Student Fed­er­ation approved the Con­ser­vation Club’s $160 funding request for a new ini­tiative to begin recy­cling in res­i­dence halls by the end of this month during its Oct. 8 meeting.

The ini­tiative — to recycle haircare, skincare, and beauty sup­plies — divided rep­re­sen­ta­tives over whether it was wasteful spending, given the hygienic and recy­cling habits of men as opposed to women.

Some rep­re­sen­ta­tives won­dered why American Chemical Society or Beta Beta Beta, the biology hon­orary, are not in charge of the ini­tiative and why Con­ser­vation Club limits their scope to dorms. They con­sidered such division of labor inef­fi­cient. Con­ser­vation Club members, however, did not agree.

“It’s part of the mission of every club and orga­ni­zation: ACS, as a chemical society, would want to recycle plastic bottles, like polymers, and Tri-Beta, the bio­logical hon­orary, would want to recycle paper and card­board, and at the same time, Con­ser­vation Club, con­serving the envi­ronment,” said junior Bilyana Petkova, vice pres­ident of the Con­ser­vation Club. “I think it’s a lot of work. With ACS it takes all of the vol­un­teers to pick up the trash every week, and I can’t imagine Con­ser­vation Club, with just 20 to 30 members, picking up trash in every dorm, all around campus, and at the Tri-Beta sta­tions. With dis­tri­b­ution, I think we’re being more effi­cient.”

At first, the Financial Com­mittee rec­om­mended no funding for the Con­ser­vation Club.

“We felt that it was not likely to be used in general by a large per­centage of stu­dents, espe­cially for guys in Simpson or in Gal­loway, who have two trash cans in their rooms,” said junior rep­re­sen­tative Ryan Jelalian, a member of the Financial Com­mittee. “We also felt that there are other orga­ni­za­tions that do similar recy­cling ini­tia­tives who could reach and provide support and take on the burden finan­cially.”

For Kappa Kappa Gamma rep­re­sen­tative junior Elise Clines, the dis­cussion was a sign of micro­man­agement on the part of Student Fed.

“It seems to me that we have started to almost micro­manage clubs, saying that we know best for every little detail,” Clines said. “Why don’t we give them a little bit of freedom?”

Petkova and sophomore Andrea Lee, club trea­surer, peti­tioned for $164.08 on behalf of the club for sturdy, gray storage bins and trash bags for all 19 dorms and Greek houses.

“The long-term goal is that the college will actually realize that we need a college-orga­nized recy­cling program,” Petkova said. “All recy­cling done on campus is done by stu­dents. So the college and the cleaning staff don’t help us with recy­cling. We have to provide every­thing our­selves.”

As of right now, the scope of the club’s project is col­lecting only hygienic product waste. ACS recently placed new recy­cling bins for plastics and alu­minum in many of the aca­demic buildings. The biology hon­orary has nine card­board and paper recy­cling sta­tions up the hill.

Vol­unteer members of the Con­ser­vation Club are respon­sible for col­lecting, sorting, and trans­porting the recy­clables to the plant.

Some rep­re­sen­ta­tives artic­u­lated con­cerns regarding success rates in male dorms, claiming that the project would not be suc­cessful in the men’s res­i­dence halls because men tend to use fewer products than women. Others attributed potential failures to bathroom location: Galloway’s com­munity bath­rooms would facil­itate recy­cling while Simpson’s suite-style bath­rooms would not as res­i­dents would have to walk down the hall to dispose of their recy­clables.

The Con­ser­vation Club, however, already has exper­i­mented with recy­cling in male dorms with pos­itive results.

“We did it at the end of the semester, just a box in the lounge, and we got a lot of guys bringing in stuff,” Petkova said.

Senior Samuel Holdeman, inde­pendent rep­re­sen­tative and member of the Financial Com­mittee, sug­gested a com­promise: to begin in the women’s dorms and move to men’s dorms if the ini­tiative proved suc­cessful.

“I think that just creates a double standard: Women somehow are expected to recycle certain things and men, because of their nature, don’t need to,” sophomore rep­re­sen­tative Christian Wiese said.

The concern of a double standard went hand-in-hand with the clas­si­fi­cation of these recy­clable items as beauty sup­plies or products, a label that does not suggest shaving cream or deodorant, and would further undercut the success of the ini­tiative among male dorms.

“I think that as long as the boxes aren’t labeled beauty sup­plies and put in a prominent spot, there would be mod­erate success,” sophomore rep­re­sen­tative Christopher Pudenz said.

Despite the lack of recy­cling efforts on behalf of the college, inde­pendent rep­re­sen­tative sophomore Jonathan Moy said he felt the new ini­tiative lines up with the aims of Hillsdale College.

“We should support the college in its mission of calling its stu­dents towards the active cul­ti­vation of intel­lectual and moral excel­lence and humility before our Creator,” Moy said. “I think this is one way we can promote the idea of con­ser­vation among stu­dents and under­stand the impor­tance of using our resources wisely.”

Inde­pendent rep­re­sen­tative sophomore Christie Mit­tlestaedt agreed: “I think getting recy­cling in the dorms is inevitable. The world is a changing place and recy­cling is big nowadays, and it’s coming to Hillsdale.”