Carbon Neutrality Initiative
CNI Fellow - Class of 2015
Undergraduate Student, Environmental Studies
UC Santa Barbara
Educating and Empowering Student Leaders
As a student engagement fellow, I worked in partnership with one other fellow to identify student organizations that could be potential partners and implement strategies to engage those organizations. We planned for and recruited students to attend the UC Santa Barbara Campus Sustainability Plan forum on energy, climate and transportation and hosted a follow-up meeting with students to mobilize students around the initiative. We also ran a petition drive for an environmental literacy requirement. Through all of these efforts, I helped empower students to have a voice in the UC Carbon Neutrality Initiative.
We had approximately 60 people in attendance at the climate forum, most of which were students. The students were engaged and vocal about what steps they would like the university to take on topics such as energy, transportation and climate justice. Much of the quarter was spent educating student organizations about the initiative and catching them up on how far UC Santa Barbara and the UC system have already come. This gave the students the background to be informed stakeholders who can now play a meaningful part in climate discussions moving forward. At Isla Vista Earth Day, we collected 136 signatures for the Sustainability GE. By the end of the quarter, we expect to have collected about 400. We also developed an FAQ sheet that can be used for future tabling events and outreach.
Although I will not be continuing the fellowship due to studying abroad, I plan on remaining involved in environmental outreach when I return in the winter. I will be the campus affairs coordinator of the UC Santa Barbara Environmental Affairs Board, where I will continue to partner with student organizations and campus administration. I will sit on the monthly Chancellors Sustainability Committee meetings. In this position, I plan to participate in those meeting discussions, relay the information from the committee meetings to students at EAB meetings and gain input from students to bring back to the committee. Since there will be another fellow selected next year, I hope that they can continue with the current projects we initiated. I also hope to be available to the fellow for advice and feedback on their work.
Katie Maynard and David Auston