With a rich tradition of talented student leaders, UCLA GSA has been able to advance sustainability efforts within and throughout our organization, the campus, and community. Since serving her term as GSA President and completing her program, Nurit Katz has become UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.
Leading GSA’s sustainability efforts this year is Saira Gandhi as Director of Sustainability. Below you will find additional information about our efforts, additional resources, and committed graduate student organizations that ensure opportunities for members to get involved.
As an organization, this year GSA has evolved from a print-based to E-Forum. We have successfully eliminated the need to print approximately 800 pages at Forum meetings by moving minutes and agenda to an electronic format. The result of this is that over the course of the year, GSA will conserve approximately 10,000 printed pages of paper. All agenda items are in PowerPoint format and GSA has worked with the Student Union Director to have power stations in place in the Ackerman Viewpoint Lounge for all general representatives to bring their laptops to meetings.
Community Supported Agriculture
A continuing program this year is the Community Supported Agriculture Project. Under the direction of the Sustainable Resource Center Director, this project allows graduate and professional students to buy sustainable farm-fresh, locally grown organic produce by creating a direct relationship with farmers. The Graduate Students Association Sustainable Resource Center has further developed a relationship with the South Central Farmers' Cooperative to bring fresh produce to campus each week at different campus drop-off locations, which may be viewed here. For $17, graduate students receive a bushel box of fresh, organic produce weekly, or as often as they'd like.
Sustainable Urban Network
The Sustainable Urban Network promotes environmental, social, and economic sustainability on the UCLA campus and in the community. For more information, visit their website: http://sunucla.blogspot.com/
The UCLA Anderson chapter of Net Impact (NI) is a group of students who want to put their business skills to use in a positive way, whether by incorporating environmental management practices into a large corporation, brining microfinance to developing countries, working for a small non-profit, or launching into the world of social entrepreneurship. UCLA Anderson Net Impact is the UCLA chapter of the national Net Impact organization, whose mission is to build a network of leaders committed to using the power of business to make a positive net social, environmental and economic impact.
UCLA Anderson Net Impact offers a speaker series, internship opportunities, conferences and social events. To meet the needs of our diverse membership, UCLA Anderson Net Impact often partners with industry-specific clubs and other UCLA graduate schools, including public policy, urban planning and public health. For more information, visit their website: http://anderson.campusgroups.com/netimpact/about-us/
The Institute of the Environment
The mission of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability is to generate knowledge and provide solutions for regional and global environmental problems and to educate the next generation of professional leadership committed to the health of our planet.
Through its local, national, and international programs, the IoE employs innovative, cross-disciplinary approaches to address critical environmental challenges - including those related to climate change, water quality, air pollution, biodiversity, and sustainability - with the goal of achieving stable human coexistence with the natural systems on which society depends. For more information, please visit the IoES website: http://www.environment.ucla.edu/
Other Projects and Efforts
Student Garden at Sunset Rec
The undergraduate sustainability group E3: Ecology, Economy, Equity founded a student garden on the top level of the Sunset Recreation Center, by the adventure course. The GSA SRC facilitates graduate student involvement in maintaining the garden, which was renamed the “Victory Garden” in 2012. For up to date information about the time and date of weekly garden “work parties” and for general information about how graduate students may get involved with the garden, visit the SRC webpage: https://sites.google.com/site/uclagsasrc/scfcsa
The SRC has been working in conjunction with the UCLA Transportation Office and the UCLA Bike Coalition, a group of undergraduate and graduate bike advocates, in order to improve biking routes both on campus and throughout Los Angeles. As many of us know firsthand, road conditions for cyclists in Los Angeles are anything but safe. Bicycle lanes are scarce, traffic is heavy, and in the auto-centric city of Los Angeles, drivers (and bikers) are often unaware of proper road-sharing etiquette.
The SRC and UCLA Bike Coalition have made these concerns known to members of Alta, the consulting group drafting the city-wide bike plan. In addition, members of the UCLA Transportation office have been very receptive to our call for better routes through campus and in Westwood. Though our long-term goals for changing the biking environment are broad, the SRC and Bike Coalition are striving for a more concrete goal of committing city planners to safer routes on the major corridors leading to UCLA: the inclusion of bike lanes, sharrows, and alternative routes around Wilshire and Sunset.
The GSA Sustainable Resource Center has also been instrumental in UCLA Recreation’s quarterly Bruin Bike Library, through which students may rent a bike, U-lock, helmet and lights for a only $45 per quarter. For more information about the Bruin Bike Library, please visit: www.recreation.ucla.edu/