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CSU’s sustainability and green energy projects a success


July 12, 2010

Green is the color around the Cleveland State University campus. Through the efforts of students, faculty and staff, CSU is attempting to keep its campus sustainable. Sustainability to campus life means taking “engaged learning” to a new level. CSU wants its students to get involved in sustainability, so it implements sustainability in its curriculum and encourages students to give back to the community through the information they have gained in classrooms.

Engaged learning, CSU’s prevailing slogan, is one focal point in the sustainability vision. According to the sustainability Web page from the CSU Web site, sharing knowledge is the first step to a sustainable future and “engaged learning” is a stepping stone to this goal. By sharing knowledge, students can bring awareness to the importance of sustainability.

With the environment in a rising state of crisis, any steps to being environmentally friendly are helpful. CSU is taking initiative to do what it can to help keep the environment safe.

Sustainability at CSU pushes students to be environmentally friendly, keep a balance between the environment and what people take from it and focus on living an eco-friendly way to make sure our community is still around for future students.
Ask around campus and not many people know exactly what sustainability means to CSU.

“I’ve heard the word [sustainable] thrown around and I know we’re [CSU] trying to be ‘green,’ but I guess I never really thought about what that actually means or how CSU is accomplishing that,” said a CSU student who wishes to remain anonymous.
CSU’s Campus Sustainability Coalition aids in getting students involved in developing a sustainable campus. The coalition is headed by Dr. Wendy Kellogg, associate dean at the College of Urban Affairs.

In its mission, the Campus Sustainability Coalition states its goal is to “create a campus that adopts principles and implements practices of ecological sustainability.”
Student groups that formed on campus to apply this green revolution to CSU are the Student Environmental Movement, the Cleveland State Chapter of the American Planning Association and Net Impact.

CSU even offers a “sustainable curriculum” for its students. Different degrees CSU offers that relate to sustainability include environmental science, urban studies, geological sciences, and sustainable urban development, among many others.

Courses in sustainability that are possible for students to take are biology, civil and environmental engineering and geology, just to name a few.

Work groups at CSU include a number of project teams made up of students, faculty and staff that focus on a certain area of sustainability.

The Energy, Water and Material Conservation group focuses on ways to help CSU conserve energy and water and implement more recycling in a cost effective way. Beginning in 2012, energy savings at CSU will be monitored and documented.
The work group, Student Life and Engaged Learning, aims to inform students about conserving energy and recycling. It also focuses on making the CSU campus more aware of sustainability.

The Energy Conservation and Management Program at CSU has been working diligently since 2009 to increase energy conservation around the university’s campus.
Construction on more efficient lighting systems, ventilation systems, utility metering, and water supply are planned to be completed by 2011. Through these efforts the university hopes to use energy efficient lighting, solar power and increase recycling.

The Green Roof Project, which began in 2007 and completed in 2009, was one way in which sustainability made a huge impact on the CSU campus. This rooftop garden on CSU’s Recreation Center, was a joint effort of two CSU students who took engaged learning seriously. The Green Roof Project brought CSU one step closer to being sustainable.