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Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009

Solar Decathlon Team Celebrates Win

Team California was honored by university President Michael Engh, S.J., Santa Clara Mayor Patricia Mahan and others at a campus-wide celebration on Nov. 10 in the Bannan Engineering complex. Students from Santa Clara and California College of the Arts collaborated for two years to create a solar-powered home for the 2009 U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C. Their entry, called refract house, came in third overall and snagged top honors in seven of 10 individual categories.

View a slideshow of the event here.

Fall Waste Characterization Finds that Majority of Trash Could be Diverted From Landfill

Sixteen students donned Tyvek jumpsuits and goggles to sort through over 250 pounds of trash in the fall quarter waste characterization on Kennedy Mall. Volunteers dug out trash bags from the two dumpsters serving the 11-story Swig Hall. Contents from the bags were separated into 16 categories, including plastic, food waste, electronic waste and Styrofoam. Of all items sentenced to a landfill, 20% should have been composted and 40% were eligible for recycling. The remaining 40% of material could be called "true landfill waste" because it should be directed to a local landfill. Some of the more interesting items tossed out included Halloween costumes and reusable dishware from Benson. GREEN Club, in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability, conducts waste characterizations once every quarter to call attention to the amount of waste that can be diverted from landfills. Santa Clara uses the statistics from these events to study patterns of recycling and composting, and looks for ways to improve knowledge and engagement in the student body.

View a slideshow of the event here.

Winner Selected for Compost Theme Song Contest

Senior environmental studies major Rochelle Stowe won the Office of Sustainability's compost theme song contest. Her ballad, with jazz and funk inspiration, highlights the simplicity and "coolness" of composting. The song will be integrated into an educational music video to be shown in Benson Memorial Center during winter quarter. The final compilation will also be shown at the Jan. 16 "Go Green" women's basketball game versus Loyola Marymount.

Dining Services Looking for Food Feedback

University Dining Services by Bon Appétit is looking for feedback about the food provided on campus. Anyone who has taken advantage of the many dining opportunities on campus is asked to complete a short (less than five minutes) customer satisfaction survey to give the university's food provider a checkup. Respondents will find a coupon for a free fountain drink at the end of the survey on behalf of Bon Appétit.

Click here to participate in the survey.

Additional feedback can be submitted any time on the Dining Services web site.

Video Contest Hopes to Highlight Global Warming

The National Wildlife Federation is sponsoring a Chill Out: Campus Solutions to Global Warming video contest open to students, faculty and staff. Entrants are encouraged to highlight campus-based projects in green jobs, students in action, innovative design and campus actions.

To enter:
1. Create a 2 minute video about your project
2. Fill out the online entry form
3. Upload your video to

Entries are due by December 31. Winners will receive grand money and prizes, along with national publicity. For more information, visit the contest page here.

Ignatian Center Sponsors Christmas Breakfast for Local Shelter

The Ignatian Community Service Program, in collaboration with the Santa Clara University Staff Senate, is sponsoring a Christmas breakfast for the women and children's shelter of InnVision, a Silicon Valley organization dedicated to the needs of homeless families and individuals. A special meal and holiday gift bag will be delivered on Christmas morning to each woman and child in the shelter.

The Santa Clara community is encouraged to make donations. Just $5.00 will provide a meal and a gift for one person, but no donation is too small. Each dollar will go directly to the shelter.

To participate, simply deliver a check or cash to Nikole Nichols, Operations Manager for the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education in Sobrato Hall, Room 34. Any questions should be directed to Marquita Coe at 408-554-4995, or

*The Ignatian Community Service Program will also be sponsoring a linen drive for the Women and Children's Shelter the week of Feb. 1 - 5. The shelter needs twin sized sheets, blankets, pillow cases, towels and wash cloths in excellent condition. Items can be gently used and clean, and are very welcome in this condition. They also need pillows and mattress pads but can only accept these two items in new condition for hygienic reasons. They will have a donation drop-off area available during the entire week in the west lobby of Benson.

U.S. Students Will Poll While Attending Climate Conference

Students from Ithaca College in New York and Dickinson College in Pennsylvania have been granted access to the U.N.'s Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark this December. The group will post a single question on climate change each day of the 12-day of the conference, and will obtain responses from the public by blogging, twittering, e-mailing and interviewing individuals in person. The results of the survey will be displayed at a public exhibit space at the convention. With a goal of gathering one million responses per day, the small group hopes to ensure that other voices are hear and widely held opinions are represented at the negotiations.

To participate in the daily opinion polls, visit The conference began Dec. 7.

For more information, visit the 15th Conference of the Parties web site.

Sustainable Community Featured on National Television

Students living on the Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project (SLURP) floor in Swig Hall were featured by Eco Company, a teen-oriented national TV show that explores different aspects of sustainability. The clip highlights student research on solar panel placement and indoor composting stations. The video is posted on Eco Company's web site, and can be viewed here.

Students sort waste in the fall waste characterization.

Tags: News



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