Program Facilitators on SSI History : AY 2008

Andrea Norris

Andrea Norris

Challenges Faced
One of the main challenges of AY 2008 was establishing who we were as an organization. Our mission statement was very broad, and we struggled to determine our role and niche within a sea of environmental organizations on and off campus. As a brand new organization, we were ofcourse also challenged with getting our name out and getting students to visit and utilize the center. Lastly, as the next “generation” discovered, we would quickly outgrow the position structure; there were just too many possible projects to have them coordinated by only a couple people.

What was Accomplished
The 2008 academic year was a year of beginnings and establishing a presence in the community. The summer of 2007 saw its first student worker positions created and the SSC was renovated using green building principles. We had a grand opening and open house during Connect Week 2007 and began our regular 11am-5pm weekday hours for the first time, covered by SSI staff and volunteers. We began establishing connections and relationships with other sustainability organizations - becoming a member of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition (then a new organization itself), hosting student organization meetings in the main room, etc. Activities that year included elecTrick or Treat (reverse trick or treat in the res halls, handing out CFL bulbs), the Campus Carbon Challenge, two worm bin workshops, Focus the Nation, a sustainability and discussion with Corvallis Mayor Charlie Tomlinson, the completion of the solar trailer, promotional events for the new reuse-a-cups, Recyclemania promotions, and Earth Week. In 2007 SSI was the primary organizer of Earth Week, organizing an event nearly every day.

Words of Wisdom for Future
Stay in tune with what other OSU and community organizations are up to and constantly seek collaboration; otherwise you may step on toes, replicate services, or miss opportunities. Plus, it’s fun and rewarding! Always be thinking of how to improve the organization, but don’t forget the past; for example don’t forget to promote and utilize the solar trailer even if your generation doesn’t have its fingerprints on it. Always keep in the back of your mind that you are developing leaders; your greatest legacy is an awesome leader who takes your place. Don’t forget to breathe - step back from the dizzying details and look at the big picture occasionally. And be proud to be part of this amazing organization!