Sustainability council keeps campus sustainable


Photo courtesy of Kurt Leuschner.

Applied Sciences building on COD campus. 

Amber Juarez, Staff Reporter

Recycling is a key essential to keeping Mother Nature clean and here at College of the Desert the Sustainability Council makes sure to keep the campus clean.

In 2009, the Board of Trustees of College of the Desert formed the Sustainability Stewardship Policy. According to the COD Sustainability Council website, this policy made sure that COD will develop and maintain principles and guidelines of sustainability stewardship in the execution of its responsibilities to facilities design and operation, campus management, teaching and learning.

Back in 2010, COD created the Green Council, this council was meant to shepherd operationalization the COD  of the Policy and to set annual goals, objectives, and targets.

The Green Council then involved in to the Sustainability Council.

Professor of Natural Resources Kurt Leuschner, Chair of Committee said, “The Sustainability Council was originally called the Green Council when it was first established many years ago by Vice President Edwin Deas and I. Administrative Assistant Linda Costagliola has also been there since the beginning and has played a vital role in keeping the Sustainability Council going all these years.”

The Sustainability Council is not a student club but students are welcomed to join the meetings. “The Sustainability Council is not a student club nor is it an official academic senate committee – rather it is an independent ad hoc committee where students, faculty, staff and administration can meet monthly in an open forum to discuss how to make our campus and our community more sustainable and to put these ideas into action,” said Professor Leuschner.

The council has meetings once a month, “We meet monthly during the Fall and Spring semesters.  Meetings are held on a Tuesday  once a month during the academic hour 12:30-1:30 pm in Applied Sciences 103,” said Leuschner.

Another way students can get involved in the Sustainability Council is by becoming a co-chair. “A student co-chair is chosen every year to help plan and lead the Sustainability Council meetings,” added Leuschner.

This council is a great way for students, faculty, staff and administration can come together and focus on keeping the campus and community clean. Not only the council keeping the campus clean and sustainable but also teaching how to take care of the environment.

Many of the council’s accomplishments can be seen around the main campus so far, but they plan on working on the other COD campuses.

“Although a lot of what we have accomplished over the years has occurred on the main COD campus, we wish for all of the COD campuses to be as sustainable as possible and will work to make that happen,” said Leuschner.

The Sustainability Council has done numerous things for the campus over the past years and will move forward into new and better things, “We continue to try to improve our campus recycling program. We have helped COD to obtain more recycle bins both inside and outside of the classroom, as well as bike racks and water-filling stations. We have sponsored conservation career day events, Earth Day events, America Recycles Day events and more. We continue to work closely with the Ecologic Club, a student club also advised by me. Sometimes we invite guest speakers from outside of the campus,” explained Leuschner.

Professor Leuschener hopes to see more involvement,”We hope that even more of the COD campus community will attend our meetings in the future and contribute ideas on how the campus can become even more sustainable.”