|Submission Date||Oct. 12, 2018|
|4.00 / 4.00||
SEED's mission is to promote environmentally sound practices in the residence and dining halls among residents, along with raising awareness about environmental issues that affect students on both local and global scales. SEED organizes a wide variety of events and campaigns relating to sustainability. We also provide the opportunity for leadership development through our project committees and we offer volunteering opportunities within the club and other environmental organizations on and off campus.
Each year, SEED works with Residential Life Staff to check out in-room compost bins to students in the residence halls. This program aims to increase the diversion of food waste from the landfill to our composting facility and help create sustainable habits for our residents. In addition, SEED has conducted outreach campaigns around habits such as sustainability in the laundry rooms, reusable cups and bags. SEED partnered with Housing and Food Services to offer discounts and prize opportunities for residents who utilized reusable bags at the on-campus DIstrict Market through the "Tote Bag or No Bag" campaign, and handled outreach for UW's Cupanion program encouraging reusable mugs and cups.
Elections with question and answer sessions are held for most of the official board positions, except for the executive director. The executive director goes through an application process, with questions and interviews with Housing and Food Services, and then the final decision is confirmed with votes from members of SEED. Liaisons from Residence Hall Councils apply for positions for their halls to be in SEED. All other members are volunteers and receive training from the board committee members.
A transition retreat is held at the end of each school year for the old executive board to train the new incoming board. At the transition retreat, students share past experiences, provide documents, share photos, offer advice, exchange items (games, etc.), and share contacts. General leadership trainings/conferences are provided by Housing and Food Services to leaders of SEED and other groups through the Residence Hall Student Association.
Housing and Food Services provides some funding to SEED for supplies, activities, events, and outreach campaigns. Staff support is also provided by Housing and Food Services. Also, since SEED is a Registered Student Organization, they have an advisor and can receive funding and other resources from the Student Activities Office.
The EcoReps program is designed to encourage sustainable behaviors in students at the University of Washington through peer-to-peer communication, motivation and education. This program’s goal is to make sustainability a social norm within the UW student body, offering education and outreach efforts for sustainability topics such as alternative transportation, waste diversion, energy reduction, and water management. As of late, EcoReps has also made an effort to incorporate social and economic factors into its mission. A few examples of outreach efforts over the past two years:
1. Green Husky Market - A quarterly sustainability market composed of locally owned food vendors and green student groups from across campus.
2. Green Greeks - The Green Greeks program at UW started as an EcoReps project. Although it is now it's own RSO, Green Greeks continues to work closely with EcoReps students and many are actually involved with projects in both programs.
3. Green Husky Coalition - a twice a month meeting of like-minded sustainability groups. Attendees meet to eat pizza, hold discussions about potential collaboration, and to request help for their own group's projects. The coalition also hosted a speaker series that connected sustainability professionals with students for advice and perspective.
4. Other events have included quarterly campus trash pick ups, lessons on how to spread native pollinator flowers with seed balls, and more.
Currently, the student educators are volunteers identified through either peer-to-peer outreach, or through the Carlson Center for Service Learning. EcoReps partners with the Carlson Center to host service learning students each quarter. These students are able to obtain class credit for their outreach efforts, while also learning about environmental service as part of their studies.
The educators receive formal training and education on sustainable habits, such as transportation choices, energy and water use, and compost and recycling standards. They also receive formal leadership training, learning their communication styles and how best to communicate with others.
Currently there is a small fund from UW Sustainability that goes toward promotional materials and other necessary costs. Additionally, the Student Activities Office provides standard Registered Student Organization resources to the student group of EcoReps. EcoReps began organizing their own fundraisers in 2018, the most successful of which was a succulent plant sale.
The UW Farm provides students with an opportunity to gain experience in the practice and study of urban agriculture and sustainability. It is an educational, community-oriented resource for people who want to learn about building productive and sustainable urban landscapes. The UW Farm offers many opportunities for the UW community to get involved with volunteering, farm tours, and community pizza bakes. The farm has three locations in a variety of settings, including central campus and planting areas prominently featured near student housing. They maintain several student committees, with specialized focuses including beekeeping, fungi, compost, and education.
Student educators are selected through peer-to-peer outreach.
Students working with the farm receive formal training in organizing volunteers and instruction on farm practices. Students interning at the farm learn about developing planting/harvest schedules, volunteer coordination for directing work parties and/or construction, and facilitation/negotiation skills.
As well as providing space on campus and buying the produce and vegetables grown by the UW Farm, the University of Washington offers staff support and paid internship positions to students through the UW Farm. The UW Farm has a paid manager to coordinate all farm activities.
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