Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 51.07
Liaison Adam Maurer
Submission Date March 31, 2021

STARS v2.2

South Seattle College
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Adam Maurer
District Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Campus Engagement:

Spring 2019. United Student Association Sustainability Officer conducted a campus engagement education and outreach campaign in academic year 2018-2019. This is an initiative to completely prohibit the distribution of plastic water bottles on campus. She had preliminary conversations with several stakeholders who coordinate beverage purchases on campuses. She also educated students about the issue through a movie showing of "A Plastic Ocean," a waste audit, and Earth Fest events. The movie showing event consisted of a 20-minute documentary followed by an interactive game called Kahoot, which was comprised with questions and knowledge from the documentary and presented new pieces of information about plastic pollution to the student participants.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Public Engagement?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Public Engagement:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Air & Climate:

Spring 2019. Clean Air Task Force (CATF) representatives USA President Jeffrey Campbell, faculty Ward Ryder, and staff Catherine McCollum-Stroh created and distributed a campus-wide survey (students, staff, and faculty) to gather information about smoking behaviors and opinions on becoming a smoke-free campus. Survey results were collected, analyzed, and the CATF held a campus community forum. CATF then presented to the College Council, who voted unanimously to accept the recommendation letter from the CATF and it was forwarded to the President's office and President's cabinet. recommended implementing a smoke-free campus policy to the President. The President' cabinet approved the recommendation and the college is currently writing and implementing a smoke-free campus policy.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Buildings:

Spring 2019. United Student Association had been evaluating the feasibility of a new student Wellness Center on campus for year. In 2015, students vote to establish a Campus Enhancement Fee with the first project being a Wellness Center to replace the modest fitness room on campus. Between 2015-2019, building design and finances were discussed. In January 2019, USA voted unanimously to approve a $25 per student per quarter fee for the Student Wellness Center ongoing operating costs. Campus public forums, USA meetings, meetings with finance and facility staff, had been occurring for years up to this point. The $25 per quarter fee is estimated to generate approx. $200,000 per year and will cover the previous annual shortage in loan payments. Planning for the Student Wellness Center can continue. It will be built to meet LEED Silver at minimum.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Energy:

Winter 2020. Rachel Watson, student and recent graduate of the Sustainable Building Science Technology (SBST) BAS program at South Seattle, researched solar PV feasibility for our Georgetown campus. As her capstone project, Rachel researched and evaluated several common business models for South Seattle to consider relative to solar PV installation. She evaluated community solar, incentives, renewable energy credits (RECs), and other parts of various ways to complete a solar PV project at Georgetown. She completed a written report as part of her capstone.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Food & Dining?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Food & Dining:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Grounds:

The South Seattle College Arboretum was established by the College and the SSC Foundation in 1978, in part as the result of a petition by the Landscape Horticulture Program students for an arboretum to serve as their living laboratory. The 5-acre site is located at the north end of campus on a bluff over looking the downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay and the West Duwamish Greenbelt. The Seattle Chinese Garden borders the Arboretum.

The Arboretum is an important part of the SSC Landscape Horticulture Program. As part of their studies, students designed and built the Arboretum. It is used as a laboratory for courses in plant identification, arboriculture, pruning, irrigation, garden renovation, plant problem diagnostics, landscape management and landscape construction courses. The Arboretum is also used as an outdoor classroom by professional horticulturists, hobby gardeners and other college programs. Most of the plants on the Washington Certified Professional Horticulturist exam can be found in the SSC Arboretum.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Purchasing?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Purchasing:
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IIs the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Transportation:

Spring 2019. USA Issues and Concerns Officer Jay Choe, USA Advisor Monica Lundberg, and Director of Security James Lewis, applied for the $90,000 grant “Your Voice Your Choice” that could fund flashing lights at the 16th Ave SW crosswalk to provide safer pedestrian access to main campus. These funds could provide traffic calming measures, such as safety lights and other physical features, at the 16th Ave SW main campus entrance crosswalk. We have received numerous reports about how unsafe this intersection is for pedestrians, especially students disembarking from the bus. Seattle City Light has agreed to install a new light at the intersection. Still awaiting news from SDOT and King County Metro. This will be Jay Choe’s legacy project and it has inspired her to consider a career in public service. Prior to the grant application, Choe and others met with Seattle City Council Member Lisa Herbold, where they shared data from a student safety survey and a video of South students and staff reflected on the safety issue and possible solutions.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Waste:

Spring 2019. United Student Association Sustainability Officer conducted a campus engagement education and outreach campaign in academic year 2018-2019. This is an initiative to completely prohibit the distribution of plastic waster bottles on campus. She had preliminary conversations with several stakeholders who coordinate beverage purchases on campuses. She also educated students about the issue through a movie showing of "A Plastic Ocean," a waste audit, and Earth Fest events. The movie showing event consisted of a 20-minute documentary followed by an interactive game called Kahoot, which was comprised with questions and knowledge from the documentary and presented new pieces of information about plastic pollution to the student participants.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Water?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Water:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Spring 2019. United Student Association had been evaluating the feasibility of a new student Wellness Center on campus for year. In 2015, students vote to establish a Campus Enhancement Fee with the first project being a Wellness Center to replace the modest fitness room on campus. Between 2015-2019, building design and finances were discussed. In January 2019, USA voted unanimously to approve a $25 per student per quarter fee for the Student Wellness Center ongoing operating costs. Campus public forums, USA meetings, meetings with finance and facility staff, had been occurring for years up to this point. The $25 per quarter fee is estimated to generate approx. $200,000 per year and will cover the previous annual shortage in loan payments. Planning for the Student Wellness Center can continue. It will be built to meet LEED Silver at minimum.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
No

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Diversity & Affordability:
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Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Investment & Finance:

Spring 2019. United Student Association had been evaluating the feasability of a new student Wellness Center on campus for year. In 2015, students vote to establish a Campus Enhancement Fee with the first project being a Wellness Center to replace the modest fitness room on campus. Between 2015-2019, building design and finances were discussed. In January 2019, USA voted unanimously to approve a $25 per student per quarter fee for the Student Wellness Center ongoing operating costs. Campus public forums, USA meetings, meetings with finance and facility staff, had been occurring for years up to this point. The $25 per quarter fee is estimated to generate approx. $200,000 per year and will cover the previous annual shortage in loan payments. Planning for the Student Wellness Center can continue. It will be built to meet LEED Silver at minimum.


Is the institution utilizing its infrastructure and operations as a living laboratory for applied student learning for sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the projects and how they contribute to understanding or advancing sustainability in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Spring 2019. Clean Air Task Force (CATF) representatives USA President Jeffrey Campbell, faculty Ward Ryder, and staff Catherine McCollum-Stroh created and distributed a campus-wide survey (students, staff, and faculty) to gather information about smoking behaviors and opinions on becoming a smoke-free campus. Survey results were collected, analyzed, and the CATF held a campus community forum. CATF then presented to the College Council, who voted unanimously to accept the recommendation letter from the CATF and it was forwarded to the President's office and President's cabinet. recommended implementing a smoke-free campus policy to the President. The President' cabinet approved the recommendation and the college is currently writing and implementing a smoke-free campus policy.


Website URL where information about the institution’s living laboratory program is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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