Mission and Overview of Responsibilities
Sustainability Commissioners are chosen within their residence hall and work closely with the Office of Sustainability to reduce the environmental impact of the University through programming and education initiatives in their dorm. Commissioners serve as the formal link between the student body and the Office of Sustainability.
Sustainability Commissioners are expected to:
- Act as a liaison between the Office of Sustainability and their respective dorms. This may include sending emails, helping explain recycling changes, and putting up posters to advertise for events sponsored by the Office of Sustainability. Commissioners are also responsible for coordinating their dorm’s participation in campus-wide competitions.
- Attend monthly meetings hosted by the Office of Sustainability. These meetings allow Sustainability Commissioners to network with one another and receive important updates on campus sustainability initiatives and events from representatives of the Office of Sustainability. The meetings also serve as an important venue in which Commissioners can provide feedback to the Office and suggest campus-wide improvements and programs.
- Organize sustainability programs in their dorm. Commissioners are encouraged to create sustainability programming and events which is valuable for their specific residence hall community. This might be a dorm infrastructure improvement like shower timers, a single event like a tour of the power plant, or a repeated event like Meatless Monday dinner in the dining hall.
- Sustainability Commissioners are encouraged to work with their dorm's Hall Council and hall staff as an “environmental consultant” of sorts to help green their dorm’s events, including signature, existing, or recurring events.
Commissioners are welcome to email Caitlin Hodges, Office of Sustainability Associate Program Manager for student engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or suggestions.
2018-2019 Sustainability Commissioners
|Dorm||First Name||Last Name|
Program Ideas by Topic
- Ensure that all events planned by other commissioners in your dorm are compliant with the Green Guide to Event Planning
- Encourage your dorm to consider donating money from a fundraiser to a green charity
- Participate in Energy Week, RecycleMania, and Earth Week Activities
- Purchase group tickets for an energy or environmental event or arrange a group walk-over
- Contribute a weekly environmental fact to your dorm’s stall notes
- Arrange a tour of the power plant or one of the new renewable energy installations (solar panels on Fitzpatrick and Stinson-Remick or wind turbines in White Field or at the power plant)
- Organize a nature hike or bike ride to explore local trails
- Conduct dorm-wide inventory of recycling bins (see Recycling Audit form)
- Lead “recycling raids” in conjunction with RecycleMania
- Host a recycling drive where each week there is a focus on one type of recyclable with information posted about the impact of recycling
- Put together a Game Day Recycling team to raise money for your dorm
- Create door knob/light switch reminders about saving energy and water
- Conduct dorm room energy audits
- Ensure that lights are off in the bathroom when not in use
- Host a “Lights Out” night
|Central Receiving||Recycling Manager||Ian Hoganemail@example.com|
|Campus Garden||Coordinator||Allison Mihalichfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Food Services||Student Rep, Social Responsibility Committee|
|ND Energy||Director||Peter Burnsemail@example.com|
|ND Energy||Program Director||Barb Villarosafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Office of Sustainability||Main Officeemail@example.com|
|Office of Sustainability||Associate Program Manager||Caitlin Hodgesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Student Activities Office (SAO)||Director of Programming||Karen Kennedyemail@example.com|
|Student Government||President||Gates McGavickfirstname.lastname@example.org|
Purple Porch Co-op
What is it? Purple Porch is a local food cooperative (co-op) that allows customers to purchase produce directly from local farmers. Customers order online and pick-up is Wednesday nights downtown on High Street.
South Bend Farmer’s Market
What is it? This market is home to over 70 local vendors, selling a variety of goods from fresh produce to baked goods to birdhouses. Open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 7:00am – 2:00pm; Saturday 7:00am – 3:00pm.
Better World Books
What is it? This locally-based company (founded by three ND alumni!) collects and sells books to raise funds for global literacy causes. By accepting donations from college campuses like Notre Dame, BWB has already saved more than 34 million books from going to landfills.
Catholic Coalition on Climate Change
What is it? This group, sponsored by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, stresses the link between Catholic Social Teaching and climate change issues. This group is a great resource for environmentally-relevant Church teachings. The group also sponsors the Catholic Climate Covenant and St. Francis Pledge.
Marine Stewardship Council
What is it? This international organization certifies and labels seafood that is harvested in a responsible way, without overfishing or habitat damage. ND Food Services partners with them to serve sustainable seafood options: look for the blue fish symbol in the dining halls and campus restaurants. Consult their Right Bite guide when purchasing fish.
Green Bridge Growers
What is it? Green Bridge Growers is a social venture in South Bend that provides skill-matched employment for underserved young adults on the autism spectrum. Through an urban aquaponics farm, this organization is making an impact on their employees and the local community by implementing closed-cycle methods to grow fresh produce. They currently house their aquaponics system at Hannah and Friends but will be expanding to a commercial-sized facility.
What is it? Unity Gardens is a non-profit in South Bend that provides over 55 gardens for people to gather and learn about growing delicious, healthy food. They offer free classes and events such as gardening, cooking, and preserving lessons. Unity Gardens strives to encourage and empower community members to grow their own food in the long-term.