On March 3rd, the Student Environmental Center at UCSC hosted the 11th Annual Campus Earth Summit in the College 9/10 Multipurpose Room at UC Santa Cruz. This year’s Campus Earth Summit included student-led workshops on a wide-variety of subjects, live performances by the North Pacific String Band and spoken word poets, keynote talks by Santa Cruz Mayor Don Lane and Eric Holt Giménez of Food First, organizations doing outreach and delicious vegetarian food.
The Campus Earth Summit has evolved over the years. The first Campus Earth Summit in 2002 was held inside a conference room. There was a sharing of updates and ideas from members of the Student Environmental Center about campus sustainability projects, followed by intermixed breakout groups of UCSC students, staff, faculty, administrators, and alumni. Originally, the Campus Earth Summit did not have workshops, entertainment or other student organizations doing outreach.
The Student Environmental Center’s first Campus Earth Festival, which I organized, was also in 2002. It featured keynote speakers including Mardi Wormhoudt, a campus string band, political Hip-Hop musicians from Los Angeles and Chicano rock-n-rollers from San Jose, as well as both on and off-campus organizations. It was also the first event held in the Quarry Amphitheater after being closed for several years, and aimed to bring students and community members together from all across campus and town.
The Student Environmental Center decided to hold the 11th Annual Campus Earth Summit on March 3rd after five “Blueprint Breakout Discussions”, each on a different day. The discussions were focused on 1) Transportation: Social & Environmental Justice on October 19, 2011; 2) Green Building: Land, Habitat, & Watershed on November 2, 2011; 3) Purchasing: Energy on November 16, 2011; 4) Waste Prevention: Water on January 25, 2012; and 5) Food Systems: Academics & Curriculum on February 15, 2012.
An announcement for the 11th Annual Campus Earth Summit at UCSC states, “The purpose of this event is to highlight efforts that will encourage the university to reach environmentally, socially, and economically responsible benchmarks. The event will feature skill workshops, student/staff opportunities and learning models for student involvement on the UCSC campus, as well as provide excellent educational tools for academic integration and those working alongside the student population to serve as an example of environmental activism.”
This article, along with the following photos, were also published at Indybay.org.