Recent efforts on the undergraduate level are far-reaching.
Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP)
Some undergraduate groups have developed a number of peer-to-peer education programs, including the Education for Sustainable Living Program (ESLP), founded by E3, which brings world renowned authors, activists, and academics to the campus to speak on the interconnected and interdependent nature and challenges of the 21st century. During winter and spring quarters, ESLP students can participate in action research teams. Each team collaborates with members of the faculty and campus administration to guide and direct research intent on offering and implementing sustainable alternatives to current practices and policies. Other education programs, by both CalPIRG and Environmental Bruins, have focused on taking UCLA students into K-12 classrooms to teach environmental education, as well as taking UCLA students out into nature to learn about and gain appreciation for our local ecosystems.
- To learn more about the Education for Sustainable Living Program visit the visit the ESLP website
E3 and the California Student Sustainability Coalition
In 2003, it was a group of students who initiated the Green Building and Clean Energy Policy with the UC Regents, and out of that success, the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) was born. Since that time, the CSSC has been working with UC Office of the President on further expansions of that policy. The CSSC at UCLA, now known as E3 for ecology-economy-equity, requested the creation of the Campus Sustainability Committee in 2004, and has continued to be a driving force for sustainability throughout the university.
Associated Students of UCLA and the Undergraduate Student Association
Both the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) and the Associated Students of UCLA (ASUCLA) have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability. USAC made sustainability a key area of concentration and has begun to promote sustainability efforts in the residence halls, as well as throughout the undergraduate student government offices. ASUCLA, the largest student-run student union in the country, agreed to develop a policy on sustainability as well as sustainability plan, all because of student efforts.
- To learn more about ASUCLA's sustainability efforts visit www.asucla.ucla.edu/sustainability/
Undergraduates have also campaigned for such things as sweatshop-free apparel and fair trade coffee in the student union, workers rights, climate change solutions such as solar, and an end to genocide in Darfur. Other undergraduate student groups also involved in the sustainability movement on campus, besides those mentioned above, include, but are not necessarily limited to the Rainforest Action Network, UCLA Bicycle Coalition, and Engineers without Borders.
Rainforest Action Network
RAN campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. Additionally, they aim for students to understand the connections between the multiple social justice issues that involve and lead to environmental degradation. The RAN contingent at UCLA is a group with an international focus that hopes to bring a new sense of activism for social and environmental justice to UCLA.
- To learn more about RAN's sustainability efforts visit http://www.ran.org/
UCLA Bicycle Coalition
The UCLA Bicycle Coalition unites the diverse bicycling community in order to make UCLA and the broader Los Angeles region a safe and enjoyable place to ride.
- To learn more about UCLA Bicycle Coalition's sustainability efforts visit http://bikeucla.wordpress.com/
Engineers without Borders
Their mission is to partner with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmental and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students. EWB-UCLA strives to uphold this vision; furthermore, they hope to encourage local community awareness of environmental/global issues through outreach and education programs.
- To learn more about Engineers without Borders' sustainability efforts visit http://sites.google.com/site/ewbucla
Climatepedia is an online hub for climate change information designed to make the complex nature of climate science accessible to the general public. The site brings together related news, media, and blog commentary to increase public understanding and awareness of climate science. A key feature of the site is a climate change blog that allows professors and other experts to discuss current research and provide insight into the field.
The project is an initiative run by Climate 411, a UCLA student organization.
Visit Climatepedia at www.climatepedia.org.
Net Impact Undergrad at UCLA is a global non-profit organization of students and professionals using business to improve the world. This is an exciting new program involving undergraduates who wish to leverage their influence for the benefit of society, the economy, and the environment.
- To learn more about Net Impact's sustainability efforts visit http://netimpactucla.wordpress.com/
Members of Sustainable Youth teach grammar school students about environmental issues currently facing Los Angeles and the World. Students are taught once a week during hour long sessions for nine weeks.
- To learn more about Sustainable Youth's sustainability efforts visit http://www.e3ucla.org/sustainable-youth.html
UCLA Student Welfare Commission: EARTH
Formerly known as SWC Recycling Committee, EARTH (Environmental Awareness, Recycling, and Terrestrial Health) promotes sustainability in student lifestyles because they believe that student wellness stems from living in a clean environment. They educate students on environmental issues and put on activities and programs that promote reusing materials, reducing consumption, and recycling waste.
- To learn more about UCLA Student Welfare Commission: EARTH's sustainability efforts visit http://www.ucla-usac.org/swc/?page_id=2154
Some of the other tangible successes of undergraduate students include the creation of two new gardens on campus, both at Sunset Canyon Recreation Center. The first, a native demonstration garden founded by Environmental Bruins, was designed and built in the spring of 2005. The other garden is UCLAs first organic vegetable garden, founded by E3, which broke ground on Earth Day (April 22) 2006. In addition, a group of students, as part of a student initiated research project, designed and built a solar test array on top of Boelter Hall. The array is currently plugged into UCLAs grid, producing renewable energy, and is available for further experimentation and tests, should future students decide to use it. These are only a few examples of the kinds of work undergrads are doing on campus.
Published: Monday, April 14, 2008