... FROM THE CHAIR
”“Campuses that address the climate challenge by reducing global warming emissions and by integrating sustainability into their curriculum will better serve their students and meet their social mandate to help create a thriving, ethical, and civil society. —American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment In New Mexico, students in the introduction to sustainability course at Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) created a sustainable agriculture proposal that includes courses centered around a community garden, an orchard, a rainwater harvesting system,
a composting system, and a small-scale
animal husbandry program.
President Eric Godin says the community garden at LTC has taught students
“project planning and project management, negotiation tactics, leadership
and delegation, long-term commitment
and responsibility, networking, and
sales and marketing.” The proposed
sustainable agriculture program at
SFCC would provide practical training
experience for positions such as small
farm producers and managers; garden
educators and designers for public
schools; community garden directors;
farmers market managers; sustainable
agriculture nonprofit administrators;
and seed bank curators.
waste or as complex as employing clean
energy, but every initiative begins with
these simple steps:
1. Brainstorm areas where green
initiatives could be implemented on
campus, taking facilities management, architecture, and daily operations into account.
2. Poll your campus and the greater
community for ideas.
3. Find or start a green club on campus.
Empower the student club to lead the
Once you determine your green
campaign and identify student leaders
to assist with it, make sure the initiative is integrated into the classroom
and/or job training. If you plan to use
solar panels to generate electricity, for
example, tie the design, installation,
and upkeep of those panels to an
existing job-training program.
Community colleges are places to
learn skills and grow. When you allow
students to take the lead on green
projects, you provide them with
invaluable experiences in leadership,
planning, and project management.
When you tie a project to practical job
training, everyone wins—the campus
benefits from a green program, and
students gain practical experience.
When looking at ideas to make your
facilities, architecture, and campus
green, don’t forget to tap into your
greatest resource—your students.
(For more on student environmental
programs, see “Planet Activism” on
Student-led initiatives can provide
leadership opportunities and job training for students. At MWCC, Dettloff
gained research, project management,
and teaching experience. But she also
gained “the ability to collaborate with
a host of others, including sponsors,
college leaders and staff, and community members,” according to Janice
O’Connor, MWCC’s director of public
relations. Likewise, Sustainability Club
Students are doing wonderful things
to promote green living at community
colleges across the country. Green
initiatives can be as simple as reducing
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8 COMMUNITY COLLEGE JOURNAL October/November 2010