Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.98
Liaison Briar Schoon
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Portland Community College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Stephania Fregosi
Sustainability Analyst
Facilities Management Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

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

The Associated Students of Portland Community College have designated positions (Eco Social Justice Director/Sustainability Coordinator) at each campus who organize eco social justice events, oversee green teams, create sustainability events and initiatives, and oversee the Eco Social Justice Fund. These programs are student-focused.

Additionally, we have other student groups that focus on sustainability, including Green Teams, an Organic Gardening Club, an Environmental Club, and Bike Commuter Clubs. These are student-run and host various events and partake in sustainability initiatives throughout the district.


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?:
Yes

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

We have learning gardens present at each of four campuses and at one of our centers.

The Sylvania campus Learning Garden is a cooperative campus space dedicated to organic gardening. This space supports our Biology and Gerontology departments, and is used by the on-campus Environmental Center. The garden features a hand-made cob bench covered by an eco-roof, a rainwater catchment system and vermiculture facilities. PCC also keeps honey bees near the garden. The garden serves as a “Living Laboratory” to allow individuals and groups to teach and learn through organic gardening.

At the Rock Creek campus, we have a learning garden that ​grows​ vegetables, flowers, and fruit on 3.6 acres. The Rock Creek Learning Garden is an educational garden promoting interdisciplinary academic achievement, leadership development and sustainable food systems through experiential education and life long learning opportunities. A curricular tool integrated into many academic disciplines on campus, the Garden serves as a living classroom for many classes. With 3.6 acres, a wide variety of plants, growing techniques, soil systems, and produce, we are host to a variety of activities, including classes, events, field trips and research. The garden is a vital hub for health, wellness and a connection to our environment.

The Southeast campus has an new organic 'Garden of Peace' that manages stormwater runoff sustainably. It is supplemented by a small food forest.

The Cascade campus received a new learning garden in 2019. The mission at the Cascade urban learning garden is to provide nutritious and sustainably grown food, provide valuable learning opportunities, cultivate a greater sense of community, and give meaningful insight into what a natural food system looks like. We strive to create a safe and welcoming space for all members of our community. It is important to learn where our food comes from and how to grow it sustainably to feed our community and help our environment. Exercising control over how to grow, distribute, and eat healthy foods teaches valuable skills that will last a lifetime. We strongly believe that if we work together, we will grow together

Our Newberg center also has a learning garden at the center for students, staff, and community members.


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

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The Rock Creek Campus's learning garden includes a weekly farmstand at which fresh produce from the garden is sold the day it is picked and then proceeds go to help fund the garden. Volunteers can receive a discount on fresh produce if they help with harvesting. More information can be found about "Portlandia Farmstandia" at https://www.pcc.edu/sustainability/on-campus/rock-creek/rock-creek-learning-garden/portlandia-farmstandia/.

Furthermore, students enrolled in Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Eco-Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship are encouraged to start sustainable and other socially responsible businesses. Students also enter pitch competitions, such as the InventOR competition. https://www.pcc.edu/news/2019/08/green-machines/


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?:
Yes

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

The Ecosocial Justice Grant is a fund comprised of monies from the Student Activity Fee, administered by a governing board primarily made up of students and is applicable to faculty, staff and students. Projects receive funding based on their carbon footprint reduction, waste reduction and/or supporting PCC's Climate Action Plan and other sustainability initiatives.

History:
In 2008 the Associated Students of Portland Community College (ASPCC) District Student Council approved a ten cent addition to the student activity fee, creating The Green Initiative Fund. At the beginning of 2018, the ASPCC District Student Council unanimously agreed to change the name of this fund to the Eco Social Justice Grant (ESJG), this name change better reflects the broader scope of what these grants have been and will be dedicated to. This fund exists so that students, staff, and faculty can participate in our culture of innovation and contribute meaningful advances to sustainable practices. At PCC, our goal is to achieve sustainable excellence in all operations, to live our commitment to social justice, and to meet our targeted greenhouse gas reductions as detailed in the Climate Action Plan.

https://www.pcc.edu/sustainability/initiatives/esj-grant/


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?:
Yes

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

Each campus hosts Earth Week events every year, which often host speakers with students as the intended audience. Student groups and sustainability staff host a variety of events during other times of the year, including up-cycle fairs, waste audits, bike commuter challenges, etc. We also host annual symposiums for the Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network (GPSEN).


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?:
Yes

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

Many events, especially during Earth Week, connect cultural/social arts to sustainability. In 2019, we hosted displays from the Just Seeds Alliance across our campuses. In addition, we featured several print makers in our ecosocial justice event, which follows Earth Week with more in-depth hands-on training and activities.

While Earth Week ran virtually in 2020, we had planned to host artist in residence, Emily Miller, with her Ghost Net Landscape Project. We will continue this type of activity into the future.


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

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

Faculty at Sylvania host the Sylvania Habitat Restoration Team, a group of individuals dedicated to keeping our natural areas, around PCC Sylvania, as close to natural as humanly possible. We're students, instructors, neighbors, local businesses, volunteers, and anyone who cares about working to keep our green spaces...green.


Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:
No

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

N/A


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

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

Our Environmental Center and sustainability office host events around sustainable life choices, up-cycling, gardening, biking, etc. We also have classes dedicated to sustainable life skills such as our Personal Sustainability class and community ed classes that teach gardening, naturopathic medicine, disaster preparedness, DIY courses, etc.


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

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

The Associated Students of PCC employ at least one student EcoSocial Justice Director/ Sustainability Director at each campus (4 mininum). We also have several student work-study positions focused on sustainability, including learning garden ambassadors, compost interns, sustainability outreach intern, sustainability assistant, and environmental coordinator. Work study, internships, & casual positions are available through the Sustainability Office & learning gardens.


Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

N/A


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

Alternative Building Technology and Landscape Tech work closely with sustainability staff and students to educate students on sustainable building practices and sustainable landscape management.

PCC students also frequently volunteer in our communities. We use the GivePulse platform to help track student volunteerism. Sustainability is one of the options.

In 2020, we made a concentrated effort to engage students in our Climate Action Plan Update. Students participated on the Climate Action Plan Taskforce on one of four subcommittees (Scope I & II, Scope III, Outreach and Education, and Resilience). In addition, two students enrolled in cooperative work experience, a program which gives students academic credit for internships.


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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