Oregon Center for the Arts Marketing Manager recently interviewed SOU Theatre major Alex Szabo, class of 2020 regarding their reorganization of the annual SOU OSPIRG fundraiser. OSPIRG is a campus political action group that enables students to lobby local, regional, and global political issues at the state level.
Alex is the 2019-2020 OSPIRG Chairperson. In the 2019-2020 academic year, Alex has dedicated their time to working on OSPIRG’s hunger and homelessness which aids students facing hunger and housing issues.
During Spring term 2020, OSPIRG has been focusing on food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the SOU Student Food Pantry closing. Part of this initiative is the creation of a cookbook containing SOU students’ visual art and creative writing.
Due to the campus print shop being closed because of COVID-19 restrictions, OSPIRG is creating a digital cookbook (instead of a printed version) that is vegan-centric; with options for substituting meat in some recipes, in order to raise funds for either a local food pantry or the SOU Student Food Pantry. The inspiration for this digital cookbook is to teach students how to eat sustainably; including ways to shop sustainably from local resources like the Farm at SOU and the Rogue Valley Grower’s Market.
The OSPIRG cookbook not only highlights eating sustainably but also showcases SOU students’ visual art. OSPIRG posted a call for student artists and writers to submit visual art or creative writing pieces to be included in the cookbook. They were looking specifically for COVID-19 or pandemic-related art, but we’re open to any and all submissions. The goal is to produce a vehicle–the cookbook– to showcase student art in a form that would also bring attention to greater issues of food insecurity in our community.
Alex hopes the draw of original visual art created during the COVID-19 pandemic will help the e-cookbook; one example is the painting created by Anthony Heinz, also a Theatre major at OCA at SOU graduating in June 2020, which is shown as the image accompanying this story. Alex is the subject of Anthony’s painting; and most likely, the subject of ALL of Anthony’s paintings because they are “quarantining” together during COVID-19.
Alex believes purchasing the OSPIRG e-cookbook is one of the easiest ways for students to help fellow students facing food insecurity. Alex anticipates that students will buy the cookbook for the original works of art and keep it for the recipes.
Once the e-cookbook is completed, it should be available for sale on the OSPIRG website.