Message from the Chair
Welcome! Our robust community provides members with opportunities for professional support and networking, research, publishing, and presentations. I hope you join us in our mission to see sustainability embedded within student affairs through policy, dialogue, and student engagement. Learn more about us below, and consider joining our leadership team! I am excited to engage with you soon!
The Sustainability Knowledge Community was approved by the NASPA Board of Directors in 2009. The SKC has developed a robust team that is providing membership support, publishing a quarterly newsletter, developing partnerships, determining awards selection criteria for an annual award to be presented by our KC, developing regional communities, and much more! As a knowledge community, our vision is to see sustainability instituted within student affairs. Through the work of the Sustainability Knowledge Community, our hope is to see Student Affairs professionals taking a leadership role in modeling and teaching sustainability in higher education. Each NASPA campus will identify practices and people (students, faculty and staff, as well as resources outside of the academy) committed to environmentally friendly practices, sustainable living, ethical & civic engagement, and related social justice issues. These individuals will work to advance awareness and education related to these subjects, to develop plans for embedding principles and practices across the breadth of Student Affairs organizational units and to establish goals and outcomes to assess progress. We hope that you join us in this cause through support, sharing your experiences and efforts, or providing leadership.
Vision: Culture, Collaboration, and Impact
- Providing solutions for offices and campuses: Encourage student affairs professionals to rethink their how (and equip them with the knowledge and skills to do so!)
- Collect and promote best practics: Economy, Ecology, and Equity (3 Es); Share the value of student affairs with sustainability community; Providing the sustainability lens in functional spaces to varying levels
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion approach: Centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities
- Education - provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge regarding important aspects of sustainability issues related to the field of Student Affairs. Maximize links with other NASPA Knowledge Communities where topics of interest intersect.
- Activation - disseminate sustainability “best practices” related to life on college campuses and enduring lifestyle decisions.
- Leadership - assist Student Affairs personnel to be leaders on their campus regarding sustainability practices and to advance student, faculty and staff interest and participation in sustainability practices.
- Engagement - assist/provide opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to become actively engaged in the process of creating sustainable campuses and communities through service.
- Innovative practices - develop innovative practices to be shared among member campuses.
- Social justice - disseminate knowledge and awareness of the interconnection of sustainability with social justice principles and practices.
- Communities of Practice - provide opportunities for collaborative information exchange and development of best Student Affairs sustainability practices between campuses.
- Institutionalization - develop frameworks and organizational approaches to embedding sustainability within the operations of all Student Affairs units.
- Campus Collaboration - develop strategies for collaborating with university operations, student leaders, faculty and staff, as well as community partners and non-traditional campus stakeholders.
- Inter-Associational Relationships - Build explicit connections to other professional higher education associations, where issues of sustainability are addressed, e.g. AASHE, ACPA, AACC, NACUBO, ACCRAO, ACU-I, NIRSA, ACUHO-I, NACAS, NACA, NODA and HEASC. Create increased synergy around these efforts. Solicit participation from diverse aspects of Student Affairs and strengthen connections to sustainability initiatives at other Student Affairs conferences.
- Organizational consistency - Assist NASPA as an organization to be more sustainable in the delivery of services, programs and products (i.e. green conferencing techniques, the use of recycled supplies, etc.), including the possibility of assisting in developing an official NASPA statement of sustainable practices.
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Projects and Resources
NASPA SUSTAINABILITY AWARDS
SKC Outstanding Campus Sustainability Program
Purpose: The purpose of this award is to recognize the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through best practices that have been recognized by the Sustainability Knowledge Community (SKC). The Outstanding Campus Sustainability Program Award will choose the nominee that represents the program or service that has the best overall contribution to the field and best represents the mission of SKC. Recipient institutions will submit an article about their program to the SKC newsletter/blog in order to share their knowledge and experience.SKC Outstanding Campus Sustainability Program
Inaugural 2022 Award Recipient:
11th Annual Sustainability Fair, University of California - Los Angeles
SKC Outstanding Sustainability Office Award
Purpose: The purpose of this award is to recognize the contributions of institutions transforming higher education through best practices that have been recognized by the Sustainability Knowledge Community (SKC). The Outstanding Sustainability Office Award will choose the nominee that represents the team (e.g. institution/office/volunteer group) that has the best overall contribution to the field and best represents the mission of SKC. Recipient institutions will submit a short article about their institution/group to the SKC newsletter/blog in order to share their knowledge and experience.
Inaugural 2022 Award Recipient:
Department of Residenc Life, Texas A&M University
PRESENTATIONS AND EVENTS
Higher Education’s Role in Restoring Environmental Justice event
Regular presentations and pre-conference sessions at regional and national NASPA conferences
AASHE Sustainability in Student Life Roundtable Discussions
Contributed feedback for Campus Engagement section of Sustainability Tracking and Rating System (STARS) through AASHE
Alevy, S., O’Connor, J., and Spalding, H. (In press). Engagement strategies for faculty and staff who teach and advise sustainability activists. In [eds], Sustainable Practices in Higher Education: Finance, Strategy, and Engagement. Town, State: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2019). CAS self-assessment guide for Sustainability Programs. Washington, DC: Author.
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2019). Sustainability Programs: CAS Standards and guidelines. Washington, DC: Author.
Lam, K. and Spalding, H. (In press). Hawai’ian resilience strategies: Lessons about culture and climate for student affairs professionals. NASPA Knowledge Community Publication.
One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.
Knowledge Community leaders are NASPA volunteers who have generously devoted their time to their Knowledge Community. Chairs are elected by the Knowledge Community members while Regional representatives are selected from within the Region. Additional roles are selected by the Knowledge Community.