Institutional Sustainability

Posted: August 19, 2012 by kimje in Institutional Sustainability: Service Learning Experiences
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Institutional Sustainability

I volunteered at the OSU Student Sustainability Center. SSC has Student Sustainability Initiative (SSI) which is a student-fee funded, student-coordinated program for student leadership and involvement to create a culture of sustainability at OSU. SSC works for actions and campaigns directly influencing OSU’s sustainability, education on sustainability issues, and empowerment of students to tackle their own vision of a better world. With assistance from the OSU Sustainability Office and the Department of Student Leadership and Involvement, the SSI supports student efforts to create a culture of sustainability at OSU. This institutional development of sustainability assists, encourages, promotes, and advocates for movement towards sustainable future through connecting organizations within campus and community for integrating sustainability into every OSU department.

SSC focuses on sustainability of following areas:

1) ENERGY Making OSU’s energy usage more sustainable through shifts in efficiency, consumption, and sources.

2) Addressing FOOD sustainability systems used by the OSU community bridging people for their sustenance.

3)Sustainable use of LANDSCAPE at OSU.

4) Making alternative TRANSPORTATION at OSU safe, accessible, and worthwhile through education and advocacy.

5) WASTE REDUCTION for increasing the sustainable waste management of OSU.

I watered for the garden of student sustainability center which corresponds to the food and landscape goals of SSC. It was not a huge farm so it looked easy at first, but it took 2 hours and a half to water the whole garden except for the part that has own irrigation system. Rubber hose was really heavy to carry so I had to use my effort to move the hose without hurting the plants. However, I felt good about helping sustainability with my effort in addition to my personal sustainability project. The SSC coordinator said that the garden is recently renovated to farm better through giving more accessibility to each plant. SSC garden had various types of fruits, vegetables, and flower and they are grown without fertilizer. I tasted strawberry and tomato. Without using fertilizer, the taste, scent, and texture were good. Especially the skin of the fruits was so tender. I think this is because he did not use GMO which modified the skin of fruits harder to be more resistant to insects. I also learn that it is best to water in the morning because water evaporates quickly when it is hot and slugs come out at night. I think my volunteering in sustainability center relates to our course in that SSC gives awareness to students for providing information and vision about sustainability through educating about the needs, opportunities, and available resources. Offering volunteering and participating in volunteering also encourage other students to lead and take part in initiative through the role they are capable of achieving. Volunteering at SSC facilitates other possible volunteers’ empowerment and ability to take an active role in their own development as leaders. The sad thing was that I did not know the existence and role of SSC before volunteering. I think we need to inform and facilitate SSC for sustainable environment in OSU and in our community.


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