SDSU earns award in sustainability

by Stephanie Saccente

Monica Linzmeier, Staff Photographer

San Diego State University was awarded a Silver rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

With hopes of making the campus a better place, SDSU is promoting sustainability. With efforts including solar panels, residence hall recycling programs and a green waste composting system, SDSU continues to main-tain an eco-friendly focus and is working toward decreasing the school’s carbon footprint. For nearly three years, SDSU has been working to complete The Sustain- ability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. As one of many participating institutions, SDSU’s Center for Regional Sustainability and the Senate Sustainability Committee worked with staff and faculty to review SDSU’s compre- hensive sustainability efforts.

STARS, a relatively new project, awarded SDSU as well as oth- er institutions across the country STAR ratings. SDSU Sustainability Coordinator, Mariah Hudson, is hopeful SDSU will score high enough to win a gold award in the future with the new student union and other future sustainability projects. Hudson was one of the SDSU staff members who worked on the STARS sustainability assessment.

“We earned the silver rating through pretty clear calculation and we came in with 51 points total. To get a silver award you need 45 and to get a gold you need 65 points or above,” Hudson said.“The silver award is based on our calculations of our points and our pretty wide sustainability efforts on campus.”

Dr. Geoffrey Chase, the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and the Director of the Center for Regional Sustainability, believes this award will create a sense of community engagement for sustainability on campus that will motivate the faculty, students and staff to take the next step.

Both, Hudson and Chase owe the great success of cam- pus sustainability to students. “The students here have exhibited so much passion and com- mitment to leadership around sustainability over an extended period of time. Without them, we would not be where we are. We really owe them a great deal,” Chase said.

Sophomore accounting student, Kaitlyn Harrison, is proud to at- tend a school recognized for its efforts. Harrison tries to recycle regularly and take other sustainability steps in her daily life. She is looking forward to all of the fu- ture sustainability projects SDSU has planned.

“I think it is great SDSU is making such a positive step toward becoming a more sustainable school,” Harrison said. “With the way our world is today, I think it’s important to take a stand and make a difference in whatever way we can. It’s great to attend a school that is doing just that and getting recognized for it.”