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SOU-ECOS-student positions

ECOS offers student positions for Winter Term

SOU’s Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS) has openings for a variety of volunteer, intern and work-study student positions for Winter Term.

Students applying for any of the positions are asked to commit to between five and 10 hours per week of work.

Options for Winter Term include an Earth Week planning member, a Dish Loan Program member, a Transportation Options Bike coordinator, Real Food Challenge Calculator and ECOS Community Garden apprentice.

Some of the ECOS internships can be for credit and others are paid opportunities for students eligible for Federal Work Study funding.

A short application must be filled out by Dec. 5 to be considered for the Winter Term positions. Questions can be emailed to ecos@sou.edu.

The ECOS mission is to inspire students and help them to become environmentally, socially and economically responsible. ECOS accomplishes this through collaborative partnerships, innovative initiatives and educational programming.

The goals of some ECOS members are to focus on educating for sustainability and social justice, while others want to inspire active citizenship. ECOS also seeks to develop student leadership potential and advocate for the adoption of sustainable institutional and individual practices.

Some of the organization’s student-led initiatives include the ECOS Resource Center, the Real Food Challenge and the ECOS Community Garden. Events such as Zero Waste Week are also sponsored or organized by ECOS.

Story by Bryn Mosier, SOU Marketing and Communications intern

SOU-Real Food-Linda Schott

SOU first in Oregon to accept “Real Food Challenge”

Southern Oregon University officially joined other universities across the country in working toward sustainable food practices when President Linda Schott signed the “SOU Real Food Campus Commitment” this morning.

“I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all who will be doing this work on behalf of the university,” the president told a group of students and staff affiliated with SOU’s Ecology and Sustainability Resource Center (ECOS). “My job is the easy one, just signing this.”

SOU became the first Oregon university to join the “Real Food Challenge” by pledging to support ecologically sustainable, humane and socially equitable food systems. The university agreed that at least 20 percent of its food budget by 2023 will be spent on “real food” rather than unhealthy products or those produced by industrial farms.

Vice President for Finance and Administration Greg Perkinson, who co-signed the document with President Schott and student leaders of the project, congratulated the students for their perseverance in what has been a lengthy process. “There’s so much all of you do to make a difference,” he said.

SOU joined more than 40 U.S. universities and four university systems – including both the University of California and California State University systems – by participating in the student-led Real Food Challenge. The movement’s goal is to commit $1 billion of the annual food budgets of U.S. universities to real food.

The Real Food Challenge was founded in 2007 by a group of student activists, national food movement leaders and higher education sustainability experts. It is now a self-funded project of TSNE MissionWorks, a New England organization that partners with various nonprofits.

Jill Smedstad, the university’s environmental and community engagement coordinator, said Friday’s signing marked a transition from “the campaign mode to the implementation mode” of the Real Food Challenge.

SOU committed to establishing a transparent reporting system and filing an annual progress report to evaluate it food purchasing practices; to create a food systems working group that will develop a “real food policy” and multi-year action plan; and to increasing awareness of ecologically sustainable, humane and socially equitable food systems.

Progress toward the project’s long-term goals is expected to begin immediately. Within a month, the university will be expected to complete a baseline food survey. Food service providers, distributors and others will be notified within three months that future contract terms will need to align with SOU’s new real food policy and multi-year action plan.

SOU Students Receive $57,500 to Launch Waste Management Project

Project goal is “zero waste” on the SOU campus in five years

(Ashland, Ore) The Ecology Center of the Siskiyous (ECOS), a Southern Oregon University student group, has succeeded in raising $57,500 to build a recycling center on the Ashland campus, staff it and install recycling bins in every University building. The waste management project is set to begin next fall with a campus-wide education campaign on how to reduce waste through the new SOU system.
“Hopefully this will put SOU on the path to having zero waste in five years,” says Misty Munoz, a junior majoring in environmental studies, and one of the four students who launched the project through a classroom capstone project last fall overseen by Professor Mark Shibley. The other three students are seniors Christina Becker, Benji Nagel and Charlie Chao. Read more