Moving to a greener tomorrow
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Students and staff from Seattle Central and North Seattle colleges represented the district at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education in Portland, Ore., earlier this month. "Getting to meet the students from Central was one of the best parts," says Zoe Euster, a student at North and the communications coordinator for its Environmental Working Group. "I hope we can keep working together beyond this conference."
North students were able to share their ideas about campus sustainability with President Warren Brown, also a conference attendee. Student Christopher Strouse says it was a great opportunity to speak directly with college leadership about sustainability topics. "We discussed the formation of a college solar energy consortium between North and other regional colleges to research utility-scale solar energy on college campuses," says Strouse. "We also talked about producing a Spring Sustainability Symposium after Earth Day as a ribbon cutting for North's new solar installation."
Students engaged in a critical examination of how to improve sustainability at their colleges. Areas of focus ranged from campus operations, curriculum development, integrating social justice into environmental campaigns, and preparing for green jobs.
Post-conference, the students are working with the sustainability committees at their colleges to implement new ideas and advance the cause across the district.
The Seattle Colleges have joined with the seven other community and technical colleges in King County to voice support for King County Metro to maintain services to community and technical colleges across the county.
Following the failure of Proposition 1 on the King County Special Election on April 22nd – the measure to increase car tabs and sales tax to maintain bus service and fund road improvements - the Seattle Colleges have unanimously recommended to King County Metro the creation of a priority service area for higher education in King County.
All 10 community and technical college Presidents signed onto a letter which voices support for adding higher education as a priority service area in the County, with the hope of avoiding costly service cuts currently being planned. The letter outlines the hard work, dedication, and positive impact that community and technical college students bring to the state, and also their reliance on public transport to help them access education. Transit service is also a crucial part of the Seattle College District plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating a sustainable campus culture.
Reliable and accessible public transport is an issue that touches on the environmental, social, and economic components of sustainability. We are proud that our Presidents have stood up for transit services for community and technical colleges across King County.