Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.57
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date Dec. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

California State University, San Marcos
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Sustainability Manager
Safety, Risk and Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Environmental Stewards Association (ESA) is the main student group focused on sustainability. Up until academic year 2019, we had 4 students organizations, however in Fall, 2019, they merged to one club. The ESA is open to all students, environmentalists, and those wanting to learn more about the environment and our impact on it! They have different sectors of the club including; sustainability, gardening, ocean conservation, and general environmental topics. They cater to everyone’s interests and questions within the environmental field. Their club also posts about job, internship, and volunteer opportunities in the area and throughout the country all within the environmental field. They encourage many different perspectives about the environment and its relations to politics, society, and health.


Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

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

In summer 2012, we started a small pilot project to see if a group of CSUSM students could turn an unused road into a class-based garden. Eight years later, we have an expanding organic garden yielding produce and demonstrating a variety of systems for growing vegetables. The project has served over 2000 students at this point who now make use of the food project through four different classes in geography and environmental studies. And the project has expanded its efforts by forging ties withe the Cougar Pantry in order to address student basic needs and on-going research into campus food security and food literacy. We have received a variety of grants to expand the garden to grow food for our Cougar Pantry.


Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:


Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

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

CSUSM has the Sustainability Projects Fund (SPF) through ASI. SPF was developed as a way to engage students in sustainability projects, learn how to manage grant funds and how to develop successful initiatives. SPF operates similarly to a green revolving fund.


Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

Fall 2019 we hosted a kick off Climate Action series that will continue in Spring 2020. The event brought a notable speaker to campus to discuss climate change, ways students could get involved locally in San Diego County. This was in collaboration with our College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences (CHABSS), Office of Inclusive Excellence, Sustainability and Associated Students Inc.

In prior years, the Environmental Stewards Association student organization had a Sustainable Speakers series.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

Through a campus as a living lab class, Arts 240: Data Visualization, has been focusing their class on using sustainability data and depicting it in a very creative and engaging format. This fall, a permanent exhibition in the library was developed called the Data Stacks. This installation will continue to showcase sustainability focused art made by students.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

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

Outdoor Adventures, our outdoor program has adopted Leave No Trace as a primary principle in all of their trips. They have taken in one step further, by creating a full Zero Waste program. Through a grant, they were able to purchase a dehydrator. They use campus fruit and purchased fruit and dehydrate them and store for their trips. They use Stasher reusable bags, both for their dehydrated fruit and also for other food items used during their trips. They also use beeswax wrap during their trips, so not to use single-use plastic film. This has been a very amazing program that has developed over the course of this past Fall 2019 semester.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

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

Our Student Life and Leadership department has been hosting Do-It-Yourself events- some include: gardening in pots, DIY body/lotion products as a cost savings exercise and in partnership with our food service provider, they have hosted Cougar Eats, a program to teach students how to cook.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

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

The Sustainability program has a student employee. Also, our Recycling team under Energy Management and Utility Services has two student employees that help us with our Zero Waste efforts.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

By taking the Pledge, you are defining for yourself what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. The Grad Pledge strives to prepare graduates for a conscious life past their years here at CSUSM and into their future lives and hopefully future jobs. There is no obligation to turn down jobs... the Grad Pledge is simply a way for you to ensure that your job represents more than a paycheck.

This is our pledge:
“I pledge to exercise responsibility, compassion, and integrity
in my academic, professional, and personal pursuits, and to apply
ethical principles when making social and environmental decisions
that have the ability to shape the future of our global community."


A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.