Sustainability Committee (SuCo)
The Sustainability Committee (SuCo) is the primary student committee responsible for educating and collaborating with students, SGA, faculty, staff and administration with the intent to advance the commitment to sustainability. SuCo devotes itself to embracing the social, economic and environmental pillars of sustainability, implementing policies that address campus challenges. SuCo will help coordinate and support student, faculty, staff and administrative groups that work on sustainability-based initiatives.
This group channels student voice, ideas and concerns into the development of Skidmore's Sustainability Strategic Plan by working closely with the Sustainability Office; sustainability coordinator; Subcommittee on Campus Sustainability; Associate Dean of Infrastructure, Sustainability, and Civic Engagement; and any other relevant groups. This committee helps streamline student efforts and campus initiatives addressing the goals of the Sustainability Strategic Plan. SuCo ultimately integrates student insight and proposes policy recommendations to encourage Skidmore to reach its full potential while advocating for an inclusive sustainable community.
SuCo was created due to the need for representation of sustainability within the Student Government Association (SGA) to help reflect student interest and momentum around the topic. Because other student issues have led to the creation of committees and positions on SGA, a similar approach was proposed by for sustainability by Talia Arnow '13 beginning in fall 2011, which led to the creation of the initial committee in spring 2012. At the same time that the committee was formed, a sustainability senator position was also created. The sustainability senator is charged with chairing the SGA Sustainability Committee (SuCo). Other committees on SGA include the Committee on Student Life, Budget and Finance for student clubs and events, Academic Council and Committee on Diversity Affairs.
Highlights and Current Initiatives
SuCo was proposed in fall 2011 and officially created in the spring semester of 2012. The committee functioned well, but during the fall 2012 semester committee members felt it was necessary to alter the membership of the committee to reflect a more holistic scope that covered all of the three pillars of sustainability. Therefore the membership and structure of the committee was altered and reorganized in order to reflect the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability.
During the fall 2012 semester, SuCo wrote a status report, a compilation of all student-led sustainability initiatives dating back to 2003. The status report was written with seven topic areas: food, waste, transportation, green buildings, land management, energy and academics. The report is a continuous work in progress and will be updated yearly as more initiatives are initiated and completed.
In the spring of 2013, SuCo fully adopted the new structure, with new membership and a new mission and vision. SuCo helped put on multiple events linked to sustainability and partnered with many student groups to increase awareness and education of sustainability on campus. The two biggest achievements of SuCo were supporting the writing of two resolutions to be presented to SGA Senate. One of the resolutions is a sustainable food purchasing recommendation. This resolution was created through a collaboration between SuCo and the Real Food Challenge student group. The other resolution is related to a divestment campaign for the college, a collaboration with the Environmental Action Club, who began the divestment campaign during the 2012–13 academic year.
Membership Spring 2013
Sustainability senator: Alex Barber '13
Appointed senator: Talia Arnow '13
EAC representative: Jaya Borgatta '16
Social pillar representatives: Alexandra "Z" Steinhauer '13, Kate Cavanaugh '14, Rachel Castellano '16
Economic pillar representatives: Annie Weis '14, John "Yianni" Stoner '14, David Katz '14
Environmental pillar representatives: Caitlin White '14, Haley Duncan '13
S-Rep student manager representative: not filled
Stephanie Seidmon '13
Sondra Lipshutz '13
Anna Graves '14