OJ? OK!: Student founds sustainable fundraising initiative

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By Hanna Squire

On Thursday, May 5, in College Park Hall, Jorge Enriquez ‘11 hosted the kick-off event for his Presidential Green Grant entitled “OJ? OK!” His project will bring a sustainable orange juice supply to campus.

Enriquez said he came up with this idea because he was upset by students who wasted fruit by throwing it all over West Beach last year. He discovered that there were better ways to use fruits that were not being consumed.

In the College Park Hall lobby, Enriquez set up an orange juice stand using only whole oranges. The event raised 44% more money than the original amount spent on oranges.

Dining Services staff, particularly Director of Operations Callie Stacey and General Manager David Gaul, is playing an instrumental role in the project by permitting Enriquez to use its facilities and dishes.

The equipment for the project consisted of a presser and peeler that came from his native country, Bolivia. Enriquez says that many parts of Bolivia have fresh fruit juice stands along their streets.

David Foreman ‘13 and John Boyle ‘13 acted as the manpower to put the press in motion at the event and Amin Meyghani ‘13 created the advertising.

Enriquez also used Aspretto cups, which are made of 90% renewable resources and contain 10% post consumer fiber. The orange peels will be used as compost for both Jackson and Octopus Garden. All aspects of Enriquez’s initiative are sustainable and natural.

“Sometimes it’s best to go back to our roots,” says Enriquez.

All revenue from Enriquez’s fresh juice goes to a charitable cause. A full cup of juice costs $2 and a half-cup costs $1. The organizations benefitting from the project are Humane Borders and No More Deaths (No Mas Muertes), which both deal with aiding people who cross the border from Mexico to the U.S. and end up dying from dehydration as they pass through the desert. Enriquez was inspired by an article he read in The Economist about Mexicans being massacred by drug traffickers in their own country. He believes that no matter what your position is on the immigration issue, saving a life should never be illegal.

“I think it’s so sad people are dying because they don’t have a cup of water to drink,” says Terri Collins ‘11.

“No matter how you feel about immigration, it’s important to protect human lives. No one deserves to die alone in the desert,” says Trevor Martin ‘14.

Enriquez hopes that this kick-off event will pave the way for a more permanent place for his stand on campus. Since he is graduating this year, he hopes that some underclassmen will continue the project and work to expand it. In addition to more volunteers and equipment, Enriquez would even like to add different types of fruits. He plans to leave the Bolivian equipment on campus and believes it could potentially be implemented by Dining Services or per request for campus activities and events.

Currently, Enriquez plans to have his stand at many upcoming campus events including Lobsterfest, Ribs and Reggae as well as at West residence hall, Reamer Campus Center and the Ozone Café held in Old Chapel on Friday afternoons.

“This is a project for the campus by the campus, I think we can make it something big,” said Enriquez.

For more information about the project and the organizations it supports, please visit the new website www.ojok.net, created by Meyghani.

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