|Submission Date||Aug. 12, 2011|
Rio Salado College
PAE-24: Sustainability Policy Advocacy
Director of Community Partnership Program
Has the institution advocated for federal, state, and/or local public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability?:
A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability, including the issues, bills, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
The Maricopa County Community College District has an Office of Government Relations that tracks legislation affecting the Maricopa Community Colleges. Legislation from the 2011 legislative season covered a broad spectrum of issues that affected the Maricopa Community Colleges from students’ rights and gun control on campus to job growth and the district budget.
In addition to the work that the Office of Government Relations does on behalf of the Maricopa Community Colleges, Rio Salado has partnered with local government in a number of efforts that promote sustainability on campus and in the community. Below is a sampling of those efforts:
Green Learning Campus:
Rio Salado College, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, the nonprofit organization Brighten a Life, and Cause and Effect Evolutions, is building a “Green Learning Campus” that will bring the first green charter high school to downtown Phoenix. Students at the campus will have the option of receiving high school and college credit simultaneously through dual enrollment, giving them a very affordable head start on a bachelor’s degree. Free Adult Basic Education programming, including basic skills, GED preparation, and English language acquisition, in partnership with the Arizona Department of Education, will also be offered. The Green Learning Campus is part of Mayor Phil Gordon’s ambitious 17-point plan to green Phoenix. The plan, called Green Phoenix, strives to transform Phoenix into the most sustainable city in America.
The City of Phoenix in partnership with Wells Fargo, Arizona Public Service, and Rio Salado College is launching a demonstration project in the Sunnyslope neighborhood of Phoenix. This pilot project provides residents of the neighborhood with an opportunity to learn innovative green construction technology by building a compressed earth residential home. The project also provides additional training to the community on how to implement simple energy conservation actions and offers a multitude of civic engagement activities to involve the community in sustainability.
In 2009 Rio Salado College won America’s Greenest Campus contest. The college utilized the $5,000 in prize money to develop a sustainable garden on campus. Rio has provided the City of Tempe expertise and guidance as a number of community gardens were planned and implements throughout the City of Tempe.
The faculty, staff and administration of Rio Salado College have also been very instrumental in ensuring that the Maricopa County Community College District adopts broad sustainability policies that govern the entire district. In December of 2008, the Maricopa Community College Governing Board adopted a Sustainability Resolution. The resolution confirmed the Maricopa County Community College District and its ten colleges’ commitment to sustainable stewardship of environmental resources and socially responsible practices. As a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, Rio Salado was also instrumental in getting Chancellor Rufus Glasper to sign the commitment on behalf of the Maricopa County Community College District.
The website URL where information about the institution’s advocacy efforts are available: