Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 79.45
Liaison Lindsey Kalkbrenner
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2020

STARS v2.2

Santa Clara University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Cara Uy
Sustainability Coordinator
Center for 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 GREEN (Grass Roots Environmental Efforts Now) Club is the University's environmental club which seeks to promote sustainability to the campus community through focused projects, events such as Earth Week, and community action.
- Santa Clara Community Action Program (SCCAP) is a community-based, volunteer service organization dedicated to applying education to social service. SCCAP promotes social awareness, leadership for social justice, and compassion. SCCAP promotes the holistic education of the volunteer by serving the surrounding community and by reflecting upon social justice issues, with the intent of challenging the participants to commit to creating a more humane and just world. Within SCCAP is Environmental Action (ENACT) which is focused on promoting environmental justice on campus, in the local community, and on a national and global scale.
- SCU undergraduates have shifted from participating in the Solar Decathlon and Tiny House Competitions to instead, participate in the Solar Regatta competition. Hosted by SMUD, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the team has competed in 2018 and 2019 to design, build, and race a solar-powered boat in this annual event.
- Engineers Without Borders partners with developing communities worldwide in order to improve quality of life through the implementation of environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students.
- Global Medical Brigades pools medical resources and professionals together with the purpose of helping patients in need and delivering medical supplies. SCU GMB establishes daily clinics in-country, for at least one week out of every year. SCU GMB has worked hard to provide medical resources to small villages in Panama, Ghana, and Nicaragua.
- The Food Recovery Network (FRN) aims to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus food from on-campus dining venues and catered events. This surplus food is then donated to a local non-profit food distribution center. The organization also seeks to promote greater consciousness of the injustices of food waste among the student body at SCU.
- Forge Garden Club operates in SCU’s organic garden, hosting different events with its members to teach them about farming, fruit gleaning, creating artwork with plants, cooking, and more. The club seeks to educate students about the value of urban agriculture and embedding sustainability within the garden.
- The Freedom Project raises awareness about the cycle and social and emotional implications of slavery and trafficking and engages the SCU community to develop sustainable solutions through our curriculum and our community.
- Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. The Oxfam America Club at SCU aims to raise awareness about Oxfam and the GROW campaign on campus and to inspire the community to strive for change.
- Public Health Science Club facilitates the acquainting of public health majors and other scientific fields that may pursue careers in the medical field other than medical school itself. The club provides guidance and advice regarding public health courses and the public health major as a whole.
- Society for Women Engineers: increases awareness, support for, and community strength of the female engineers on campus and mentors high schoolers interested in pursuing engineering.
- SCU’s Net Impact chapter aims to equip and foster a community of socially responsible undergraduate students. The goal of SCU's Net Impact chapter is to dispel the belief that creating social & environmental impact and gaining revenue are mutually exclusive, and to provide the resources and connections to empower a new generation to drive social and environmental change.
The Microfinance Organization is a registered student organization that educates and spreads awareness about Microfinance and empowers people living in poverty to transform their lives and their communities in a sustainable manner through social entrepreneurship. Managed by the Center for Student Involvement and advised through the School of Business, the organization provides a structure for business students to raise funds and sustainably lend money.

All the organizations included here are student-governed.

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:

The Forge is SCU’s half-acre organic garden where the campus and neighborhood community can volunteer, learn about sustainable agriculture, and participate in community events. The Forge Garden currently has eight chickens, six beehives, a 400-square foot greenhouse, a compost center, 25 fruit trees, an outdoor kitchen with a wood-fired oven, over 15,000-square feet of garden beds, a public commons, an aquaponics system, and the 2007 Solar Decathlon House used as an office. The Forge hosts a weekly farmstand and volunteer hours, among other events, where students, faculty, staff, and the community can visit, conduct research, use the space as an outdoor classroom, and benefit from the garden vegetables and local honey. The Forge Garden hosts an Urban Garden Practicum course offered to students, in addition to various workshops offered throughout the year.


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:

The Campus Sustainability Investment Fund (CSIF) is an internal fund that provides financing to implement student, faculty, and staff-initiated campus-based projects that move the University to its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving Climate Neutrality.

Selected projects generate emissions reductions and cost savings in one or more of the following areas: electricity or natural gas use, transportation emissions (student/employee commuting, SCU-sponsored travel), landfill waste, water use, and consumption. The CSIF is an educational tool to provide hands-on learning and involve our campus community in driving positive change at SCU. Past projects include installing LED lighting in multiple buildings, installing motion sensors and ambient lighting sensors in two on-campus buildings, installing a solar water heater atop one of the residence halls, and the replacement of diesel leaf blowers to electric.

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:

Sustainability-related events and speaker series are often hosted by the Environmental Studies & Sciences department, Center for Food Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, and various other campus organizations and departments.

Annual events include:
- Earth Week, which features week-long educational events, speakers, and Earth Day Fair;
- Campus Sustainability Day in October is sponsored by the Center for Sustainability, and includes a fair, student panels, workshops, and more.

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:

The Eco-Fashion and Art Show (an annual event started in 2010) is a night to celebrate art by seeing eco-fashion on the runway, gallery exhibits, and music, all showcasing the talents of SCU students. Student designers and artists are asked to reuse old or recyclable materials that would normally end up in the landfill to creatively design a piece of art. The artists in this exhibition take that tradition one step further—they look not only to discarded materials, but to detritus. Engaging a Zero Waste philosophy, the participants rescue objects from the waste stream—items disposed of as trash rather than recycled by local residents and businesses—and re-imagine them in a new context to create original, enticing, and thought-provoking works of art. Through their work, the artists shed creative light on our role as active participants in the management of earth's limited resources. The Show also encourages durability and wearability of the eco-fashion pieces. Attendees of the event are educated not only on the environmental impacts of the fashion industry, but also the social implications of purchasing new clothes from fast-fashion companies every season.


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:

Into the Wild is a chartered student organization committed to the Leave No Trace principles that joins together students with a shared interest and/or passion for the outdoors and outdoor activities, such as hiking, backpacking, and camping, among other activities. Into the Wild provides students with opportunities to get off campus and explore California’s wilderness. Every week there are organized trips for all skill levels that include hiking, backpacking, snow camping, rock climbing, kayaking, rafting, surfing, skiing, and more. Into the Wild aims to promote healthy, sober fun while encouraging education in environmentally sustainable practices. Into the Wild is a student-governed program.


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:

The Center for Sustainability has developed a Sustainability Liaison Network that engages sustainability enthusiasts across the campus to further develop a culture of sustainability at SCU and to learn, share, and educate peers about sustainable life skills. LOCALS (Living Off Campus and Living Sustainably) encourages students living off-campus to engage their housemates and neighbors in sustainable behaviors in order to develop a culture of sustainability among students at SCU. The Sustainability Guides program empowers Santa Clara University students to learn more about sustainability and educate fellow peers and friends. Student employees also have the option to join the student employee liaison group called SEEDS (Student Employees Engaging in Discussions of Sustainability) to learn how to incorporate sustainable practices at work and at home. Lastly, the Residence Life Sustainability Liaison program empowers Santa Clara University Community Facilitators (CFs) and Neighborhood Representatives (NRs) to educate on-campus residents about sustainable lifestyle habits and promote events related to sustainability happening on campus.


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

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

The Center for Sustainability offers 18 paid internship positions for students. Students are selected based on their professionalism, proof of leadership abilities, and passion to learn more about sustainability. Each Intern has a different focus area: Student Engagement, Employee Engagement, Residence Life, Communications, Food and Dining, Data and Analytics, Waste Diversion, Zero Waste, Buildings & Grounds, Academic Programs, Curriculum Development, Bronco Urban Garden and four apprentices that work at the Forge Garden.
Transportation Services also has a Transportation Intern position that assists the University in parking and transportation demand management. They engage in market research to better understand the latest transit development, trends, and technologies, conduct data collection and analysis, as well as assist in the promotion and development of sustainable commute programs.
Students employed elsewhere on campus also have the option to join the student employee liaison network called SEEDS (Student Employees Engaging in Discussions of Sustainability) to learn how to incorporate sustainable practices at work and at home.

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):

Seniors pledge to consider the social and environmental consequences of their careers. By taking the Graduation Pledge, they define for themselves what it means to be socially and environmentally responsible. There is no obligation to turn down jobs; the graduation pledge is simply a way to ensure that one's job represents more than a paycheck.


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

Santa Clara University has nine Residential Learning Communities (RLCs), each with a specific theme and programming which focuses on certain core values. CyPhi's theme is rooted in sustainability and the arts. CyPhi also has a floor called SLURP, which stands for the Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project. SLURP is dedicated to student research about sustainable living on the Santa Clara University campus.

The Center for Sustainability organizes a number of annual events for the campus community. These events help students, faculty, and staff learn more about sustainability, and how to get involved on campus.

Often referred to as BUG, Bronco Urban Gardens is Santa Clara University’s food justice initiative and outreach program of the Center for Sustainability. Based out of the Forge Garden, BUG works in solidarity with marginalized neighborhoods to support their urban garden projects and spaces, while creating hands-on, quality learning experiences for students of all ages and backgrounds, including SCU students. BUG provides technical support and garden-enhanced education that serves to increase ecological literacy and address food access as well as raise nutritional awareness, at 3 urban garden sites, working with 89 SCU students in the 2018-19 school year, 40+ children after school and 100+ children during the school day each week.

Let’s Grow Together! Students can participate in BUG programming, by enrolling in Urban Agriculture Practicum and Sociology of Education. In addition to these ELSJ courses, specific CTW instructors work with BUG, offering their students food justice touchpoints (or single experiences working with BUG community partners). BUG also supports the Arrupe Weekly Engagement program, through the elementary school garden clubs. Individual students and student groups interested in food justice and community engagement can work with BUG to a design a specific project. Some recent examples include a cold frame engineering project, grant writing assignment for a children’s garden and studio art’s cyanotype workshop with 3rd graders.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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