Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.62
Liaison Michelle Perez
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of California, San Diego
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Bowser
Sustainability Program Coordinator
"---" 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:

UC San Diego has over 30 student, staff and faculty organizations focused on sustainability. The Inter-Sustainability Council (ISC) is a registered undergraduate student organization that unites the various organizations of UC San Diego that promote sustainable development into a cohesive network. The Inter-Sustainability Council functions as an intermediary to improve coordination and outreach between these groups and the UCSD community. https://studentorg.ucsd.edu/Home/Details/12667; https://iscucsd.wixsite.com/main/about

Other student organizations include Engineers for a Sustainable World, a student US Green Building Council chapter, GROW@UCSD (students and staff working on student gardens, Food Recovery Network, UCSD Green New Deal, and more.

UC San Diego’s Student Sustainability Collective (SSC) was founded by students in 2009 and is funded by a student self-imposed green fee. The SSC engages and educates students in sustainability through programming, events, outreach, resources, support, and community. Funded by student self-imposed green fees, the SSC manages the University's Green Initiative Fund, (TGIF) which solicits applications and funds undergraduate student-led sustainability projects on campus.

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:

UC San Diego has 12 on-campus gardens and one San Diego community garden that promote education and the growth of sustainable food and local produce. Roger's Urban Farmlab maintains and aquaponics system and has offered a CSA program (pre-COVID-19). https://sustain.ucsd.edu/involve/gardens.html

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:

UC San Diego is home to various co-operative organizations, not-for-profit organizations that provide students, faculty, and staff with the highest quality merchandise and services at the lowest prices possible. For many, the Co-ops are a place to buy low-priced healthy food and textbooks and provide offbeat alternatives to the items and the atmosphere offered by mainstream merchants at UC San Diego. At UC San Diego, there is The Che Cafe, The Food Co-op, The General Store Co-op, and Groundworks Books. Fundamentally, all of the Co-ops offer an alternative type of enterprise and are non-hierarchical organizations. All members of the UC San Diego community are invited to participate in the Co-ops. Membership in a Co-op provides students with a chance to experience a non-hierarchical work environment and collective decision-making. By being a member, students receive discounts at all Co-ops, an equal voice in making decisions in the evolution of their Co-op, and a role in defining the atmosphere of the Co-op. Membership in the Co-ops is open to anyone who wishes to continually volunteer about two hours a week at any Co-op.

Groundwork Books offers books on a variety of subjects from social justice causes including workers, women, LGBTQ, Black, Latino/a, Indigenous, to a critical study of history of the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. In addition to books, we also offer underground publications, indie magazines, zines, documentaries, spoken word albums, comics, and crafts. The collective is currently staffed by volunteers from the campus and greater San Diego community. (https://groundworkbooks.wixsite.com/collective) The UCSD Food Co-Op is a non-hierarchical, non-profit, student-owned and student-run cooperative located on campus, providing cheap, healthy, vegan/vegetarian meals. (https://sites.google.com/ucsd.edu/ucsdfoodco-op/home?authuser=0) The Che Café s a student-run worker co-operative DIY Venue, Vegan Cafe and Radical Space that was founded in 1980. (http://thechecafe.blogspot.com/) The UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project, in partnership with the community, provides respectful, empowering, high quality health care for the underserved while inspiring the next generation of health professionals. (https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/fmph/education/freeclinic/pages/default.aspx)

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 Social Innovation Fund is to promote, guide, and support student-driven scalable, sustainable, capacity-building project solutions addressing local, national and global issues in the areas of education, environment and climate change, poverty alleviation, peace and human rights, and public health. (http://socialinnovationfund.ucsd.edu/) The annual Triton Innovation Challenge is a competition open to students, faculty and staff across the UC San Diego campus, focuses on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at UC San Diego. (https://rady.ucsd.edu/centers/ciid/competitions/triton-innovation-challenge/) UC San Diego encourages students to apply to the Clinton Global Initiative. (https://getinvolved.ucsd.edu/service/ongoing/cgiu/index.html#Frequently-asked-questions) The Office of Innovation and Commercialization aligns resources to encourage and support an innovative community comprised of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community advocates. Our mission is to accelerate the commercialization of UC San Diego innovations and contribute to a sustainable society by empowering a diverse entrepreneurial culture on campus and strengthening a dynamic innovation ecosystem. (https://innovation.ucsd.edu/) Founded in 2014, The Basement’s student-centric mission is to stimulate, encourage and serve the entrepreneurial spirit of UC San Diego students (https://www.ucsdbasement.com/)

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:

Student organizations along with the Sustainability Programs Office, Student Sustainability Collective and HDH EcoNauts sponsor talks, speakers, films and more throughout the year. One example is Green Talks, sponsored by the student Inter-Sustainability Council, Sustainability Ambassadors and the Sustainability Programs Office. Green Talks is a TED-style Talk with 7 speakers presenting on environmental awareness. The purpose of the event is to engage and educate the UCSD student body and community about sustainability and the importance of being environmentally conscious through one’s actions. Speakers who include UCSD students, faculty, and sustainability industry professionals. This event has been created, planned and led by students of the Inter-Sustainability Council, which is an organization that houses all the student sustainability focused organizations on campus, and the Sustainability Ambassadors, a student organization led by the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Engagement Fellow. 2021 will be the sixth annual event, held in conjunction with the campus's celebration of Earth Month in April.

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 UC San Diego Student Sustainability Collective hosted ECO-ACHELLA for 3 years in a row (2016-2018), an arts and music festival promoting sustainability that included workshops for students to express their creativity while learning about various sustainability topics and featuring Trapdoor Social, a LA-based alternative rock band that plays on solar power. (https://www.facebook.com/events/191161244849511) Beginning in 2018, the Sustainability Ambassadors incorporated an annual climate change art contest in conjunction with Green Talks. The contest was held virtually in 2020 and will be again in 2021 due to COVID-19. (https://iscucsd.wixsite.com/main/art-contest-submissions) In May 2018, UCSD's Visual Arts Department hosted a panel called "Art, Activism, and the Environment: A Conversation." (https://visarts.ucsd.edu/news-events/archive/20180507_harrison-panel.html) In February 2019, Greeks Gone Green, a student organization, installed a "smog-eating" mural on the UC San Diego campus. The mural, titled “Ride or Die,” features a superimposed photograph of a bicycle over a car, and is sprayed with a catalyst that absorbs airborne pollutants. (https://ucsdguardian.org/2019/02/24/smog-eating-mural-unveiled-price-center-starbucks/#:~:text=A%20%E2%80%9Csmog%2Deating%E2%80%9D%20mural,catalyst%20that%20absorbs%20airborne%20pollutants) In May 2019, a new UC San Diego sculpture that blends Native American culture with sustainability and gender diversity was unveiled to the public (https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/feature/when-the-world-comes-to-life). The UCSD Cross-Cultural Center also currently hosts a bi-weekly "Environmental Justice" series highlighting activists and movements pushing forward environmental justice for all. The Cross-Cultural Center hosts other cultural sustainability-related events for students like "Speculative Futures of Ecologies and Climate Change Symposium" in November 2019. In January 2020, the UCSD Intertribal Resource Center hosted "Indigenous Stewardship & Environmental Justice: A Conversation with Winona LaDuke." The UCSD Associated Students Office of Environmental Justice Affairs also hosts a variety of cultural events related to sustainability targeted toward students, such as the 2019 "Color and Culture: Eco Communities for Unity Cultural" event and the 2020 "Think Globally, Act Locally" event. They also host several movie nights for students, including screenings of "The True Cost" and "After The Spill".

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:

UC San Diego’s Outback Adventures offers 1-8 day outdoor trips that help the campus community connect with nature and develop a sense of place. Each trip incorporates Leave No Trace ethics and explores the wild places of southern California, Baja California and the Southwest. The trips give participants the skills needed to enjoy a lifetime of environmentally responsible outdoor adventure. Incoming students can participate in a 4-8 day Wilderness Orientation adventure to start their UC San Diego experience. Some UC San Diego courses and seminars are held in the outdoors and some courses include field trips for a hands-on learning experience.

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:

The campus hosts events in January for Changemaker Week; throughout April in recognition of Earth Month, including a sustainability fair, an entire week focused on sustainable food, tree plantings on Arbor Day, a TED-style sustainability talk, and more; October in recognition of Food Month, including a Sustainable Food Expo.

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 Housing*Dining*Hospitality EcoNauts, The Zone, and the Sustainability Resource Center each feature programming for students related to sustainability, including composting, recycling, consumerism, social responsibility, environmental and social justice, sustainably sourced meals, self-care, gardening, feminine care products, and more.

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

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

The Sustainability Programs Office, Facilities Management, Housing*Dining*Hospitality, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and many other departments across campus hire students to work on sustainability initiatives, including, but not limited to Green Programs, such as Green Office, Labs and Classroom; student outreach and education programs on climate change, reducing waste and conserving resources, like energy and water; and other planning, reporting, and program implementation projects.

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):

Although UC San Diego does not have an official graduation pledge, the Sustainability Resource Center (managed by the Student Sustainability Collective and the Sustainability Programs Office) offer programs in which students can pledge to lower their footprints and/or learn about and promote sustainability.

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

The UC San Diego Bioregional Center (BRC) for Sustainability Science, Planning and Design brings diverse people and organizations together to collaboratively study and equitably improve how neighborhoods, cities and regions function. The Bioregional Center provides a transdisciplinary workspace and knowledge networking hub for theory-building, civically engaged research, innovation, pedagogy and communication. (https://bioregionalcenter.ucsd.edu/) The BRC oversees Roger's Urban FarmLab, home to a variety of student-led projects designed to help reduce food waste and carbon emissions while simultaneously producing organic, locally-grown produce. (https://www.rcgucsd.com/home)

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Center for Student Involvement - https://studentorg.ucsd.edu/
Inter-Sustainability Council - https://iscucsd.wixsite.com/main/about, https://studentorg.ucsd.edu/Home/Details/12667
Gardens - https://sustain.ucsd.edu/involve/gardens.html
Groundwork Books - https://groundworkbooks.wixsite.com/collective
Food Co-Op - https://sites.google.com/ucsd.edu/ucsdfoodco-op/home?authuser=0
Che Cafe - http://thechecafe.blogspot.com/
UCSD Student-Run Free Clinic Project- https://medschool.ucsd.edu/som/fmph/education/freeclinic/pages/default.aspx
Social Innovation Fund - http://socialinnovationfund.ucsd.edu/
Triton Innovation Challenge - https://rady.ucsd.edu/centers/ciid/competitions/triton-innovation-challenge/
Clinton Global Initiative - https://getinvolved.ucsd.edu/service/ongoing/cgiu/index.html#Frequently-asked-questions
The Office of Innovation and Commercialization - https://innovation.ucsd.edu/
The Basement - https://www.ucsdbasement.com/
Green Talks Art Contest - https://iscucsd.wixsite.com/main/art-contest-submissions
Art, Activism, and the Environment: A Conversation - https://visarts.ucsd.edu/news-events/archive/20180507_harrison-panel.html
"Ride or Die" Smog-eating Mural - https://ucsdguardian.org/2019/02/24/smog-eating-mural-unveiled-price-center-starbucks/#:~:text=A%20%E2%80%9Csmog%2Deating%E2%80%9D%20mural,catalyst%20that%20absorbs%20airborne%20pollutants
Outback Adventures - https://recreation.ucsd.edu/adventures/trips/
Changemaker Week - https://changemaker.ucsd.edu/events/changemaker-week/index.html
UC San Diego's Earth Month - https://sustain.ucsd.edu/units/utilities-sustainability/earth-month.html
Student Opportunities - https://sustain.ucsd.edu/involve/student-opportunities.html
H*D*H EcoNauts - https://hdhsustainability.ucsd.edu/bios/index.html
Bioregional Resource Center - https://bioregionalcenter.ucsd.edu/

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.