Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.12
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date Feb. 21, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Portland State University
ER-T2-1: Student Group

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Heather Spalding
Sustainability Leadership and Outreach Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

The name and a brief description of each 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 student groups and organizations working on sustainability issues. Here are some of our most active groups:

Net Impact - Through the Masters Program through the School of Business. Students participate in leadership, networking, projects, and conferences. Students network with a national organization.

Associated Students of Portland State University (ASPSU) - works on a variety of sustainability-related campaigns and projects which include the student food pantry, food issues, funding for higher education, equal rights, and more. The ASPSU Senate has designated a sustainability representative who participates in forming partnership with the university's sustainability departments and student groups.

Food for Thought – Food for Thought (FFT) continued to provide healthy, local, vegetarian and vegan food options to fellow students over the 2011-12 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.

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.

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.
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.

More student groups can be found at the link below.

List up to 4 notable recent activities or accomplishments of student group(s):

- Hosting the sixth annual Earth Days of Action and culminating Earth Day Celebration.

- Hosting Food Week: http://psuvanguard.com/news/psu-food-week-preview/

- Hosting Social Sustainability Month: http://www.pdx.edu/wrc/SSM

- Hosting a variety of events for new students during Viking Days: http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/events/2013-09.

List other student groups that address sustainability:
Anthropology Student Association, Womens Resource Center EcoFeminist Task Force, many others (see link below)

The website URL where information about student group(s) is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.