On Thursday evening a group of students and instructors met in the Vetarens Memorial Great Room in the CSB to discuss the Freedom Industries (Elk River) chemical leak. This discussion was intended to generate thought on the many different disciplines involved with this spill and how it would impact the 300,000 people in West Virginia without water. Student were encouraged to consider the economic impact to the area, the legal ramifications, and to question cause and effect. This discussion looked at issues including current Material Safety Data Sheets, government regulations, responsible management practices, and emergency response tactics. Professors Connell and Miller were able to share valuable insight to legal, economic and production considerations.
The format of this discussion was very open. As data is still being examined the discussion was not intended to reach conclusions but to consider the variety of questions that needed to be asked. The value was in the discussion. To examine an event and consider the optics of the situation. The view from as many different perspectives as possible. Innovation spreads from people talking to people and these informal discussions in the CSB open to all and designed to encourage questions and conversation is an example of how our facility can continue to contribute to our mission of engaging in thoughtful consideration and dialogue.