Sustainability Leadership Center
Preparing Student Leaders.
The Sustainability Leadership Center (SLC) offers transformational hands-on learning experience on campus and in the community. Our mission is to connect sustainability and student life at PSU, and our programs are open to any student enrolled at PSU. The campus is our classroom.
The SLC is managed by six student staff, many interns and volunteers, and one full-time coordinator. We intentionally seek to learn by doing, and share our leadership processes and models with all program participants. Participant feedback helps shape the future of the program, and students make decisions about the projects on which they work. Check out our staff page and Flickr page to see us in action!
Questions? Email us at email@example.com or give us a call at 503-725-5598.
Sustainability Volunteer Program
In the Sustainability Volunteer Program (SVP), you're sure to find motivated students working on projects that make a tangible difference on campus and in the community. The SVP is designed to be a friendly, supportive launch pad for students who want to build their leadership skills, make new friends, and work on exciting initiatives. Our task forces focus on gardening, cultural sustainability, publications and social media, and waste reduction. Members volunteer 2-4 hours per week for a term.
We take a holistic approach to sustainability by focusing on the relationships between social justice, community building, and the environment. Join one of our task forces by making a commitment to volunteer at least 2-4 hours per week for a term. Many students continue for multiple terms.
- Gardening Task Force: Maintain student gardens around campus that include the Grazing Garden, Community Garden, Native Garden, and new Bioremediation Orchard. The Task Force may also lead garden tours, plan and facilitate garden workshops, and organize work parties.
- Cultural Sustainability Task Force: Explore the concepts of what constitutes culture and develop innovative methods for creating and delivering knowledge about cultural sustainability to the campus. A culturally sustainable environment recognizes different ways of knowing and fosters awareness and sensitivity of those from different groups. Cultural sustainability is an essential element of holistic sustainability along with environmental and economic wellness. Some of the ongoing and proposed projects are to prepare and conduct cultural sustainability tours on campus, advocate for cultural awareness on campus, and develop and maintain a cultural website for campus. The Task Force will be addressing issues of campus accessibility, both physical and emotional and learning how to view campus from different perspectives. Additionally, now that the Cultural Sustainability Tour Map is complete, we will be working on a Spanish language version.
- Publications and Social Media Task Force: Share sustainability through various forms with the PSU community and beyond. Our innovative outreach projects include hosting a talk show on KPSU (PSU’s Radio Station), cultivating creativity with marketing materials, and publicizing on social media. The task force is aimed at building community through volunteering and connecting with one another to deepen our understanding of sustainability.
- Waste Reduction Task Force: Design and implement creative projects and campaigns to reduce waste around campus. Help plan RecycleMania, join a flash mob showing visual depictions of campus waste, and help create a series of educational videos.
- Other Volunteer Opportunities: In addition to the task forces listed, we have other opportunities available. These may include helping host one day events, data entry, research, and other activities.
Here's what some of our past volunteers have said about the program....
"I am absolutely, positively happy that I joined the volunteer program here. It has really given me a great way to meet people and do something positive and engaging for the community."
"Being a part of this has been a really good experience for me. Not only am I socializing with awesome people who have the same interests as me, but also we are doing some pretty great things. During the week I look forward to our meetings because I feel so comfortable and safe with the other members."
"Task force leaders are friendly and engaging.”
“It was incredible team building and everyone showed their leadership in their own special ways.”
“The staff was there every step of the way and provided help and support where needed. This is a solid crew, and it was the most enjoyable challenge I have experienced.”
“Great organization, and fun to be around.”
Want to volunteer? Applications are accepted for fall, winter, and spring terms. Learn more and apply here by January 12th for winter term! Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EcoReps are sustainability leaders within our residence halls. They educate their peers about sustainability issues and promote socially just and environmentally responsible behaviors. EcoReps distribute resources, design innovative projects, and create, coordinate, and host activities in their residence halls. They promote the philosophy that we can, and do, make a difference!
Focal points of the program include:
- Mindful consumption and purchasing
- Community building
- Reducing, upcycling, and recycling
- Social sustainability and equity
- Food systems and composting
- Energy conservation
Throughout the year, the EcoReps team will host a variety of outreach and education programs which include Fair Trade Trick or Treat (fall term), Campus Conservation Nationals (winter term), personal projects (spring term), film screenings, surveys, and workshops. EcoReps meet for two hours each week for trainings focused on sustainability, leadership, career development, and more, as well as to plan events, programs, and projects. EcoReps also meet at least once per term to socialize and explore Portland and its surrounding natural areas. Attendance at these excursions is not required, but encouraged.
Here’s what past EcoReps have to say....
“It was clear that [our coordinator] genuinely cared about each of us as individuals and as a group. I’m very happy I was part of EcoReps this year.”
“I like how we get the opportunity to apply knowledge to projects in the community.”
“I feel more comfortable about my true interests, my creativity, along with improvement of speaking skills.”
Want to be an EcoRep? Check out our position description and online application. Questions? Contact us at email@example.com.
Check EcoReps out on Facebook »
Student Sustainability Leadership Council
The Student Sustainability Leadership Council (SSLC) is a coalition of student sustainability leaders from organizations across campus. For the past five years, the SSLC 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. This small collective works to promote sustainability as a balance of social, environmental, and economic justice.
The SSLC’s vision is to foster a university that engages the entire student body in sustainable practices across disciplines and in collaboration with the community, both on and off campus.
During the 2013-14 school year, the group was comprised of leaders from United Indian Students of Higher Education, Eco Femmes, Food Action Collective, Net Impact, EcoReps, Learning Gardens Lab, ASPSU, University Studies Mentors, Campus Recreation, and the Sustainability Leadership Center. Together we support existing sustainability efforts on campus and join forces to build a project of our own.
Main focus areas:
- Leadership development of student participants.
- Supporting student groups in their sustainability efforts on campus.
- Enhancing the sustainability experience and curriculum for students all over campus.
- Leading Divest PSU, a campaign to switch PSU's investments to more sustainable options.
- Hosting a quarterly student craft market to promote reuse, economic opportunity, and community building.
- Choose your own adventure! Work on projects that address emerging community needs.
In past years, the SSLC has conducted focus groups about the student experience at PSU, met with faculty and staff, established the Green Room, and participated in PSU’s Village Building Convergence.
Here's what past SSLC members have to say about the program:
"My favorite part of the SSLC has been sharing enthusiasm with other participants, and suggesting ideas and seeing them acted upon in a timely manner."
"[I appreciate] the community—very friendly folks—and their engagement on campus."
"My favorite part of the SSLC has been meeting new people, finding out about the great events on campus and different organizations and classes."
"I gained a greater appreciation of sustainability in the sense that a congregation of people from diverse groups around campus can build a mutually supportive community by meeting on a regular basis to accomplish a common goal."