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 Student Organizations Collaborate for Sustainability

Posted on Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

When Santa Clara students decide to make a difference, the results can be quite impressive. With dozens of registered student clubs and organizations (RSOs) and many more informal movements, undergraduates have created lasting and meaningful impacts on campus life. One area in which students have taken a particular interest is sustainability.

From the GREEN Club to one of SCU’s newest student organizations, the Sustainable Business Studies Club, it is clear that student leaders care about sustainability. When considering sustainability as the culmination of the “three Es” (environment, economics, and social equity), there are more than twenty student organizations that address the concept in one way or another.

The Office of Sustainability decided to build upon this momentum in 2008 by establishing a network of sustainability-related student organizations to facilitate their communication and collaboration. The idea is that once these groups connect, they can use one another as resources to strengthen their individual initiatives, and represent a collective effort toward sustainability. One such example is the collaboration between GREEN Club and B-LEJIT (Bronco Leaders for Environmental Justice Investigating Truth) on the Toxics Tour, which they worked on and completed in the last school year.

Another example of student collaboration to promote sustainability is the Water Bottle Free Initiative. Chris Freeburg, ’11 got the idea for the campaign during his sophomore year when he served as Senate Chair for Associated Students. He attended the Jesuit University Student Leadership Conference where he learned that Gonzaga University student leaders had successfully enacted a campaign to remove single-use water bottles from their campus. Rather than trying to prohibit his fellow students from purchasing single-use plastic water bottles, he sees the campaign as an opportunity to effect broad social change among the SCU community. Furthermore, Freeburg insists that the campaign can only be truly effective if it is initiated by students as a grassroots campaign. For this, he has recruited the help of many other students, including members of ASG and Environmental Studies and Sciences students. Freeburg and his efforts to eliminate plastic water bottles, along with the efforts of other student leaders to effect change on campus, show how important sustainability is to our campus community. With these students' continued efforts, a culture of sustainability at SCU is sure to grow and strengthen.

If you know of a student organization that would like to collaborate with others around topics related to sustainability, please contact Michelle: SustainabilityIntern@scu.edu.

Tags: Co-Curricular Education, Get Involved, Program Highlights