Campus Sustainability Council

Campus Sustainability Council

I see this opportunity as an excellent way for us students to be able to practice true democratic budgeting and ethical budgeting practices. This is OUR money, so it is essential that WE are the ones who are in charge of it and direct where it goes.
-John McClure, CSC Budget Committee
The Campus Sustainability Council (CSC) is a student-run granting body whose role is to provide registered student organizations on campus the opportunity to launch their own initiatives to promote sustainability and environmental justice projects through UCSC including education, programming, and modeling sustainable operations. 
Measure 14
Campus Sustainability Programs Fee
The measure funds the creation and implementation of environmentally, socially, and economically sound practices on campus through student-run projects, as established through the protocol outlined in a Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus.

earth summit

“Having students manage and provide oversight to these funds is are essential to empower the students who are working to better the campus.”

-Gordon Huang, CSC Representative 

CSC makes it possible for student organizations to create innovative projects that promote sustainable practices. Major campus changes have been kick-started by CSC funded programs including the bike lending “library” that is available to any UCSC student, food systems initiatives that brought organic and sustainably sourced food to our dining halls, the founding of 6 gardens in the colleges, and the elimination of plastic shopping bags at the bookstore. These CSC-funded initiatives and many more are created by students and led by students.

CSC also funds the Earth Summit, an annual student-led conference that promotes sustainability and documents student voices in a Blueprint for a Sustainable Campus. In the last Blueprint, students agreed to push for social and environmental justice to be central components of campus sustainability. This collectively developed approach is reflected in CSC funding priorities.

COVID-19 Response: During Spring 2020, CSC required potential grantees to adjust their proposed budgets and proposals to address the current and potential impacts of COVID-19 on the programs and services offered to the campus community. Despite the social distancing measures in place, the CSC met regularly and worked in collaboration with staff and grantees to adapt to a new future for organizing around sustainability.


Plastic bags were saved from landfills


Students participanted in educational community meal series


Student participants in environmental programs


Funding goes directly to student organizations

Future Planning


"Members of CSC have done an independent study in democratic budgeting in a SOMeCA class to make sure that we are knowledgeable and up to date with current practices such as documentation guidelines and ethical budgeting principles." 

-Gabriel Paolone, CSC Budget Committee


CSC governs funds responsibly to ensure the longevity and success of sustainability efforts for future generations. Each grant is reviewed collectively, intentionally, and thoroughly so student fee funds are not wasted and student innovation is protected. In addition, CSC plans ahead and sets aside funds for anticipated one-time costs including replacing equipment, furniture, and technology.

CSC is designing a democratic budgeting workshop geared towards council members, grantees, and support staff. The goal is to ensure that every group interacting with the funding is prepared with core fiscal literacy and an ethical approach to managing public funds. This initiative will continue strengthen the accurate and accountable use of student funds.