Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 59.16
Liaison Rebecca Walker
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Southern Oregon University
ER-T2-1: Student Group

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" 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:

The Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS) is a student organization that strives to expand environmental awareness and stewardship. ECOS operates a productive and educational community garden, with garden plots available to members of the community. ECOS also operates a Bicycle Program which offers a bike loan program, assists students with bicycle repairs, and “builds” bicycles for use by students on campus. ECOS sponsors educational events, such as Earth Day and a winter film series, which are open to the community. ECOS also recycles batteries, electronics, and ink cartridges and offers free reusable bottles and coffee mugs to students.

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

1. Winter Film Series
Each winter term, ECOS hosts bi-weekly film screenings followed by an educational and informative panel discussion. This year, films range from "Climate Refugees" to "Waste Land" to "Connected" and touch on topics of waste diversion, sustainable living, urban gardening, alternative transportation, interconnectedness and social media, and more. Each film is attended by approximately 50-80 community members and students and is co-sponsored by our local food cooperative.

2. Earth Day Celebration
ECOS hosts the university's annual Earth Day celebration, collaborating with groups across campus while also including community organizations committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. Generally, about 30 groups table with interactive information, energy-saving tips, waste reduction suggestions and more. In the past, along with many others, we have seen clothing swaps, creative reuse projects, recycling demonstrations from the Jackson County Master Recycler program, and the planting of seedlings. Included in this celebration is the entire campus community, local live music and a drum circle led by the Native American Student Union.

3. Endowments
Students have recently spearheaded a campaign urging the university foundation to invest our endowment in socially-responsible companies and divest all funding from fossil fuels. This campaign has been met with great university support and continues to progress. Two students will be presenting during the Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference in Portland, creating an Oregon-wide working group for students to begin campaigns at their own institutions with the guidance, input and support of other students across the state.

4. Community Garden and related programs
Hosted by ECOS, SOU has an on-campus garden open to students and community members. This space provides (nearly-free) plots to grow produce, a year-round greenhouse, a shady space under an arbor for hosting meetings and classes, a fully-equipped tool shed, and various compost piles. This year alone, the garden has been home to two new, exciting programs: the Ashland Apiary Project and the Student Food Pantry. The apiary project, started by a graduate student, successfully brought three hives into the garden and, through the hiring of a professional beekeeper, will train 40 students in the fundamentals of beekeeping. The food pantry, started by the Civic Engagement Program, was able to secure two large plots in the garden to grow fresh produce for distribution in the pantry, open to all currently enrolled students. By partnering with the garden's educational staff, the pantry has been able to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to nearly 50 students in need (in just one term!).

List other student groups that address sustainability:
Net Impact, Biology Club, Ashland Apiary Project, OSPIRG, Civic Engagement Club, Women's Resource Center, Siskiyou Environmental Education Center (SEEC), Environmental Affairs Council

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

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