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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.02
Liaison Sara McKinstry
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of California, San Diego
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Bowser
Sustainability Program Coordinator
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

UC San Diego has over 30 student organizations focused on sustainability, including the InterSustainability Council (ISC). The ISC unites the various student organizations of UC San Diego that promote sustainable development into a cohesive network. The Inter-Sustainability Council functions as an intermediary to improve coordination and outreach between these groups and the UCSD community. https://studentorg.ucsd.edu/Home/Details/5692

Other student organizations include Engineers for a Sustainable World, a student US Green Building Council chapter, GROW UCSD (students and staff working on student gardens, AQUAholics Anonymous, Net Impact, and more.

UC San Diego’s Student Sustainability Collective (SSC) was founded by students in 2009 and is funded by a student self-imposted green fee. The SSC engages and educates students in sustainability through programming, events, outreach, resources, support, and community. Funded by student self-imposed green fees, the SSC manages the University's Green Initiative Fund, which solicits applications and funds student-led sustainability projects on campus.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

UC San Diego has 5 gardens on campus and one off, involving faculty, staff and students in promoting education and the growth of sustainable food and local produce.

Ellie's Garden
Half Moon Meadow
Marshall Community Garden
Mesa Nueva Garden
Ocean View Growing Grounds
Roger’s Community Garden


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

UC San Diego is home to various co-operative organizations, not-for-profit organizations that provide students, faculty, and staff with the highest quality merchandise and services at the lowest prices possible. For many, the Co-ops are a place to buy low-priced healthy food and textbooks and provide offbeat alternatives to the items and the atmosphere offered by mainstream merchants at UC San Diego. At UC San Diego, there is The Che Cafe, The Food Co-op, The General Store Co-op, and Groundworks Books. Fundamentally, all of the Co-ops offer an alternative type of enterprise and are non-hierarchical organizations. All members of the UC San Diego community are invited to participate in the Co-ops. Membership in a Co-op provides students with a chance to experience a non-hierarchical work environment and collective decision-making. By being a member, students receive discounts at all Co-ops, an equal voice in making decisions in the evolution of their Co-op, and a role in defining the atmosphere of the Co-op. Membership in the Co-ops is open to anyone who wishes to continually volunteer about two hours a week at any Co-op.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
No

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Student organizations along with the Sustainability Programs Office and HDH EcoNauts sponsor talks, speakers, films and more throughout the year. One example is Green Talks, sponsored by the student InterSustainability Council and the Sustainability Programs Office. Green Talks is a conference that is based on the structure of a Ted Talk, with the exception that it is specifically geared towards environmental awareness. The purpose of the event is to engage and educate the UCSD student body and community about sustainability and the importance of being environmentally conscious through one’s actions. Speakers who include UCSD students, faculty, and sustainability industry professionals. This event has been created, planned and led by the undergraduate students of the Inter-Sustainability Council, which is an organization that houses all the student sustainability focused organizations on campus.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

Previously known as "Gaia Festival," the UC San Diego Student Sustainability Collective and Engineers for a Sustainable World - UC San Diego every year host ECO-ACHELLA, an arts and music festival promoting sustainability. The event is usually capstoned by a musical act passionate about sustainability (for example, the 2016 headline was Trapdoor Social, a LA-based alternative rock band that plays on solar power) and includes workshops for students to express their creativity while learning about various sustainability topics.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

UC San Diego’s Outback Adventures offers 1-8 day outdoor trips that help the campus community connect with nature and develop a sense of place. Each trip incorporates Leave No Trace ethics and explores the wild places of southern California, Baja California and the Southwest. The trips give participants the skills needed to enjoy a lifetime of environmentally responsible outdoor adventure. Incoming students can participate in a 4-8 day Wilderness Orientation adventure to start their UC San Diego experience. Some UC San Diego courses and seminars are held in the outdoors and some courses include field trips for a hands-on learning experience.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Housing/Dining/Hospitality EcoNauts, The Zone, and the Sustainable Resource Center each feature programming for students related to sustainability, from composting to recycling to cooking with healthy, local and/or organic food.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Sustainability Program Office, Facilities Management, Housing/Dining/Hospitality, and many other departments across campus hire students to work on sustainability initiatives, from Green Office and Green Lab certification programs to student outreach programs on sustainability to assisting with zero waste, climate, water and other planning, reporting, and program implementation projects.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

Although UC San Diego does not have an official graduation pledge, the Sustainability Resource Center (managed by the Student Sustainability Collective and the Sustainability Program Office) and the Aquaholics Anonymous student organization (mentored by Environmental Health & Safety) offer programs in which students can pledge to lower their footprints and/or learn about and promote sustainability.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

We advertize not only on-campus student jobs and internships, but also grants, fellowships, and more on the university's sustainability blog: https://sustainucsd.org/

The UC San Diego TriNet Challenge startup competition is sponsored by the UC San Diego's Rady School of Management, Jacobs School of Engineering
and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and through the generosity
of The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc. Now in its 5th year, the TriNet Challenge competition spotlights commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by UC San Diego's finest minds. Students, faculty and staff from across campus pitch their compelling, innovative ideas to a panel of
expert judges in an attempt to win $11,000 in funding. http://rady.ucsd.edu/ciid/trinet-challenge .

Rady School of Management students also have a student Net Impact chapter.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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UC San Diego has approximately 30 active student organizations focused on sustainability, from green buildings to engineering to food recovery to Net Impact and business.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.