The Seeds of Change student organization continues to petition for a sustainable campus and has paired with Dana Club to fundraise for PCC to become a member of a nation-wide environmental organization.The prospective organization is the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, a collective of colleges and universities working to advance sustainability in higher education.
The cost to join AASHE, according to the application, is determined by the number of Full Time Equivalent students enrolled. The fee for two-year institutions and community colleges with an FTE count of more than 5,000 is $500, less than 5,000 makes it $250. Membership is to be renewed annually.
As of Wednesday, SOC and Dana Club have raised over $340 selling jewelry, rocks, minerals, tote bags, and T-shirts designed by PCC students in front of the E Building. SOC also participated in the campus awareness day in mid-November where they raised over $100 by selling smoothies made via an electricity-generating bicycle.
“The people in Dana Club and Seeds of Change are in the same club,” said Maritza Munoz, 21, geography major. According to Munos, both clubs often collaborate when organizing events such as fundraising.
As a member of AASHE, PCC will join the number of schools already signed up such as Los Angeles City College , seven UCs and six Cal States .
AASHE members also include businesses and non-profit organizations. One business in particular – Portland-based Interface Engineering Inc. – is a consulting engineering firm that specializes in the construction of green buildings.
Interface Engineering is responsible for the construction of one of the 14 green buildings in the U.S. that has received a platinum rating – the highest rating – from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
LEED is recognized around the world as the leading figure on green construction. In fact, one of the proposals on the SOC petition calls for the construction of new buildings at PCC with LEED gold standards, a proposal borrowed from Board of Trustees member Hilary Bradbury-Huang.
SOC began collecting signatures during Bradbury-Huang’s presentation on sustainability on campus in October. Since then the petition has circulated among faculty and has personally been lobbied by SOC members around Pasadena .
According to Josephine Partida, 21, child development major, the response from fellow students at times has been unfavorable. “It’s kind of frustrating sometimes when you go around and try to get people to sign [the petition],” she said, “a lot of people really just don’t care about it and it’s frustrating because we want to make people more aware of what’s going on.”
According to SOC members, the number of collected signatures they have collected has surpassed 2,000.
“We’re on the right track. Not only are we getting signatures from students, but from the community as well,” said Munos. “We’re going to present this to the school board and [say] . ‘we raised the money, we’re serious about this . we want to see change,'” she said.
“Based on what support we got, [the board] should take some initiative,” said Krystale Triggs, 22, Geology and Anthropology major.
The money SOC has raised is intended for paying for the first year of membership with AASHE.
“We’re continuing this process of collecting signatures and we’re going to continue until something happens,” said Associate Professor and SOC advisor Ling O’Connor.
The petition aspires for “developing an aggressive recycling program that encourages all members of PCC to recycle.” It is not clear what is meant by “aggressive,” though the use of the word does not go unwarranted.
Sometime in the 90s PCC began a conventional recycling program that involved placing trash bins around campus for students that separated paper from other materials such as bottles, food and garbage.
According to Assistant Professor Patricia Peach, the program was not successful due to poor commitment and effort from students who would use recycling bins as garbage bins. Most of the material collected could not be recycled because the material would be contaminated by food or liquids.
SOC has tried to contact Cal Tech to ask for tips on how they manage their recycling program.
“It’s absolutely everybody’s behavior that makes a difference,” said O’Connor.
SOC will continue to sell their merchandise today until 3 p.m. A petition will be available for signing.
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