Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.33
Liaison Austin Eriksson
Submission Date Dec. 10, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Northridge
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Austin Eriksson
Sustainability Program Manager
FPDC
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Sustainability Club

The Sustainability Club is a student-led organization that serves as liaisons' to the Institute for Sustainability. As a club, they advocate for the development, research, and promotion of sustainability within the student body of the university and its serving community.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
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Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

CSUN has a campus compost site as well as two food gardens. These two facilitates are primarily run by students employed through the Institute for Sustainability and the Marilyn Magaram Center. Not only do these facilities serve the university to help reduce campus organic waste, but they also serve as educational opportunities for both internal and external community members to learn how to compost and garden.

CSUN Food Garden
The CSUN food garden was established to educate students about sustainable food gardening techniques and healthy food choices, to promote direct community involvement and provide service-learning opportunities. A food garden working group was started in 2009. The group met with campus leaders and students to develop the CSUN food garden. The garden is currently managed by Dr. Mario Giraldo (Geography faculty) and a working group made up of faculty, staff, and students. Student assistants help maintain the garden together with dedicated volunteer students. With over 600 square feet of raised beds, more than a dozen fruit trees, and low-water irrigation, all built and planted by dedicated student, faculty, and staff volunteers the garden has grown tremendously and continues to thrive.

CSUN Composting
CSUN has an on-campus composting program that is run through the Institute for Sustainability and partially sponsored by The University Corporation. This program handles all of the pre-consumer food waste from the main eateries, Juice It Up, and all campus coffee shops.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

CSUN's Associated Students is a student run enterprise with funding from student fees. Associated Students (AS) is the primary advocate for students at California State University, Northridge and provides excellent, meaningful programs and services designed to enhance and create a spirited learning-focused campus environment.

AS is also the official seat of student governance for the campus. The Student Government division represents the student body, advocates its needs and defends its interests in dealings with faculty, campus administrators and government officials. One of their 7 committees in Student Government is the AS Sustainability Committee. The Committee discusses pressing environmental issues at CSUN, institutes change and spreads awareness. The committee welcomes all CSUN students, faculty and staff to help create a sustainable CSUN campus. The Sustainability Committee has patterned with the CSUN Institute for Sustainability and looks forward to planning many exciting events and engaging projects.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Students in Finance 437, Advanced Topics in Finance, had the opportunity to invest $250,000 to develop a “sustainable” portfolio that emphasizes financial sustainability, “Socially Responsible Investing”, and “Environmental, Social, Governance” investments. The Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s rankings of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” and a combination of other sustainability rankings lists were used to determine which strategies they use for investing. The portfolios, sponsored the CSUN Foundation and the University Corporation, gave students real-world experience as money managers and financial analysts. Each semester the class uses a different investment strategy to determine best practices for sustainable investments.

The class is taught by Dr. Mike Phillips, who has been a leader among CSU faculty in sustainable investing, including serving as the CSU representative for the Intentional Endowments Network and speaking at conferences on the topic of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. Dr. Phillips is currently (spring 2017) on sabbatical researching and developing an open-source sustainability ranking system that will help improve the work done in sustainable investing.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

CSUN hosts several events annually that are focused around sustainability. Some of these include Water Day every March, Earth Week every April, Sustainability Day every October, Energy and Water Conservation workshops, America Recycles Day every November, and Recyclemania.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

CSUN's Art Department, through their Art Education program, has done several projects and pieces related to sustainability. More recently they have done projects on GMO's, fossil fuels, plastics in the ocean and toxic waste. They have also worked with the Associated Students to curate art pieces for the new Sustainability Center, which is an ongoing partnership and relationship.

They Valley Performing Arts Center has also brought in musical guests to do performances based around sustainability.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Since 2008, CSUN Outdoor Adventures (OA) has been providing unique recreational opportunities to the CSUN community. Through our Wilderness Outings, RIDGE Rockwall, rental center, team building program, workshops and clinics, Outdoor Leadership Program, and most recently Camp Matador, we provide awe-inspiring, transformative experiences to more than 6,000 students each year. The outdoor adventure programs follow the Leave No Trace principles and there are even workshops to teach students, staff and faculty about the concepts.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The Common Reading Program invites everyone on campus to think, talk, and learn together across and beyond the boundaries of the classroom by using the book as a starting point. As a new freshman, they are invited to read a book and to discuss it as part of a campus-wide community of readers.

These books tend to relate to one aspect of sustainability, one of the most notable ones that have been on the list over the last couple of years was Garbology.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Matasphere Themed Living Community brings together students who are interested in sustainability and environmental conservation to plan and implement efforts to reduce waste and consumption in Student Housing. Residents will be on the front lines of sustainability efforts in the residence halls and engage with community partners on new practices and programs to conserve resources.

Residents who live in the Matasphere will pave the way for reduced energy consumption in Student Housing and role model responsible behaviors and practices to limit excess waste.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

CSUN's Associated Students employs several students for 2 sustainability-focused programs. The first program is the Associated Students Recycling, which has been around for over 20 years. This program uses students to help promote and collect recyclables on campus. The second program is the Sustainable Office Program. This program gives students the opportunity to work as consultants as they evaluate and give feedback on office sustainability practices.

The Institute For Sustainability hires students to help promote on-campus sustainability, outreach, and coordinate events. Students also conduct sustainability and climate related research.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
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A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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