|Submission Date||Feb. 11, 2011|
Portland State University
Tier2-1: Student Group
Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator
Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:
A brief description of the student group:
PSU has a strong student sustainability movement. Students are engaged in sustainability leadership on many levels and
this is reflected in the broad range of clubs and organizations working on sustainability issues. Here are some of our most active groups:
Net Impact – Student Coordinator David Fulton worked diligently during 2008-09 to revitalize PSU’s Net Impact chapter. With groups at business schools and cities around the world, Net Impact is the largest network of people interested in using business to create a more just and sustainable world. After a few years of relative inactivity, Net Impact is now thriving. The group has put together a number of valuable projects and events which include the Careers in Sustainability forum attended by 80 students and featuring several local sustainability employers. They also helped plan the Businesses and Sustainability Conference at PSU.
Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) - ASPSU’s Senate coordinated and provided support for a variety of sustainability-related projects which included making the computer lab in Broadway child-friendly. They also funded the organization, creation and furnishing of a family study area in the Millar Library. In addition, senators passed a referendum through the student body to endorse The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF), which provides funding for energy-efficiency projects on campus. The senate began managing itself independently with a Coordinating Committee in 2008-09 and sat on each All-University Committee at PSU. ASPSU also worked to lobby for access to higher education and equality and were key players in passing anti-bullying legislation. Students in ASPSU received a variety of awards for their achievements.
Food for Thought – Food for Thought (FFT) continued to provide healthy, local, vegetarian and vegan food options to fellow students over the 2008-09 year. The Café is a cooperate that operates through student fees and is independently-managed. FFT hosted a variety of lectures and provided catering for campus events. Student workers also received a research grant from the Miller Foundation to analyze methods for moving toward food sustainability at PSU. Feel free to visit the Café in the basement of Smith Student Union.
Student Leaders for Service (SLS) - SLS strives to cultivate a body of engaged student leaders who foster meaningful connections between the University community and the Portland metropolitan region. Each year, 25 SLS members are paired with 25 community organizations where they serve five to ten hours each week. In addition to assisting the organization in a specific area, SLS members serve as volunteer coordinators.
Environmental Club - Environmental Club provides leadership and volunteer opportunities for students and organizes a variety of events and campaigns throughout the year. Members also coordinate the Club’s native garden, which is located next to Science Building Two. The Club conducted two successful campaigns during 2008-09 which both received Miller Grants.
Take Back the Tap (TBTT) used Miller funds to purchase and sell 540 stainless steel Klean Kanteens for a small profit through tabling, movie showings and water taste tests around campus. They also conducted a survey of five students to determine the barriers to using reusable bottles. The surveys found that students did not know about the relative quality of tap water at PSU. As a result, the profits from the sales of bottled water were used to install a filtered refilling station in the student union. TBTT also collected over 800 signatures showing that students want access to clean drinking water at PSU. By working with Facilities and Planning, TBTT was able to advocate for the PSU administration to install six additional water bottle filling stations around campus. We now have a map in our student union with places to fill bottles as well as a centrally-located station.
Take Back the Tap - PSU has an active Take Back the Tap campaign to reduce the use of bottled water consumption on campus. The campaign has been led by students Lisa Meersman and Honore Depew in conjunction with the Environmental Club and PSU Recycles!. The campaign has been featured in the Portland Tribune, the Oregonian, and a variety of campus media. The campaign also won PSU's "Go Green" video contest.
Bicycle Advocacy Collective (BAC) – BAC engages new students in biking activities on campus such as weekly Saturday morning community bike rides, free breakfasts for bikers, and bike tours of Portland. BAC focuses on making bike riding seem less intimidating to new riders and attends all orientations and new student events. They also advocate for better bicycle transportation accessibility on campus, with the City of Portland, and at the state level.
Earth Week Task Force – PSU holds an earth week festival every year. Student groups who are involved with sustainability set up tables together in the Park Blocks and talk to students who walk by. Fifteen student groups participated in 2009’s festivities. The event featured two live bands, opportunities to write letters to elected officials about sustainability-related legislation, a seed-starting booth, free food, and donations from sustainable businesses. The 2010 task force is comprised of 11 student leaders from different groups and organizations on campus. The event is sure to be a success!
More student groups can be found at the link below.
The website URL where information about the student group is available:
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