We are proud to announce that Southern Oregon University has joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Climate Challenge, committing to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2033 from 2018 baseline. As a partner in the challenge, we plan to share our carbon reduction progress and strategies with the broader market to help other organizations build on our success. We look forward to working with DOE and our peers in the challenge to turn the threat of climate change into an opportunity to innovate, collaborate, and create a better planet. Read more here.
SOU will be receiving $2 million from the federal spending bill to support a multi-year transition towards solar energy. This allocation will help fund projects for additional solar arrays on SOU’s parking lots and rooftops. This is the next great step towards SOU producing all of its own electricity, significantly reducing utility costs and generating income by selling electricity to local utilities. Read more here.
SOU’s Digital Cinema program has been accepted as a member of the Green Film School Alliance and awarded the Environmental Media Association Green Seal for the student produced short film, “Eight & Sand.” Read more here.
The Farm at SOU has broadened their composting capabilities, now working with the Hawk dining commons to include “pre-consumer” waste. The food waste generated in preparing meals at the Hawk, about 400 pounds of waste per week, will now be recycled and improve sustainability at the Farm. Read more here.
The SOU Food Pantry, run by the Student Sustainability Team, had a record-setting Fall 2022. The number of students who visited the pantry during the recent Fall term exceeded the total number of visits for all of the 2021-2022 academic year! Through the team’s hard work to keep the pantry stocked throughout the term, the pantry was able to provide free food to students over 500 times throughout the course of the term. To learn more about the food resources available to students and how to donate food and money during the February Food Drive visit the SOU Food Pantry.
Frankie Mora, Food Pantry Coordinator with the Social Justice and Equity Center’s Student Sustainability Team
What do you enjoy most about working on the Sustainability Team?
I am currently a Senior Psychology Major and work on the SusTeam as the Food Pantry Coordinator. I stock and organize all things related to the pantry. What I enjoy most about the SusTeam is our teamwork! The SusTeam creates a safe space, and I always feel more comfortable connecting with my personal community groups when I’m in a safe space. We have open conversations about racism, micro-aggressions, fat-phobia, and other social issues. The team cultivates a lot of self-love and it makes for a special environment.
How has being on the Sus. team brought you closer to your community?
Working at the Food Pantry has allowed me to serve the student population and meet a diversity of folks, even off-campus. Over the summer, for example, I coordinated some “Pop-Up Pantry” events at SOU’s Student Apartments and Family Housing. I would bring a ton of food in a big ‘ole truck and give it out for a few hours. I felt so connected to my community. I met entire families, children, new couples, married couples, a football player with a huge husky… I loved it.
What are your personal goals to grow during your time at SOU?
I am really focused on expanding Sustainability at SOU, especially through the Food Pantry and connecting the many programs on campus. A dream of mine is to get Sustainability in the General Education requirements at SOU. Sustainability is interconnected with everything and should be taught all over campus.
What do you think you’ve learned in your role that will benefit you after graduating?
To let your struggles inspire you to make the system a little better. I am preparing myself for the adult world, so that I can sustain myself, and create a path to a career that makes the world better than it was before. I want to make connections in the fields I work in to be able to make real change happen in our community.
The United Nations Biodiversity Conference took place 7-19 December 2022 in Montreal, Canada. Governments from around the world came together and agree on a new set of goals to guide global action through 2030 to halt and reverse nature loss. Adoption of a bold global biodiversity framework that addresses the key drivers of nature loss is needed to secure our own health and well-being alongside that of the planet. Learn more here.
“We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”
– Howard Zinn