Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.52
Liaison Megan Varnadore
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Sonoma State University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kyle Young
Sonoma State Univ
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Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

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

Students for Sustainability Club
The club’s mission statement: "Our purpose is to cultivate a sense of culture between students and faculty through the platform of sustainability.”
Community engagement, awareness, and policy transparency are among many of the possible outcomes from this club. Their vision is to establish a group of individuals who will act within their community to promote sustainable resolutions in regards to the environment, economy, and society as a whole.
The clubs goals are to:
1. Collaborate with the community on sustainable initiatives that aid in the development of the club along with the campus community.
2. Promote Sonoma State unity through mutual relationships among diverse social networks like other clubs, Greek life, and student-run organizations.
3. Use sustainability as a catalyst to promote a thriving living and learning environment for students.
4. Engage interested students in policy forums and discussions like the Sustainability Council

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:

Campus Garden: With the support of our department, SSU students have maintained a food-producing organic garden on campus since the 1970’s. Over the years the garden was renamed the “Garden Classroom” and was moved to the current site (on the Campus Master Plan) adjacent to the Environmental Technology Center. The garden is a nexus for many student groups, but the goal is the same. Volunteers from classes in many disciplines across campus, IRA-funding volunteer coordinators and site managers, students in ENSP’s course on Agroecology, JUMP groups, student clubs seeking service opportunities, and many others put in the hours and effort to help the garden thrive. The primary goal of the Garden Classroom is producing fresh, healthy, organic produce for people in need. We accomplish this task by working with our local food bank (NOAH – Neighbors Organized Against Hunger), based on Snyder Lane only a few blocks from campus. On most Wednesdays, SSU students harvest and deliver a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables. We average well over 1000 lbs of produce a year representing dozens of different food crops.

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:

Farmster: The goal of Farmster is to create a way for people to become more aware of their produce. Mainly, where it comes from and how it's grown.​ With a focus on staying local and developing a sustainable business model, Farmster plans to stay in Sonoma County and hopes to work among crop-producing individuals in the area.
A group of Sonoma State University alumni have taken the next step in making their dream a reality with the creation of Farmster, a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable living and food security.

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:

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:

Environmental Forum: A class available for all students to drop in or sign up to get college credit that has speakers, alumni, nonprofit representatives, and faculty that work with sustainability in mind to come and give a presentation.
Sustainability Day: A day devoted to sustainable works, programs, and ideas of sustainability.
Earth Day: A student-run all-day event on Earth Day with activates, displays, and talks about our earth and how to be sustainable on it.

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:

In 2018, the university had few exhibitions related to Social Justice.
The Eye of a Storyteller: Photographs by Morrie Camhi;
Although born in New York City, educated in Los Angeles, and long affiliated with City College of San Francisco as a respected and influential photography instructor, Camhi (1928-1999) was most closely associated with Petaluma and was admired for his social conscience, community spirit, and, most notably, his photographs, many of which captured moments in the lives of local residents. Camhi described himself as a storyteller and humanist, and his work reflected his compassion for people—friends and strangers alike—especially those whose lives were shaped by struggle and misfortune. Over the course of his career, Camhi created a number of powerful images of these people that were part of the thematic series in which he chose to work. Several of Camhi’s series are represented in the exhibition, including The Farm Workers (1972-77), that documented the largely Chicano migrant workers he encountered in his travels around California; Faces and Facets: The Jews of Greece (1980-82), during which Camhi visited Thessaloniki, Greece, to photograph the rapidly dwindling Jewish population there, many of whom had survived the Holocaust; AD:vantage (1981-82), a kindhearted and sensitive look at the individuals searching for love through personal ads placed in newspapers; and The Prison Experience (1987-88), an unblinking examination of inmates incarcerated at the California State Prison in Vacaville.

Joan Baez: Mischief Makers.
This exhibition of 13 paintings by Joan Baez marks the first public display of the portraits she calls “Mischief Makers” since they were donated to Sonoma State University by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria in commemoration of the University’s longstanding commitment to civil rights and social justice. The title of the series comes from Baez’s insight about her subjects: “The added element, which is often buried under the weightiness and dedication to positive change, is mischief—the coyote element, imaginative trickery, slyness, the shenanigans that give a movement its soul, confound the oppressor and create laughter and music.”

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:

Outdoor Pursuits Program from the REC Center: Our programs include activities such as hiking, backpacking, sea kayaking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, mountaineering, cycle touring, mountain biking, hot spring soaking, backcountry cooking, and camping. To supplement our programs ODP also offers a range of Wilderness Medicine courses and Wilderness Orientation experiences throughout the year. While our trips and courses may vary in terms of commitment and physical demands, all trips are designed for those with little or no prior experience in mind. Outdoor Pursuits trips are a great way to gain knowledge and experience with outdoor skills, make new friends, escape into the natural world and explore the limits of what you are capable of! All trips will include components on Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, principles and practices.

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:

Adventure Living Community: This community is for students interested in exploring programs and activities around campus and throughout Sonoma County. Sonoma County’s proximity to the ocean, mountains with great hiking and biking trails, and the greater Bay Area provide a great setting for exciting exploration.

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 Outdoor Adventure Community exists so students can get involved with the outdoors, be connected to a community, and develop a deeper understanding of sustainability. Whether you are seeking to explore the outdoors for the first time, or you already engage with outdoor activities, Outdoor Adventure fosters a space for learning, growth, and fun in an inclusive community. Students interested in living in a tight-knit community focused on outdoor activities and that encourages sustainable practices are highly encouraged to apply.
Freshman Year Experience (FYE) offers first-year students the opportunity to participate in the year-long University 150A/B “Identity and Global Challenge,” class as well as living together, fostering extensive interaction among fellow students, faculty, residential staff, and peer leaders. Out of class activities might include faculty dinners, field trips, FYE-based study groups, and movie nights. A Faculty-in-Residence for this building offers the opportunity for student-faculty interaction. By being a member of FYE, students make a yearlong commitment to the courses (which earn the credit toward graduation) and the residential living community.

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

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

Associated Students is a student-run organization of Sonoma State University.
The Associated Students works to enrich the lives of all Sonoma State University Students. The Associated Students accomplishes this mission by promoting student interests through advocacy and representation. The Associated Students, as a corporation owned and governed by students, supports a variety of programs, services and organizations to enhance the student experience at Sonoma State University.
Some of the groups involved that are focused on sustainability and in employing students are:
JUMP: http://web.sonoma.edu/as/jump/joinusmakingprogress.html
University Culinary Services: https://web.sonoma.edu/culinaryservices/employment.html
Green Council: Student village council members who support sustainability in residential communities, including the STEP Up initiative.

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):

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.