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Student leadership council collaborates on vision for PSU's future


Amanda Tripp Johansson and Heather Spalding at SSLC's fall term flea market.

The Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) convened last week for its first gathering of the 2013-14 school year. SSLC is a coalition of student sustainability leaders from organizations across campus. For the past five years, it has served as the student voice for sustainability on campus, bridging administration, faculty, and students to help create a vision for the future of PSU. 

We have the unique opportunity of bringing together a range of voices, perspectives, and leadership styles within the council. This year, the council includes student leaders from United Indian Students of Higher Education, Eco Femmes, Food Action Collective, NetImpact, EcoReps, Learning Gardens Lab, ASPSU, University Studies Mentors, Campus Recreation, and the Sustainability Leadership Center. Together we will support existing sustainability efforts on campus and join forces to build a project of our own.

SSLC continues to morph as our projects, members, and mission evolve. Past projects have included the creation of the Green Space—a student gathering room in the basement of Smith—to organizing community building and conservation awareness events like the quarterly student flea market (check out photos from the fall term market here). SSLC has also conducted research to learn more about the student undergraduate experience of sustainability on campus to inform and improve campus-wide policies, and has worked with PSU’s Climate Action Plan Implementation Team to share student perspectives on waste management and other issues related to everyday lives of students on campus.

Working from a place of collaboration and shared leadership, SSLC experiments with models of learning, leadership, and community engagement. To begin our year together, we plotted ourselves within the leadership triangle depicting our individual emphasis on action, relationships, and process. The activity was very insightful and helped remind us that there is not one way of being an effective leader. We will use our new understanding to guide our visioning process for the school year and help us decide where we will focus our energy on campus.

SSLC is a place for PSU community of student sustainability practitioners to share, learn, grow, and collaborate in order to strengthen our work together in promoting social, environmental, and economic justice on campus. SSLC is a program of the Sustainability Leadership Center; if you are interested in learning more or would like to join the council, please contact SLC's graduate assistant, Amanda Tripp Johansson, at atripp@pdx.edu.


Amanda Tripp Johansson is currently pursuing a graduate degree in educational leadership and policy and is the graduate assistant for the Sustainability Leadership Center.