A new trend is sweeping across the LSE campus - black jute bags emblazoned with the Emerson quotation: 'Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis' are quickly becoming this season's must have accessory.
The new 'bag for life' is the result of feedback from students concerned about the environmental impact of the plastic bags used by the School Library for carrying books.
Marysia Henty, communications officer at the Library explains: 'Although the Library has a bag recycling scheme in place, we were keen to offer a free bag for life at the start of term. The bag is made from jute, an ecological alternative to plastic, and we chose a supplier who adheres to strict international fair trading regulations. We hope that students will use the bag for Library books throughout their time here, instead of carrier bags.
In addition to this, Jeni Brown, IT Services Training Manager, was interested in promoting LSE's training portal which points to the wealth of personal, professional and academic development programmes available to staff and students at LSE.
'...just not in the Library please!'
The two sides collaborated and put in a joint bid to the Annual Fund who generously agreed to fund a bag that would promote the Library and the LSE training portal while being environmentally sound and protecting the Library books. A total of 6300 bags were produced and they are being distributed primarily by the Student's Union and from the temporary Welcome Point in the Library foyer.
The bags have had a mixed response from students. A group of MSc students from the US, Germany and Canada (pictured above) were enthusiastic about the bags. Kathyrn Ritterspach said: 'I would definitely use the bag, but I don't think it would fit over my shoulder.' Katharina Luz added: 'It would be better if they had longer straps' but they all agreed with the sustainable ethos of the bag and thought it was a great concept.
We were surprised to find as many male as female students sporting the bag. Ben Jemmett-Page (pictured below right), a first year economics student was running late for uni, and grabbed the first bag on his floor: 'I was really tired when I woke up and this was the only thing I could see. I am going out tonight so I may use it as part of my fancy dress outfit.'
Masters students Alex Durst (pictured left) and Markus Wegelius (pictured middle) were more enthusiastic, saying they would use the bags to carry books to and from campus, remarking 'They are really sturdy and great for heavy books.'
SU Environment and Ethics officer Justus Rollin said: 'It is great to see that the LSE makes a serious effort to go green. The bags for life are a great way to cut the unsustainable use of plastic bags.'
International Political Economy MSc students Kathyrn Ritters, Katharina Luz and Catherine Badar modelling the new bags.
Ben Jemmett-Page show that the bags are a great addition to any outfit.
6 October 2008