Staying sustainable on campus

Our campus is a hub of ideas. Sustainable innovations exist everywhere around us – in our living center, class lecture and lunchtime snack. Sustainable design is infused in every aspect of campus culture – we have 17 LEED certified building projects, more than 120 sustainability-related courses and an agriculture project that employs students. We’ve built rain gardens, green roofs and used native plants in landscaping. We have more than 350 registered student organizations with dozens that focus on social justice and environmental stewardship. A handful of sustainability-related degrees, certificates and emphases exist in almost every program. GVSU staff, faculty and student leaders: try to make the most of your time here, so that you can make the most of your time when you’re gone.

Sustainability is one of the seven values of Grand Valley State University, which President Haas has stood behind time and again. Many students and staff have selected GVSU precisely for our sustainable features in the classroom or the workplace. But people come here for a variety of reasons and may not see the connections between sustainability and their lives, so we’re shining an even bigger spotlight on the concept this fall. Let’s unpack this complex term and get at what matters – the environmental, economic and social tools that make our experience on campus better. What is GVSU doing in these areas to make the surrounding community and broader world more inclusive and stable? What resources are available to students to make them better prepared to leave this campus and shape the future? What campus features can you support that lead to lower costs and a more valuable education?

We need you to help us answer these questions. Join the Office of Sustainability Practices for Sustainability Spotlight on Sept. 16
th from 6-9 pm in the Mary Idema Pew Learning & Information Commons. Students, staff and faculty who are involved in any sustainability-related project are invited to stand up and briefly share about their work (after going through a brief application process). Relevant projects might include faculty research, a Registered Student Organization (RSO) initiative, an independent class project, a community internship, etc. Guests will have an opportunity to make connections and offer support. This is a time to casually network with our university’s leaders in sustainability and offer your experience, all while mingling with your peers.

This evening will help shape the Office of Sustainability Practice’s goals for the coming year. We’ll listen to your input and your experiences and do our best to incorporate those ideas into a long-term strategy for the university that benefits our community within and all the places GVSU touches.

For more information about the Sustainability Spotlight event on Sept. 16
th or to apply as a presenter, please email Campus Sustainability Coordinator Yumiko Jakobcic at [email protected]. For more information about sustainability at GVSU, visit