Photo of blue plastic bottles

A critical investigation into what sustainability means at UC Santa Cruz, May 12, 2016

Introduction by T.J. Demos, Director of Center for Creative Ecologies

What are the variable meanings, achievements, conflicts, and problems of sustainability at UCSC? This May 12 workshop forms part of a critical investigation into UCSC sustainabilities, including discussion of what the 2013-16 Campus Sustainability Plan has accomplished to date, and where it will go from here.


Fossil Free UC, student-based advocacy group, May 12, 2016

Fossil Free UC was formed in 2012 out of California Student Sustainability Coalition’s End Coal campaign, and ever since has called on the UC to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies with the largest carbon reserves. As a student-based advocacy group, we call on the University of California to immediately freeze any new investment in the 200 coal, oil, and natural gas companies with the largest carbon reserves, and to divest both directly owned and commingled funds in these companies within five years. Claire Watts is a second year Computer Science major and faculty outreach organizer with Fossil Free UCSC. Cormac Martinez del Rio is an organizer with Fossil Free UC, a trainer with the Student Sierra Coalition, and has worked with the Center for Creative Ecologies at UCSC.


Photo of temporary housing

Miriam Greenberg, “Bringing Equity Back In, or, How is the Housing Crisis a Sustainability Issue?,” May 12, 2016

Miriam Greenberg is Associate Professor of Sociology and director of the multi-campus Critical Sustainabilities project, which explores the multiple, competing, historically-rooted discourses of sustainability in Northern California. The project finds that differing approaches to sustainability emphasize different aspects of the famous “3 E’s” of economy, equity, and ecology laid out in the original Bruntland definition of the concept. In addition, it finds that some sustainabilities have been more powerful than others, agreeing with scholars like Julian Agyeman that “equity-deficient” approaches have tended to win out.


Photo pf Farm Stand

Ronnie D. Lipschutz, “Can UCSC afford to be sustainable?”, May 12, 2016

Ronnie D. Lipschutz is Professor and Chair of Politics (the latter until June30), Provost of College Eight, and Director of the college’s Minor in Sustainability Studies. He has been active in campus sustainability activities for close to 10 years.




Campus sustainability brochure

Elida Erickson, “The Banana Slugs’ Campus Sustainability Plan: Where have we been, what have we learned, and where do we go from here?,” May 12, 2016

Elida Erickson joined the UCSC campus in 2005, and the Sustainability Office in 2011. Over the years, she has collaborated with the local community, students, faculty and staff to support the goal of Zero Waste by 2020, as well as reduce water usage by 25% in response to the statewide drought in 2014-15. She is also a strong advocate, along with the People of Color Sustainability Collective, for promoting the concept of “inclusive sustainability” to challenge the traditional campus environmental movement to be more open to different cultural notions of what it means to care for the environment. Student engagement and empowerment has always been at the core of Elida’s work on campus since 2005, including her prior roles in residential life and programming at Stevenson College and Colleges 9 & 10.