California State University, Northridge President Dianne F. Harrison will take part in a roundtable discussion about campus sustainability at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on June 25. The event, titled “How Colleges and Universities Are Leading a Nationwide Transformation to Meet Sustainability and Environmental Challenges,” will begin at 5:30 p.m., and tickets are available at www.commonwealthclub.org.
The discussion will focus on colleges and universities that are taking a major leadership role in promoting sustainability solutions, practices and behaviors. Joining Harrison in the discussion are William Shutkin from the Presidio Graduate School; Maria Harper-Marinick from the Maricopa Community College District; Mitchell Thomashow from Unity College; and Kerry Curtis, the event moderator from Golden Gate University. They will talk about the important role leaders in higher education play by taking bold steps and actions that serve as models for other communities.
“Universities have the privilege and responsibility of educating future generations of global citizens who will understand and appreciate the need to engage in and model sustainable practices,” said Harrison. “The program is an opportunity to show how CSUN and the California State University system have taken a leading role on the issue of sustainability and how these efforts advance and benefit the university’s academic mission.”
CSUN is known for its green efforts. Its recently built Student Recreation Center is LEED Gold certified (to achieve Gold Status, the building must prove outstanding in five categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality), and the LA Clean Tech Initiative has established a satellite incubator at CSUN to promote research in renewable energy technologies. This strive for sustainability goes all the way down to the students, who organize in groups like the Associated Students’ Recycling Center, which recently organized a campus-wide waste audit.
“Our institution can serve as a learning laboratory,” Harrison said, “and serve as an example for our students, employees and communities in support of sustainability.”