Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

Sustainability Update | June 2009

SCU's Paperless Writing Center
A monthly update from the Office of Sustainability for the Santa Clara University community.
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Program Highlight

Highlighting University initiatives and programs that promote sustainability at SCU.
  • laptop100The HUB: SCU's Paperless Writing Center

    Dolores LaGuardia wants students to view the new HUB Writing Center as a positive resource. This is seen in the HUB's mission of "celebrating and supporting SCU writers and writing." As HUB director and sustainability fanatic, she has gone to great lengths to make the writing center as sustainable as possible.

    The HUB began as a proposal from the SCU English Department to strengthen and celebrate the culture of writing throughout the University community and to support and enhance individual writers' teaching and learning. It currently offers scheduled and drop-in tutoring sessions, and will be fully operational in Fall 2009, offering a variety of tutoring services, occasional workshops, and writing resources. As the HUB evolves, LaGuardia hopes to expand programs held at the HUB to include poetry slams, fiction readings, special interest book groups, and more.

    In the development of the HUB, LaGuardia made two controversial decisions. One: to have a paperless writing center, and two: to be handout-free. A Smart Board, one of three on campus, has made going paperless easier. This interactive technology allows students to project papers from their laptop onto a whiteboard via Bluetooth technology. Editing occurs on the whiteboard and written comments are saved and transferred back to the student's laptop. The Smart Board has additional audio capabilities to record discussions. Writing handouts are available for students on Angel and will soon be accessible on Second Life.

    The HUB is located in Varsi Hall 145, where Media Services was once housed. Many aspects of the HUB's development reflect the community LaGuardia is trying to create: furniture was donated by a Bay Area store, ROTC students painted the walls, and Graduate business faculty donated painting supplies and pizza. Writing and grammar books, available for student use, were donated by faculty.

    There are also unique characteristics of the HUB to reflect the entire SCU community--not solely students. English Professor Sherry Booth had the idea of asking faculty to contribute one book that changed their life the “Books that Matter” collection. A separate bookshelf will be filled with these titles, with the individual's name plated on the inside cover. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in October, which was selected because October 20 is the National Day of Writing. Staff members can take advantage of drop in editing available for them as well as a staff reading group, which will meet at the HUB.

    Many thoughtful decisions were made about sustainable operations at the HUB. LaGuardia has also designated it as a plastic water bottle free zone, so students will either need to bring reusable water bottles or use provided compostable cups. Tutors are asked to bring in one or two reusable mugs for their personal use. A hot/cold water dispenser is available within the center. A plaque recognizing donors is even made from recycled glass!

    Stop by the HUB to take advantage of the writing resources available on campus, or simply to enjoy the sustainable facilities. If you have any ideas for programming or events, contact Dolores LaGuradia at

    View a few photos taken at the HUB Writing Center.

    By Jenny Gore, '09, Sustainability Intern

Sustainability Profile

Recognizing individuals who create a more sustainable SCU.
  • Faculty member, John FarnsworthJohn Farnsworth, Lecturer in Environmental Writing and Literature

    John Farnsworth, Lecturer in Environmental Writing and Literature, has been an key figure in integrating sustainability across the curriculum at SCU. Thanks to his work, more and more sustainability-related classes are offered each year. 

    Farnsworth began teaching sustainability in his English classes by teaching Thoreau's Walden. He meets the typical learning outcomes of English, such as rhetoric and composition, while incorporating the environmental and social critiques presented by Thoreau, such as a return to nature and simplicity.

    In 2006, Farnsworth and two colleagues attended a conference on Sustainability hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). As a direct result of that conference, Farnsworth and colleagues developed the Penstemon Project.

    The Penstemon Project, which gets its name from a California wildflower, aims to plant the seeds of sustainability across the curriculum. Faculty are recruited from different disciplines and are asked to integrate sustainability into class content. In this way, students who wouldn't normally encounter sustainability in their disciplines' courses (think business, math, or religious studies, for example) can learning about sustainability.

    Farnsworth is the Faculty Director of the CyPhi RLC (its motto "Arts & Sustainability"). He developed the Sustainability Living Undergraduate Research Project (SLURP), giving students opportunities to investigate sustainable living as applicable to life at SCU. After the first year of SLURP, one group's projects led to Facilities purchasing SmartStrip power strips to conserve electricity in Lucas Hall offices.

    During SLURP's second year, Farnsworth really got involved in students' research.  His apartment on the 11th floor of Swig is equipped with a dual-plumbed toilet flushed with sink water collected from the drain, and a worm bin to compost food scraps. On the weekends, Farnsworth and his wife Carol leave the apartment and retreat to their 47 foot sailboat. There, Farnsworth enjoys the beautiful vistas of the San Francisco Bay as he works on his book Writing Baja, an examination of environmental perceptions of the Baja, California Sur Peninsula throughout the early 20th century. For Farnsworth, this weekly retreat to his boat is similar to the "simplicity" mentioned in Thoreau's Walden.

    By Richard Jaramillo, '11, Sustainability Intern

News & Events

Announcements related to sustainability on campus and in the community.
  • ewaste-signv22Many ways to reduce landfill waste during move-out

    Campus residents have many options to divert waste during move-out! Give yourself ample time to pack so you can plan the best way to dispose of your waste. Please read below and visit our Move-Out waste reduction page to learn more.

    Tons of waste are created during campus move-out. Together, our individual actions to sort our stuff during move-out adds up to a gigantic decrease in trash produced this week. In the last three years alone, students have diverted over 10 tons of materials by giving reusable items to Goodwill, setting their carpet aside, and donating food and text books.

    Recycling: Recycle paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum. There are six recycling areas during move-out. Read your building's instructions to find the recycling area nearest you.

    Carpets: Clean, roll, and leave your carpets at the carpet collection areas so they can be reused next year. Carpet collection areas are located near your building's trash container.

    Electronic waste (e-waste): Please don't throw away anything with an electric cord or battery. Please leave your old electronics at the e-waste collection signs so they can be recycled.

    Food: Donate food to Second Harvest Food Bank through the Library's Food For Fines program.

    Reusable Items: Donate good but unwanted items to Goodwill Industries of Silicon Valley. Goodwill trailers are parked in two areas: Accolti Way (between Casa and San Filippo) and Santa Clara Street (near McLaughlin). Drop-off donations with staff at the Goodwill Trailers between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday (6/8) through Thursday (6/11).

    Faculty, staff, and off-campus residents are encouraged to bring donations to the Goodwill Trailers this week.

    Off-campus residents may also use the designated recycling and waste area in the parking lot behind Sobrato.

  • undefinedAASHE Student Sustainability Leadership Award

    The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) is now accepting applications for its 2009 Student Sustainability Leadership Awards, to be presented the Greening of the Campus VIII Conference (Sept. 20-23 in Indianapolis, IN). This award honors an undergraduate student from an AASHE member institution who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus sustainability.

    SCU senior Beth Tellman received an Honorable Mention in 2008.

    Applications are due July 1, 2009.

  • sustainable scu grass imageTake the SCU sustainability pledge: Beyond Green

    Join SCU students, faculty, and staff in a pledge to go "Beyond Green." Sustainability is more than simply being "green;" we must integrate the ideals of ecological integrity, viable economies, and social justice. The first step is recognizing that our actions affect everyone.

    Joining Beyond Green encourages personal commitment to a sustainable lifestyle, empowering us to understand the implications of our daily decisions. It also encourages us to continuously ask questions and critically appraise our institutions, values, and knowledge.


What Can I Do?

During commencement celebrations

Compiled by Hannah Slocum, '11, Sustainability Intern.

  • priusround210Reduce emissions when you travel to a graduation ceremony or party.

    Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by ridesharing, purchasing carbon offsets for your flight, taking public transportation from the airport to the venue, or renting a hybrid vehicle. Many colleges and universities provide resources to find people to share rides with, find car rental companies that have hybrids, and may even run a shuttle from the airport to the venue. Oberlin College’s comprehensive set of resources is a great example.
  • graduation cap diploma and booksReuse: Save memorabilia

    Reuse programs, party favors, and other objects collected during graduation events to put into a scrapbook as a gift or commemoration to enjoy in the future.
  • coke canRecycle: be aware of recycling options

    Many colleges and universities serve food and drinks in plastic or aluminum containers at the ceremony and graduation parties. Make sure to know how to recycle these containers. If you're unsure, ask!
  • gradpledgescusmRespect: take the Graduation Pledge

    Seniors: show respect for others and the environment by signing the Graduation Pledge, which states your commitment to “explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider, and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work”. Almost 100 seniors have taken the Grad Pledge. Way to go Class of '09!


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