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Cliff Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Sustaining Sustainability


There’s a lot to learn about the green movement on this campus.

Whether they are composting dining hall scraps, leading recycling programs at the Preuss School, conducting energy audits at Jack in the Box restaurants or demonstrating against coal power in the nation’s capital, UCSD students are working alongside faculty and staff to hammer out a path to a sustainable future. But who knew? UCSD Sustainability Coordinator Maggie Souder says that when she mentions these projects to students in lecture halls, the universal response is, “I had no idea we were doing that.”

And if students aren’t aware of activities on their own campus, odds are that the San Diego community has an even longer way to come.

Here’s their solution: Beginning this summer, students, alumni and other visitors will be able to visit Price Center West’s new Sustainability Resource Center (SRC) to brew some tea, flop down in a hanging bamboo chair and get the scoop on how to get their hands dirty.

“Right now, it’s really hard to learn how to get involved,” says Green Campus intern Michelle Kizner, Sixth ’09. “If there’sa central place, people can just walk in and say, ‘Sign me up.’” This won’t be just any office space, either. The SRC will incorporate 98 percent post-consumer recycled glass, salvaged steel and “funky linoleum” made from renewable rosins, wood flour and linseed oil.

It will even look good, Souder says. “A low-impact space doesn’t have to be ugly. I would like people to walk into the space and say, ‘This is what I want my office to look like; I could do this!’”

As for events, students have suggested film screenings, raw food nights, lectures, workshops, art projects and live music. The center will likely serve as the starting place for campus sustainability tours, and its shelves will feature environmentally-themed books and magazines, as well as archives of past environmental initiatives at UCSD.

The SRC will include desks for Souder and two student managers, who will be responsible for coordinating events, recruiting volunteers and keeping track of the flood of campus activism and research.

“There are fabulous minds on this campus doing fabulous things,” Souder says. “My job is to get everybody talking.”



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