Garden Provides Ball Accessory

Casey Miller, News Editor

The Global Student Embassy and the Environmental Club joined together in the garden on May 15 and 16 to encourage Senior Ball attendees to make their own corsages and boutonnieres. At a cost of $8, participants  received help from GSE and Environmental Club members to create a ribbon-and-flower accessory, led by seniors Spencer Nichols and Ashley Yu.

“The GSE and Environmental Club have come together to form one club, and today and tomorrow we are doing a fundraiser where we help people make their own corsages and boutonnieres for $8,” explained Nichols.

The purpose of their project is to raise awareness of both the agricultural and employment practices of the global flower industry. Nichols said, “Basically, we’re raising money for the club while at the same time raising awareness about the industrial flower industry. 80% of our flowers come from Columbia and a lot of them come full of pesticides and chemicals that are really harmful for the people that are growing the flowers and harvesting them.”

“The labor conditions down there are really, really poor as well, so we’re just trying to raise awareness of that and show people the human cost of flowers when they buy them from the store,” Nichols added.

“[The best part was] just seeing students being engaged in the garden in a different way, in a way that was fun and creative, and could also show them the importance of how easy it can be to use local resources to meet their needs. Instead of going to a flower shop, they got to come here and design their own corsage our boutonniere,” GSE Contra Costa Program Coordinator Chrissy Orangio said.

The promotion of the event was modest. “We just used Facebook and put up some posters, and let people know by word of mouth,” Nichols said.

As a result, “about 15 people” showed up. “I think it was as we expected because we didn’t advertise that much. We only had two posters around campus,” GSE member Margaret Hunger said.

In addition to flowers from the campus garden, the floral accessories required a few basic supplies. “Our leader Ashley [Yu] went around to different art supplies stores like Jo-Ann’s, and bought wire to wrap it in, and ribbons. We made bands out of stretchy ribbon,” Hunger said.

The money for ribbons and supplies came from past GSE fundraisers, according to Hunger.

The club raised approximately $50 from this event.