Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.35
Liaison Juliana Goodlaw-Morris
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2024

STARS v2.2

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Marissa Acosta
Zero Waste and Sustainability Specialist
Safety, Health 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. 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. Eleven years later, we have an expanding organic garden yielding produce and demonstrating a variety of systems for growing vegetables. The project has served over (3000) students at this point who now make use of the food project through four different classes in geography and environmental studies. The project has expanded its efforts by forging ties with the Cougar Pantry in order to address students' basic needs and ongoing 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:
In spring 2022 and 2023 we hosted a Climate & Justice Teach-in which is a speaker series that touches on topics of climate science, climate solutions and Indigenous knowledge. In 2022, our virtual teach-in included lightning talks on different sustainability topics such as Eco-Feminism. We transitioned to in-person in 2023 but still included a livestream recording.


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 the Planet Mentorship Program, a paid opportunity for students with diverse backgrounds to become change-makers, we hosted an inaugural exhibition in Spring 2023. The event took place at the Data Stacks, a permanent exhibition space in the library dedicated to showcasing art and data visualization projects crafted by students. The Planet Mentorship Program connects students' success and curricular innovation around sustainability and social justice, with each of their projects focusing on a sustainability-related topic. During this inaugural exhibition, every member of the Planet Mentorship Cohort had the chance to present their data project to fellow peers and other members of the campus community.


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.

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:
There are a couple of programs that students have developed around life skills.
In Spring 2023, a student held a multi-part series focused on plant-based living and cooking. She helped students learn how to meal prep, eat healthy and create plant based meals during their busy lives in school.

In addition, in the past 3 years, students in housing have participated a variety of programming efforts focused on sustainable living including DIY household cleaning, beauty products and papermaking.

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 two (2) student employees.

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:

Data source(s) and notes about 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.