Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.84
Liaison Stephanie Del Rosario
Submission Date May 26, 2022

STARS v2.2

California State University, Fullerton
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kathleen Savant
Government and Community Relations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:

In 2021, CSUF worked with elected officials who played a role in the university being awarded $2 million in state appropriations. The Fullerton Arboretum is the recipient of $1 million and the additional $1 million will be used as seed money for the planning of “The Gateway” pedestrian bridge that will link the campus’ College Park building with the main campus across Nutwood Avenue. The arboretum usually attracts 150,000 guests a year, offers programs for K-12 students, serves as a “living laboratory” for scientists and naturalists, and provides a stunning backdrop for musicians and artists. The planned pedestrian bridge will provide a safer route for the thousands of students, faculty and staff who must cross the busy intersection each day. The pedestrian bridge will not only enhance safety but improve traffic flow and connect our campus. Elected officials who were thanked for serving as “amazing advocates” on behalf of Cal State Fullerton included U.S. Rep. Young Kim, Rendon, Newman, Quirk Silva, Chaffee and Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker.

In May 2020, the campus adopted and finalized the CSUF Campus Physical Master Plan (2020-2039). This will be a blueprint for providing a safe, sustainable, welcoming and cohesive learning environment that supports student success into the future. CSUF staff worked with the City of Fullerton on the Nutwood Bridge project to support the objective of encouraging walking and biking as transportation alternatives as well as the City of Fullerton’s long-standing goal to provide livable streets that cater to pedestrians and bicyclists. In addition, CSUF met with Friends of the Fullerton Arboretum representatives with two open-house style forums to share progress and collect feedback on the 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum as it related to the Campus Physical Master Plan.

CSUF staff has worked with the City of Fullerton to support the Urban Forestry & Community Forestry Grant to improve the City's urban forest-the only Orange County project awarded in 2020. CSUF hosted two tree plantings in 2021 and 2022 in partnership with the City of Fullerton and West Coast Arborists. To date, the City of Fullerton has gifted thirty trees to the campus. The Fullerton Arboretum hosted a workshop on "How to Plant a Tree and Young/Mature Tree Care" to gather feedback from residents on the future of Fullerton's urban forest.

In addition, as part of the Urban Forestry & Community Forestry Grant, throughout the fall of 2021 and into the winter months of 2022, the City of Fullerton and California State University Fullerton gathered public survey responses which informed City staff and the writers of the Community Forest Management Plan as to the respondent’s opinions of various city tree operations and how they themselves relate to the trees in the city.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:

The CSU system as a whole does engage in advocacy at the state level through our Advocacy and State Relations team, and some of these efforts are for sustainability-related legislation.

Any sustainability-related legislation that would directly affect CSU campuses is referred to the Energy & Sustainability Unit (along with any other relevant departments) at the Chancellor's Office, and they provide an analysis and recommendation that ASR uses to determine the CSU’s official position on the bill. The level of advocacy involved will be different for each bill, and can range from an official statement of support or opposition to meetings with legislators to testifying in subcommittee hearings. It also participates in state-wide advocacy on issues, such as climate change policy, energy efficiency, water resources and other utility issues that impact the operation and physical facilities. ASR and the Chancellor’s Office also work with the Governor’s Offices and are members of the Direct Access Customer Coalition (DACC) and the Alliance for Retail Markets advocacy groups to advocate for the best interest of the CSU on energy and sustainability efforts.

The CSU provides public comment, meets with legislative staff, and testifies at budget subcommittee hearings in order to express CSU support for regulatory initiatives and activities related to carbon emission reductions and climate resiliency.

The CSU’s advocacy, in collaboration with the Board of Trustees, works to ensure diverse stakeholders are represented and considered in decision-making processes.

In the 2020 state legislative year, the CSU supported AB 2176 (Holden) for free student transit passes. Eligibility for state funding which would make local transit passes free for students attending California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California.

Also in 2020, the CSU supported SB 1240 (Skinner) for electricity: distribution system: open access. Existing law requires the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission, at least every 2 years, to conduct assessments and forecasts of all aspects of energy industry supply, production, transportation, delivery and distribution, demand, and prices. This bill would require the commission, in consultation with the Independent System Operator, to identify and evaluate options for transforming the electrical corporations’ distribution grids into more open access platforms that would allow local governments and other third parties to participate more easily in grid activities, as provided.

"Divest the CSU" is a CSU-wide student-led coalition calling for all CSU campuses to divest their endowments, corporations, and other university-affiliated accounts from fossil fuels. With encouragement from "Divest the CSU," in 2021 the CSU Board of Trustees announced that the university would not pursue any future investments in fossil fuels in the university's three investment portfolios: Systemwide Investment Fund Trust (SWIFT), Intermediate Duration Portfolio (IDP) and Total Return Portfolio (TRP). https://www.calstate.edu/csu-system/news/Pages/California-State-University-Will-Not-Make-Future-Fossil-Fuel-Investments-in-University-Investment-Portfolios-and-Funds.aspx

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:

CSUF Responds to Supreme Court Ruling on DACA
This morning (June 18), the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could not immediately proceed with its plan to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The program protects about 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. At Cal State Fullerton, it is estimated that nearly 2,000 of the university’s 40,000 students are among the “Dreamers” who would have been affected had this plan been implemented.

In July 2021, CSUF President Framroze Virjee signed a letter with other University Presidents urging the U.S. Senate to pass the DREAM Act.

The university’s Titan Dreamer Resource Center — the first such center for undocumented students in the California State University system — is a model for programs throughout the state. The center, launched in 2014, provides academic and emotional support, referrals to financial assistance, and information on programs and services that improve retention and graduation rates. https://news.fullerton.edu/2020/06/daca-supreme-court-decision/

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:

A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

Federal and state advocacy efforts are coordinated and consistent with positions taken by the CSU Board of Trustees. As such, the Board of Trustees takes a position on legislation that CSU campuses then follow.

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

As a state entity, the campus does not make political donations.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

CSUF Campus Physical Master Plan (2020-2039)

The Office of Government & Community Relations initiates and maintains Cal State Fullerton’s connections and relationships with local, state, and federal officials, nonprofit organizations, community stakeholders, corporations and neighbors. The office shares CSUF sustainability programs with elected officials and the work from the Office of Sustainability.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.