christmas we all love so much?  The best way to go about this is to take baby steps; Starting with all of the paper that we waste.

Avoid the mess of pretty but non-recyclable gift wrap this Christmas by using 100% recyclable gift wrap.  Sunday’s newspaper or you paper grocery bags can be transformed into a creative wrapping paper.  For an even more artistic look, wrap your gifts with colorful fabrics.  Tell us what you are doing this year to make Christmas green?


Conference Website Has New Home and New Look

With tremendous help from Vanguard University’s Marketing Department, SIFE has given the Environmental Sustainability Conference website a new home.  Now, the site is easier than ever to navigate and viewers have even more access to resources and information on the conference and other SIFE community outreach projects.  The new logo and the design of the site give it a fresh, organic look.  The new official URL is: vanguard.edu/GreenConf.  Take a look around and tell us what your favorite thing about the change is.

Consulting Session with Shaheen Sadeghi, CEO of Lab Holding LLC.

Shaheen Sadeghi makes a return to the Environmental Sustainability Conference- but this time guests will learn even more from him than ever before.Guests will have the opportunity to pick Shaheen’s brain at the business strategy & marketing consulting session by participating in a raffle auction to win a seat at this exclusive session.

This will be an excellent opportunity for students and business owners to gain tremendous insight from such an influencial and established individual.

Fundraising Meeting

The team met with fundraising director of Vanguard University, Kelly Kannwischer, this past week and she gave the team motivation, advice, and hope. She informed us that the conference is slowly starting to raise eyebrows on the Vanguard campus, and that people are wanting to get more involved. With Vanguard’s staff wanting to get involved, this allows for the conference to grow and become better equipped to reach higher and more efficient goals. This year we plan on uniting Vanguard’s alumni, by having Homecoming Weekend the same weekend. Joining these two elements will allow both parties to prosper, giving the conference more attendance, and giving the Homecoming Weekend more activities and generate involvement.  Through the meeting Kelly also gave us advice to engage our guests with activities. We came to the conclusion that a 90 minute white board session with an honoree guest and students would be a great way to engage local businesses by educating and encouraging them to maintain a sustainable tomorrow. The final element that we gained from the meeting with Kelly was the hope that the conference could grow larger than it has ever been.  She told us that adding a gala at next years event would allow us to have more elements in the conference, and further engage guests, honorees, and students. All of these ideas are great additions to the conference and motivation, advice, and hope for SIFE.

Growers First

This past month Michael O’Conner, Growers First Project Lead, sat down with Jeff Smith and talked over the logistics of the Honduras trip. He stated that due to the size of the communities we will be serving in Honduras, our team should be no more than 4 people. Bringing a larger group would throw off the infrastructure of the communities there. Within the meeting it was confirmed that the team would fly into the Tegucigalpa airport, which is located in the capitol of Honduras, and then Jeep Trek to the community of farmers. The cost for each member of the team will be $50 per day.

During the trip, SIFE plans to create a documentary for the use of Growers First. We are in the process of creating a script that will be cohesive with former documentaries.

With the team leaving in five weeks, we need more support than ever. Help is needed in a variety of areas such as fundraising, sponsorships, planning, and script preparation.  We plan to keep you informed through newsletters, blogs, and videos. During the trip, we will be uploading short-clips and blog entries for those that would like to directly follow our mission.

For more information on how you can get involved in this project, please visit VUGrowers.SnapPages.com.