The Landscape Team at SOU is deeply committed to conservation and sustainability.
In April of 2015, SOU became the first ever Bee Campus USA. We have planted five pesticide-free pollinator gardens on campus so far and continue to incorporate native, pollinator-friendly plant species across campus. In addition, Landscape Services hosts an annual Arbor Day festival and holds a Tree Campus USA award for our work promoting our community forest on campus and helping educate people about the enormous value trees bring to our lives and to the ecosystems we live in. Landscape services recently completed construction of SOU’s first on-campus disc golf course and campus botanical tour.
SOU Dining manages several cafes, restaurants, and cafeterias across campus. Dining regularly showcases local farms and locally grown products in meals. Vegetarian and vegan meal options are always available for students. SOU Dining sources a portion of its food directly from SOU’s own student farm. Food from SOU’s organic farm is also available for sale through SOU Dining at The Landing, through a campus CSA, and at the weekly Raiders Farm Stand.
Southern Oregon University recently completed construction of the LEED Gold Raider Village housing and dining complex. The project sourced 26% of materials within 500 miles and diverted a staggering 86% of construction waste from the landfill. Students enjoy daylit common spaces, thermostat controls for each unit, and bicycle storage in each room. The site also features six electric vehicle charging stations and 160 covered bicycle stalls. Raider Village also hosts the campus’ largest rooftop photovoltaic solar systems and uses solar hot water heating.
SOU’s Facilities Management and Planning Department contributes heavily to our campus commitment to sustainability with a focus on resource conservation and sustainable operations. Solar panels on the Hannon Library, Higher Education Center, Stevenson Union and Raider Village contribute an average of 315,000 kWh hours annually. All new construction and major campus renovations are built to LEED standards. The SOU/RCC Higher Education Center was the first building in the Oregon University System and the first building in Southern Oregon to receive LEED Platinum certification. Facilities also contributes to energy efficiency and water conservation through initiatives such as lighting retrofits, occupancy sensors, and the installation of water bottle filling stations and low flow toilets throughout campus.
SOU’s Sustainability Council was established in April of 2007 to assist SOU in remaining at the forefront of sustainability and to better coordinate and chronicle the many environmental enhancement activities in our region and on campus. The Sustainability Council is comprised of students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community members.
The mission of the Sustainability Council is to advise, encourage, and coordinate the operations, research, and campus culture of Southern Oregon University in a manner that is consistent with the values and practices of environmental stewardship and sustainability; promoting individual, institutional and community well-being.
Have a sustainability project you would like to see done on campus? Need a little funding to make it happen? Apply for a grant from the Green Fund! The Green Fund is a self-imposed student fee of $10-$15 per term paid by each student. While some of the money is used to support large campus projects the rest of the pot is available for students to use for sustainability projects! Projects that have been funded in the past include the Stevenson Union solar installation and The Farm at SOU. Projects can be big or small but must contribute to sustainability at SOU. Simply download the Green Fund Funding Request application and contact the Environmental Affairs Committee to submit your request.