January 17, 2015

Past & Present: My Experience with LEAP

I’m excited for this coming semester for many reasons. I will be reunited with dear friends after a semester abroad and I’ll be living off campus in the Folk Music house. Also, I’m excited for each of my courses, for my four new professors, and to have the Skillman library as my safe haven once again.

In these past few weeks I have been particularly focused on preparing for new roles in the campus community. I will be serving as president of LEAP (Lafayette Environmental Protection and Awareness) and Programs Chair of LaFFCo (Lafayette Food and Farm Co-op), a new club on campus. So far, preparation for this semester has entailed a lot of long-winded emails and urgent Facebook messages to fellow officers. I am eager to meet with club board members in person and to get started with activities of campus and community activism.

I have been a member of LEAP since freshman year and it has continued to be a huge part of my life at Lafayette. The most memorable moment of my freshman year LEAP experience was our trip to Washington, DC to participate in the rally against the Keystone XL pipeline. With posters in hand and clever chants, we marched from the Washington Monument to the White House. I became closer to fellow members of LEAP that day.

Alexa Gatti and other young people hold signs advocating for clean energy and opposing the Keystone XL pipeline

 

Environment Career Panel Poster

During my sophomore year, I dove further into LEAP life when I became the club’s Events Chair. I organized club events and played a role in planning Earth Month (with activities ranging from movie showings and guest speakers to a festive picnic in the Anderson Courtyard) with the Environmental Studies Department. I was responsible for the first EVST Career Panel at Lafayette. We brought in four alumni from various environmental fields.

 

For the spring semester of sophomore year, I  moved into TREEhouse, the home of several LEAP officers, friends of the environment, musicians, social activists, and outdoor aficionados. I had a blast living there and gained close friendships with 10 goofy individuals. The house was constantly filled with the music of our resident musicians or the peace of a cozy retreat for late-night studies. We hosted LEAP meetings, club dinners, and movie nights. The house provided a wonderful atmosphere for friendships, homework, and refreshing naps. The kitchen was always in use and the dining room table was full of friends gathered to chat, dine, or work.

 

A group of LEAP students sit at a table for dinner at the TREEhouse

LEAP dinner at TREEhouse

Three friends stand by a snowman they made

TREEhouse snowman

Alexa Gatti and her roommate, Rachel, stand together and smile

Me & Rachel, my roommate!

After a semester abroad, I am eager to return to campus to reunite with LEAP and get started with LaFFCo! I look forward to bringing fresh ideas to these clubs and to working with the incredible members.

As a member of LaFFCo, I am excited to get more involved on LaFarm and to learn more about local, national, and global issues and successes of food production and distribution. In LEAP, I hope to engage members of the club and the campus in discussing and acting on environmental issues that span scientific, political, and social realms.

I am excited for a semester of new projects, new friendships, and new adventures with old friends.

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