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Students sitting on couch inside Student Sustainability Center
Photo of Rebecca Walker

Campus Updates

New Location, New Name!

Over the summer, ECOS Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center moved out of the basement of the Stevenson Union and up into a window-filled new office space in SU 310! With the new space, students and staff decided it was a perfect time to launch a new name: The Student Sustainability Center. Join the SSC for a  "grand opening" social event January 13th 12-2pm in SU 310 to help recognize the history of ECOS and learn about the future happenings of the SSC. Meanwhile, stop by on Monday-Friday 9am-4pm to say hi!

Introducing Rebecca Walker!

On November 8th, Rebecca Walker joined SOU as the new Sustainability and Recycling Manager. Based out of Facilities Management and Planning, Rebecca will help lead campus wide sustainability initiatives! To know more about who she is and her role at the university, click here to read more about Rebecca.

Smaller Plates Reduce Food Waste at the Hawk

In September, SOU Dining switched out large 12 inch plates for new 9 inch plates at The Hawk, purchased through a grant with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The small-wares program will help reduce food waste by encouraging diners to select smaller amounts of food. Read more about this program here.

One large 12 inch plate next to one 9 inch plate

Recent Achievements

Group of students and staff on top of building with solar panels at SOU

Excellence and Innovation Award

Southern Oregon University was recognized by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities as a recipient of their Excellence and Innovation for Sustainability Award!  AASCU recognized SOU for developing “a comprehensive and impactful sustainability program by collaborating across operations, academics and engagement.” To read more about this amazing award, follow this link for the full article.

SOU Achieves 9% Real Food

After only one year of implementation, SOU is almost half way to our Real Food Commitment! By 2023, at least 20% of SOU's food and beverage expenses will be spent purchasing "real food" or food that meets specific qualifications in categories of ecologically sound, humane, fair, and/or locally sourced. After calculating invoices representing 2018-19 purchases, SOU is officially reached 9% third party verified real food! <<read more here>>

Bicycle Friendly University Award

In October, 2019, Southern Oregon University received recognition from the League of American Bicyclists as a Silver-level Bicycle Friendly University! “By meeting one of the 4 award levels, universities and colleges demonstrate a commitment in developing model environments where people can safely bike and contribute to healthier, more sustainable outcomes,” said Bill Nesper, the League’s executive director.

Sustainability Spotlight

Luis Berrios-Hayden

Luis is a senior studying Environmental Science and Policy, and has been working for the Student Sustainability Center (ECOS) since winter 2018 as the Civic Engagement Coordinator. He works for SSC because it "has the potential to be an all encompassing vehicle for learning, addressing, and education around the wide variety of challenges we face as humans." But what he likes most about working for SSC is he has an inspirational boss who is often showing him how radically valuable it is to be mindful and considerate of others just by being herself. Fun fact about Luis: he grew up in-line dance skating in NYC.
Headshot of Pavlina McGrady

Dr. Pavlina McGrady

An Assistant Professor in the School of Business, Dr. Pavlina McGrady is helping to lead efforts to integrate sustainability across the curriculum at Southern Oregon University. In addition to teaching many of the courses for SOU’s Certificate in Sustainability Leadership, one of Pavlina’s many contributions to campus has been to develop the new Certificate in Sustainable Tourism.
Although sustainability is core for some of Pavlina’s courses – e.g., Sustainable Tourism, she integrates sustainability in various forms in all of her courses. “I do think that sustainability can be integrated into any topic!”

Pavlina recently helped develop the SOU Sustainability Curriculum Initiative (SOUSCI), together with the SOU Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Based in the Division of Business, Communications, and the Environment, the SOUSCI pilot cohort will be led by a team of four faculty: Pavlina McGrady, Jamie Trammel, Christopher Lucas, and John Gutrich. Each faculty will commit to substantially change some component of their course’s curriculum and/or pedagogy to incorporate a commitment to sustainability.

Events and Opportunities

Campus Sustainability Internships

The Student Sustainability Center (ECOS) volunteer internships are a great way to gain valuable experience that looks great on a resume! Contribute to SOU's award-winning campus sustainability efforts and join a community of students looking to make a difference! Available positions include internships with the Earth Week Planning Team, Communications  Team, Transportation Options Intern, Real Food Challenge Team, and Community Garden Team. Fill out the online application by December 2nd for priority consideration.

WOHESC - Join the SOU Group!

The Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference is March 2-4, 2020, in Eugene at the University of Oregon. Southern Oregon University hopes to send a large delegation of students, faculty, and staff to attend the conference this year! Check out this form for more information on sponsorship opportunities and to indicate your interest in attending the conference in March.

Earth Week 2020

Help recognize the 50th observation of Earth Day! Clubs, faculty, and student organizations are encouraged to organize events and programs during the week of April 19-25. Contact the Student Sustainability Center at to let us know if you are interested in planning an event and they will work with you to include it in the publicity for the week. 

Wetland Restoration Project

Dr. Scott Maguffin and Vincent Smith are leading a wetland restoration project at The Farm at SOU and they are looking for volunteer research assistants to help with invasive species removal, restoration planning, native plantings, interpretive signs, research well construction, and long-term research and monitoring. If you have interest in joining this project, contact Dr. Vincent Smith as soon as possible.  Email: | Office: Science 069


Environmental Justice Talk
11/26 12:30-2pm, SU 319
Digging up the roots of the environmental movement

Real Food Soup Social
Student Sustainability Center
12/5 12:00-2pm, SU 323

Volunteer Fridays
The Farm at SOU
155 Walker Street
Every Friday 1-4pm

Environmental Science
& Policy Seminars
Thursdays 12:30-1:20, TA 102
12/5 Jeff Sharp of Sharp Energy

Commuter Appreciation Dinner
1/21 5:30-7pm, SU 323
A free dinner for students and employees who commute!

Save the Date for Spring Alternative Breaks!
Raider Alt Breaks is offering two spring break service learning experiences March 22-28. Application with information opens December 9th, apply by Jan 17 for priority consideration.

Winter Bus Pass Push
Renew or sign up for your quarterly bus pass! Employees email for your free RVTD bus pass, and students email for your $15/quarter pass.
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Southern Oregon University Civic Engagement Program · 1250 Siskiyou Blvd · Stevenson Union 105 · Ashland, OR 97520 · USA

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