The mission of the Student Sustainability Center is to inspire a student body that is environmentally, socially, and economically responsible through educational programming, collaborative partnerships, and innovative initiatives

We work to achieve this mission through our goals and programs:

Program Goals:

  1. Educate for Sustainability and Social Justice!
  2. Advocate for Adoption of Sustainable Institutional and Individual Practices!
  3. Develop Student Leadership Potential!
  4. Inspire Active Citizenship!

Student-Led Initiatives

  • Student Sustainability Center- a collaborative office and community space for sustainability and service at SOU.
  • SOU Real Food Commitment - Helping to shift SOU's food toward more fair, ecologically sound, humane, and local. SOU is committing to achieve 20% "real food" by 2023! Check out the Real Food Challenge website for more information on this national project.
  • ECOS Community Garden - where students and community members can rent low-cost plots to practice organic gardening; located adjacent to parking Lot 36 on the corner of Henry St. and South Mountain Ave. Email communitygarden@sou.edu with questions. To find out more and sign-up for our new gardener interest list, please visit our on-line sign-up form at www.tinyurl.com/ecosgarden.
  • Transportation Options in partnership with Rogue Valley Transportation District, we encourage the SOU community to drive less. Visit the Transportation Options page!
  • Civic Engagement and Service - we help mobilize students to engage in community service, community based learning, and dilogue and education for environmental and social justice.
  • SOU Dish Loan Program, a FREE alternative for SOU clubs, organizations, and departments to borrow plates, bowls, cups, mugs and utensils for their events. Visit the Dish Loan site to learn more
  • Earth Week, Zero Waste Week, and more events and celebrations!

How to Get Involved


The Student Sustainability Center hires for paid student positions late winter/early spring for the following academic year. Open positions will be advertised via Handshake and through our email listserve (below).

The ECOS Community Garden frequently has paid Garden Assitant positions available for students with Federal Work Study as part of their financial aid award. Email smedstadj@sou.edu to inquire about Garden Assistant openings throughout the year.

Internship Program

The Student Sustainability Center offers unpaid internships during winter and spring quarters each year. Student interns work on teams together with a student team lead, in each of our focus areas (Earth Week Planning Team, Zero Waste/Dish Loan Team, Transportation Options Team, Real Food Commitment Team, Civic Engagement and Service Team, Community Garden Team). Participating in the internships for academic credit is optional. Credit requirments vary depending on academic major, so if you are interested in becoming an intern to fulfill a major requriment, be sure to inquire with your academic advisor to find out what is required.

Involvement Listserve

Sign up for the ecos-involvement listserve to recieve occasional email updates about events and opportunities for involvement in campus and community sustainability and service!

Connect with ECOS!

Stop by the ECOS Student Sustainability Center on the top floor of Stevenson Union, room 310!

You can also email Jill Smedstad, SOU's Environmental and Community Engagement Coordinator, at smedstadj@sou.edu with specific questions or concerns.