Program Facilitators on SSI History : AY 2010

Daniel Force

Daniel Force

Challenges Faced
The 3rd year of the SSI was exciting and fast-paced. We faced challenges in keeping a constant momentum with projects and students. And with our new set up in place having eight coordinator positions we were torn between working through our individual realms or coming together to work on bigger and more focused projects. We also had many administrative issues that were addressed throughout the year with our land and placement within the university. Having both the administrative and student aspects to work on at the same time spread our staff thin, and reduced what could be accomplished. We were only working 10-15 hrs a week and found it hard to manage such a small period of time.

What was Accomplished
During the 2010 academic year, we brought 40 students to Powershift West '09 in Eugene to attend trainings and meet other students working on environmental issues from around the NW. The Campuses Beyond Coal campaign hit the ground running with notable projects such as the “Energy Civil War” and “Cultural Center Energy Challenge.” Compost pilot projects were started in McNary Residence Hall. The SSI became more connected to the community and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition’s work groups. Our fee board successfully changed our renewable energy purchases at OSU to actual on campus energy projects that will be finished throughout the 2010-2011 school year. At the end of the year we were excited to receive well over double the amount of applications for SSI positions than we ever had before. It was a great testament to the growing awareness of the SSI on campus. During the summer after the school year the SSI successfully made a programmatic move to the Memorial Union with new advisers through Student Leadership and Involvement and the Sustainability Office.

Words of Wisdom for Future
It is very important to create experiential learning opportunities through the classroom. This is an area the SSI has not tapped to its fullest extent. The flexibility of the SSI structure allows for amazing space and creativity for staff, but given the limited time and hours we are given withour job the more focused and visible projects seem the most effective. Think big, focus and rally people around it. Speak your mind, be collaborative and willing to learn. What you learn in this working environment is practical and fulfilling. Be ready for a magnificent experience.