City of Ashland incentivising clean energy and energy efficiency
At the end of 2021, the SOU Office of Sustainability and the Ashland Climate Action Project (ACAP) of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now partnered to gather residents’ views on various strategies and policies aimed at reducing Ashland’s climate impact. The SOU community living in Ashland wanted to hear more about the incentives available for home energy improvements. There may be similar incentives in other locations too! SOU’s Peak Student Sustainability Coordinator, Liz Adkisson, writes about the incentives available and the full article can be found here.
This year’s Earth Month was a total success! We had 500-1,000 people come to our Earth Day Extravaganza, not to mention all the other wonderful events we had during the month! Thank you to everyone who attended and helped plan these awesome events!!
SOU celebrated Arbor Day on 29 April with a lunch, speakers and volunteer time planting trees and working at the SOU Farm! The plant based lunch featured food that qualifies under the Real Food Challenge, an initiative to provide food that is ecologically sound, humane, fair, or local/regionally sourced. Joseph Whitney, who heads the initiative spoke alongside student sustainability coordinator Elizabeth Adkisson and David West, an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi Nation and director emeritus of Native American Studies. Arbor Day has been celebrated by more than 44 countries beginning in 1594, and 45 states in the U.S. since 1872. It was established as a day to honor trees and the vital role they play in the world.
SOU’s new Apiary project receives funding from the Student Green Fund! The apiary project is a student-led mission to raise hives of honeybees on the Farm through a student mentorship beekeeping program. This program will afford interested students and pollinators alike an opportunity to thrive here at SOU. The Student Green Fund is available to all students to propose projects to help achieve sustainability goals at SOU.
By Liz Adkisson, Peak Student Sustainability Coordinator
The Sustainability Spring Term’s Spotlight is not on an individual but a team of students working on sustainability issues across campus.
The mission of the Social Justice and Equity Center’s Student Sustainability Team (SST) is to empower student-run initiatives rooted in social equity that encourage a permanent shift to sustainable practices for the SOU community, then region, and beyond. The goals of the SST include ensuring equity and accessibility for all students, encouraging conscious decision making and transparency from the university, involving students and the community in sustainability initiatives, and building skills for students on the team such as leadership, event coordination, marketing and outreach, equity/diversity training, and team building.
The student jobs in the SST are undeniably important in furthering the sustainability goals at SOU, from sustainable transportation initiatives to tackling food security with the student food pantry.
Student jobs in the Student Sustainability Team include:
In addition to the positions listed above, which all report to the Social Justice and Equity Center in Student Life, the Student Sustainability Team is also a collaborative group that includes a student graduate assistant working for The Farm at SOU, and two student employees that work in Facilities Management and Planning’s Sustainability Office. Student interns also join the team every winter or spring. Students all work on their individual areas, and also work as a team helping out on their peer’s projects and events to further sustainability and equity goals on campus.
Shout out to the team and everything they have done for SOU this year from organizing Earth Day and Arbor Day to planning bike riding events, environmental and social justice film showings, Equity Round Tables, Farm and Garden events, food drives, bike swaps,and more.
Thank you to Danni Keys, Joseph Whitney,Tayah Singer, Samuel Rose, Kyrstyn Kelly, Haven Lee, Elizabeth Mackey, Sarah Ross, and Tai Afrae for their dedication to Sustainability at SOU and to Jill Smedstad for leading this team and coordinating their efforts. And welcome to the SST’s new interns, Frankie Mora, Joshua Kahsen, Prussia Johnson, Jessica Frankforter, Sierra Garrett, Morgan Valdivieso, and Gianna McCardell!
The SST cannot do the work of sustainability without the support and cooperation from individuals within our campus and local communities. How can you be a part of the movement?
The team encourages you to explore ways you can get involved! Come to our office on the second floor of the Stevenson Union or email email@example.com to inquire about bus passes, learn about real food, get a garden plot, attend a sustainability related event, and make your voice heard by the university about sustainability related issues.
When there are vacancies, the Student Sustainability Team advertises coordinator positions on Handshake. There are also volunteer and internship opportunities during winter and spring quarters each year. Keep an eye out for events put on by the team and follow them on Instagram @sou_studentsustainability .
Check out Plastic Oceans International, a non profit whose goal is to end plastic pollution and to foster sustainable communities worldwide. They are a great resource for information on the plastic pollution issue we are facing.