Students

 

Student Groups

USC Environmental Student Assembly (ESA)

Contact Info: uscesa@usc.edu

ESA

Media: Website, Facebook, Instagram

ESA programs events promoting the green culture, sustainability, and environmental awareness at USC; creates environmental and sustainable initiatives, programs for the USC community through year-long advocacy campaigns; and unites, represents, empowers, and serves as a resource to members of the assembly and member student organizations with the same purpose.

2019-2020 Projects

  1. Recycling/Composting
    Goal: To increase the number of composting and recycling bins on campus, meeting the Sustainability 2020 Waste Diversion Goal of reducing waste diversion by 25%.
  2. Meat Reduction
    Goal: To reduce the amount of meat served in dining halls per week by 14.3% (equivalent to 1/7, one day, or a “Meatless Monday”).
  3. Pre-Enrollment Sustainability Training
    Goal: To educate USC students about the importance of sustainable living practices and reducing carbon footprints through a pre-enrollment module

Past Projects and Accomplishments

ESA signature events include VegFest during the fall semester which is a free vegetarian and vegan food festival for students and Earth Month during spring semester. Previously, Earth Month events have included visits from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barbara Boxer, and Bill Nye. ESA has helped with the removal of straws from campus dining halls and hosted the university’s first ever Climate Rally. ESA periodically hosts Sustainability Forums that bring together major players in campus sustainability in order to foster transparency and collaboration. Finally, ESA supports the Green Engagement Fund, a $30,000 fund created to support student sustainability initiatives on campus.

 

Undergraduate Student Government

Office Address:

3607 Trousdale Parkway

Tutor Campus Center, Room 224

Los Angeles, CA 90089-3107

Main Line: (213) 740-5620

Fax: (213) 740-9860

2020-2021 Campus Operations and Sustainability Chair: Nikita Lalwani (usgcosaf@usc.edu)

Media:  Website, Facebook

USG seeks to make the undergraduate experience the best it can possibly be. From advocating for policy change on campus, programming educational and entertainment events, passing resolutions to pass on to administration, and funding our students in their various pursuits, each of our six branches does its best to make a positive impact on student life at USC. USG’s Sustainability Affairs division works within the Advocacy Branch and is specifically concerned with, but not limited to, maintaining and increasing sustainability on campus.

2019-2020 Accomplishments

The Sustainability Affairs Advocacy team, alongside the Environmental Student Assembly, raised awareness about composting and how to appropriately place items in new multi-stream waste bins in residence halls. USG hosted a Zero Waste Carnival for all students in order to educate students on the newly expanded dorm compost program in seven USC residence halls. USG also created refrigerator magnets to be placed on all USC Housing refrigerators which state how to correctly dispose of waste in recycling, compost, and landfill. The Sustainability Affairs Advocacy team worked with Greek Life to make The Row and Greek Life as a whole more sustainable, primarily through education around waste reduction, recycling, and waste sorting.

2018-2019 Accomplishments

The former Director of Sustainability Affairs worked on a composting pilot project within USC Housing, which was successful in showing that residents of USC Housing are interested in composting.

 

Graduate Student Government

GSG 2020-2021 Director of Sustainability: 

Evan Davis (gsgsust@usc.edu )

GSG General Contact Info:

Main Campus (UPC)

3607 Trousdale Pkwy SKS 410

Los Angeles, CA 90089

Hours: M-F 9am-6pm

Phone: 213-740-5649

Email: gsgpres@usc.edu

Health Sciences Campus (HSC)

1969 Zonal Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90033

Hours: M-F: 12-1pm

Phone: 323-442-1257

Email: gsgsvp@usc.edu

Media: Website, Facebook, Instagram

The GSG mission is to enhance the University of Southern California graduate and professional student experience by serving as the face of the student body. To accomplish this, GSG is responsible for managing student resources efficiently, providing a voice for the student community, building a community that fosters interdisciplinary exchanges, and informing students about their rights, resources, and opportunities.

2018-2019 Projects

In the 2018-2019 academic year, GSG continued to support programs and host events that promote sustainable practices. Furthermore, we increasingly partnered with other student and university organizations for joint advocacy on behalf of the USC student population.

2017-2018 Accomplishments

In the 2017-2018 academic year, GSG hosted a variety of sustainability-focused events, including a No Straw Pledge for the month of April and a Beach Clean-Up. Additionally, GSG offered the U-Pass Pilot Program in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The reduced-fare transit pass offered graduate students unlimited rides on Metro’s rail and bus lines for a given semester.

 

American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists

Contact Info: uscaees@gmail.com

Media: Website, Facebook, Instagram

The USC Chapter of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists was founded in spring of 2016 with the purpose of exploring and promoting a wide array of academic and career opportunities related to the fields of environmental engineering and environmental science. Through this exploration, we hope to connect those interested in such fields with other like-minded students, faculty, and professionals beyond USC. The AAEES at USC further aims to showcase and make available all the National AAEES resources, as well as USC Viterbi resources, to USC students, which may include but are not limited to the following: professional and student networking, mentoring opportunities, speaker events, training workshops, off-campus career exploration, and joint events with other USC organizations.

2019-2020 Accomplishments

We continued to expand as an organization, holding multiple professional events, such as an Environmental Career Panel, Graduate Panel, and Resume Do’s and Do-nut’s, outreach events, including WaterLA Volunteering, and social events, like our Holiday Study Night. Our most notable events from this year included a tour of Reformation Factory, a sustainable clothing brand, and a tour of Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant in Los Angeles. We’re looking forward to developing more as an organization and featuring a larger variety of resources and sustainable careers for environmental engineers and scientists.

 

American Society of Civil Engineers

Contact Info: uscasce@usc.edu

Media: Website, Instagram, Facebook 

The American Society of Civil Engineers Student Chapter at the University of Southern California is a student-run organization that enriches the lives of civil and environmental engineering students through social events, community service, industry interaction, and engineering competitions. USC ASCE attends the Pacific Southwest Conference (PWSC) yearly and participates in several events such as design-build, concrete canoe, environmental design, and sustainability. Along with our annual competition USC ASCE offers a mentorship program for underclassmen to be paired with a mentor who helps introduce them to the civil/environmental engineering department at USC.

 

Bloom Boutique

Contact Info: bloomboutiqueusc@gmail.com

Media: WebsiteFacebook, Instagram

Bloom Boutique is a funky, thrifty resale boutique run by a team of USC students united by our love for fashion and for the planet. It was born out of a desire to bring sustainable fashion to our community and cut down on waste caused by the fast fashion industry. We firmly believe that getting dressed should be an expressive, creative and empowering endeavor and strive to reflect this in everything we do. We keep prices low and donate 100% of our profits to local charitable organizations because we know that fashion has the power to strengthen communities.

2019-2020 Accomplishments

Bloom Boutique has collaborated with a wide range of other USC student groups like Environmental Student Assembly, Student Assembly for Gender Empowerment, Student Coalition Against Labor Exploitation, KXSC, and Photography Club to participate in VegFest, FemFest, RESIST, and Art Fest. We have held 9 Pop-Up Sales within the USC area and have spent time packing lunches for and volunteering at LA’s Downtown Women’s Center.

 

DivestSC

Contact Info: divestreinvestsc@gmail.com

Media: Website, Instagram

DivestSC is a coalition of students working to green the university’s endowment. We ask that USC publicly commit to a transparent and rapid selling of all $277 million of its stated investments in the fossil fuel industry, and additionally reinvest those funds towards clean technologies and renewable energy. Divestment and reinvestment are a prime opportunity for USC to actively confront the dangerous realities of our changing climate while simultaneously accelerating the growth of our endowment.

2020-2021 Accomplishments 

DivestSC recently sent a letter to the USC Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee formally calling for our endowment to be divested from fossil fuels. If you support these efforts, add your name to our petition. Every signature helps strengthen our call for divestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment in clean technology and renewables.

 

Food Recovery Network

Contact Info: uscfoodrecoverynetwork@gmail.com

Media: Facebook, Instagram

USC FRN is an organization dedicated to reducing food waste and addressing food insecurity among students on campus. We hope to create a coalition of all existing organizations that aim to improve the quality of life for all students. FRN will do its part by partnering with businesses on- or near-campus to recover food and reinvest it into the community.

2019-2020 Projects

USC FRN is a new chapter of the national non-profit, the Food Recovery Network, and we have yet to make our impact. In the Spring Term, we have a set of goals we hope you will join us in. The first is to establish a food donor, then a partner agency, and finally successfully complete at least 2 food recoveries. We are also committed to creating a community within our network by frequent excursions that endorse businesses that give back to the LA community.

 

Garden Club

Contact Info: uscgardening@gmail.com

Media: Facebook, Instagram

USC garden club seeks to be a collaborative and educational model of sustainable agriculture and self-sufficient lifestyle that is accessible to all students and members of the surrounding community. The garden is an interdisciplinary space that fosters connections between people and encourages a deep re-connection with nature and each other. The garden is located behind Parkside A&H dormitories. It includes an aquaponics system powered by solar panels, traditional growing beds with drip irrigation, and an extensive composting system featuring black soldier flies and vermiculture. Garden club meets every Wednesday morning from 10am-1pm.

2019-2020 Projects

This year, we plan to host a series of events to increase student awareness and involvement in the garden, launch an educational campaign to better knowledge about composting techniques and resources on campus, and connect with surrounding K-12 schools to bring students into the garden space and introduce them to relevant concepts about food and gardening. We also plan to donate fresh produce to the USC food pantry, create partnerships with local nonprofits like LA Compost, OurFoods, and Community Services Unlimited, and host educational gardening workshops, including cooking demonstrations, aquaponics construction and maintenance, composting systems, planting techniques, pest control, and incorporation of native plants. We ultimately aim to establish the garden as a permanent space recognized and funded by USC.

 

Peaks and Professors

Contact Info:  contact@peaksandprofessors.org

Media: Website, Facebook, Instagram 

Peaks & Professors is a student organization that aims to unite USC’s top professors and students in the great outdoors by organizing outdoor adventures in the California wilderness, with a variety of activities ranging from day hikes to multiple-day backpacking trips.

2018-2019 Accomplishments

Past projects have included trail cleanups to maintain the network of trails that continue to serve us so well. We also lead Peaks & Professionals trips, such as one with a professional from a water conservation non-profit to not only showcase an intersectional career but also to learn about how Trojans can support healthy oceans.

 

Science Policy Group

Contact Info: scipol@usc.edu

Media: Website, Facebook

The USC Science Policy Group brings together undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty with a shared interest in incorporating sound science into policy decisions. SPG aims to engage diverse disciplines in a discussion about science and policy, while providing a platform to learn from one another’s backgrounds and experiences. SPG hosts discussion groups, informational sessions, speakers, monthly advocacy days, fun debates, movie screenings, and more. We are a member of the National Science Policy Network, a network of US university groups interested in science and technology policy. Join our Facebook group or mailing list to get updates! 

2019-2020 Accomplishments

We held a range of educational seminars and discussions, such as an introduction to science policy work with the RAND Corporation, science and its role in diplomacy, space advocacy with the Planetary Society, creation of voter district boundaries with the CA Citizens Redistricting Commission, introductory health policy, and how to build your science policy resume. We held monthly advocacy days to learn about upcoming science policy bills and how to contact local, state, and federal officials. As a chapter of the National Science Policy Network, we work on larger initiatives to create resources for politicians, write op-eds, and more. There’s grants for travel and policy internships, an annual symposium, and a Hill Day to talk to Congress members in DC. We’ve recently discussed pandemic policy and the variety of responses and effectiveness, and a discussion of science policy changes happening without much attention as other national events dominate the news cycle.

2018-2019 Accomplishments

We held monthly dinner discussions on a range of topics: privacy concerns in personal genomics, gerrymandering, science and social media, misuse of science in marketing, NASA’s budget issues, and more. We invited the previous CA Citizens Redistricting Commission to discuss voter district boundaries and had a panel with the former director of the California Council on Science and Technology, who runs a science policy fellowship and advises CA State Senate on matters of science policy. Currently working on policy papers on Southern California water issues in coordination with other chapters of NSPN Western Hub.

 

SC Outfitters

Contact Info: membership@scoutfitters.org

Media: Website, Facebook, Instagram

SC Outfitters is USC’s 100% student-run outdoor adventure organization. Our mission is to foster a diverse and inclusive outdoor community, while connecting as many students as possible with the wilderness of Southern California, the West, and beyond.

2018-2019 Accomplishments 

Last year, SC Outfitters guides put together over fifty trips, visiting and exploring wilderness as far as Utah and Hawaii. In addition, we continued our partnership with the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies with a service trip to Catalina island to help with trail restoration. We look forward to another year of outdoor exploration and more chances to share our passion for the outdoors with USC’s student community.

 

Southern California Solar Car Team

Contact Info:

Nicholas LaBelle, Project Manager (njlabell@usc.edu)

Jackson Carroll, Electrical Lead (jacksoac@usc.edu)

Reanne Aquinde,  Treasurer (raquinde@usc.edu)

Media: Facebook, Instagram 

Solar Car started out between a group of friends in 2014. Overcoming many challenges, the team decided to officially hard launch in 2015 and began laying the foundation for our inaugural solar car. Our mission is to educate students and provide them with valuable hand-on engineering experiences by designing, building and racing full-size street legal solar powered vehicles. Using only the power of the sun, our full sized, single passenger vehicle, Traveler I, will embark on a journey that tests the limits of modern technology, ingenuity, and innovation.

 

Wrigley Ambassadors 

Contact Info: wia@usc.edu; macaleigh.hendricks@usc.edu

Media: Facebook, Instagram

Ambassadors are the student organization arm of the Wrigley Institute. Furthermore, they are changemakers that utilize their agency to create coalitions within their schools to discuss with department heads and faculty the need to infuse sustainability within curricula more thoroughly. They actively work to change educational norms that perpetuate the idea that sustainability is a supplementary thing addressed by specialists and not ‘them’. Sustainability is everyone’s story, and progress will require unprecedented collaboration. Ambassadors organize experiences with a focus on providing students with specifics in terms of what to look for, how to think and what to change regarding sustainability and their discipline, identifying commonalities between seemingly unrelated fields and leveraging them for widespread change.

2020-2021 Plans 

We’ll be looking into remote podcasting, website/portal building, workshop hosting, reading discussion groups, remote COVID-safe clothing swaps, and connecting within departments as usual!

2019-2020 Accomplishments

Oct 2019 – Trip to Catalina in October to introduce new ambassadors to facilities + current projects! Nov 2019- first ever clothing swap in collaboration with Bloom Boutique, over 800 donations received. Feb 2020 – trip to Catalina for Avalon trash cleanup, where we gathered plastics covered in micro organisms for an ongoing Wrigley research project about plastic degradation. March 2020 – ongoing website working (USC sustainability portal)

 

USC Institute of Transportation Engineers

Contact Info: iteusc@gmail.com

Media: Website, Facebook, Instagram

USC Institute of Transportation Engineers is a student organization rooted in the interdisciplinary interest of the broad field of transportation. As a collective of undergraduate and graduate students we dive deep into the complexities of the everyday movement of humans and goods utilizing novel engineering, environmental, planning, political, and sociological perspectives. Exploring the future of transportation, student members formulate strong connections to experienced faculty, alumni, and professionals who seamlessly connect the organization to the professional world. USC ITE organizes a wide array of conferences, summits, fun field excursions, seminars, thematic speaker series, and design challenges ultimately providing a network of colleagues and out of class experiential learning experience.

 

Sustainable Event Planning

The Office of Sustainability has developed a series of sustainability tips for student groups that are planning events at USC! Check out the Sustainable Event Planning Guide to learn how your organization can reduce the environmental impact of its events.

The Sustainable Event Planning Guide was originally developed for USC Undergraduate Student Government to distribute during student organizations training. This resource will expose 5,000 undergraduate students to tips on planning a sustainable event.

 

 

Other Opportunities

Interested in applying your passion for sustainability to an academic program at USC? Check out our Education and Research page to see a a snapshot of certain courses, research centers, and degree programs focused on various aspects of sustainability.