New website launched to promote sustainability on campus

by Oct 30, 2012 8:22 pm Tags: ,

A new SJSU website launched earlier last week in order to promote and inform students about the sustainability efforts made on campus and ways in which they can reduce their ecological footprints.

“We’ve been meeting for about two years as a sustainability board, and we’re just (trying to continue) to find ways to advertise who we are and to add to value to the campus,” said Robb Drury, the associate vice president of advancement operations on campus.

SJSU's new sustainability website is managed by the sustainability board, which was created in 2010 to advise Academic Senate and President Mohammad Qayoumi in setting and achieving campus-wide goals in improving sustainability.

Drury said that following the allocation of some funding to the sustainability board, the group had originally planned to pass information about on-campus environmental and sustainability efforts through print.

“The original though was a printed piece, but why would we as a sustainability board print something on paper?” he said.

He added that the group then decided to provide the information through a medium that could be consistently updated instead of being forced to reprint every time a new project began.

“The goal of the (new) website is to keep the campus community and students interested (in) attending SJSU (and) up- to-date on the campus’ sustainability projects and achievements,” said Candice Carbonell, sustainability director at Spartan Shops and co-chair of the sustainability board.

The new sustainability page provides links for visitors that highlight campus accomplishments such as the implementation of recycled water used to cool SJSU buildings and irrigate campus grounds, current and future projects planned by the sustainability board and an interactive sustainability map detailing the efforts made by SJSU.

Despite the revamping of the sustainability website, most of the content comes from the old website, according to Drury.

However, Drury said a new addition to the site is the highlighting of SJSU’s ranking in the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report, which acts as a measure for colleges and universities to evaluate their sustainability performance.

According to the report, SJSU earned a “silver” rating, indicating that the campus’ sustainability efforts were good, although areas could be improved.

These areas include ensuring student understanding of sustainability as well as encouraging sustainability in student and employee orientations, both of which can be improved through the scheduling of faculty and student workshops and events promoting green technology and lifestyles, according to the report.

Daniel Naraval, a senior civil engineering major, said he knew of SJSU’s sustainability efforts but did not know about the website.

“(The website) is informative, but I never would have found it had I not heard about it from someone else,” he said, noting that it would help students understand environmental issues as well as increase awareness of the sustainability projects happening around campus, but only if the students could navigate to the page in the first place.

The new sustainability website can be visited at http://www.sjsu.edu/sustainability/.

Camille Nguyen is a Spartan Daily staff writer.  Follow her on Twitter at @camillediem.

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