CSB/SJU Sustainability Office
Want to get involved with Sustainability on campus?
Check out the links below and on the left side menu to learn about how you can get involved around campus.
Get news from the Sustainability Office straight to your inbox. Sign up to be on the email list.
- Also join the Full Circle Greenhouse Mailing List
- Also join the Climate Justice Club Mailing List
Have a Suggestion?
Is our office missing important information? Have an idea we should consider? Please feel free to give us suggestions about how campus sustainability can work better. Send us your suggestions and ideas here.
What's your Green Idea?
Have a project you want to see on campus? Let us know! We can help you put it into action. Share your great idea here!
Think Globally, Act Locally: Join a Club!
To work on global climate justice issues in our community, join Climate Justice Club.
Learn how our Waste Cycles Work
Attend an Event
Our campus is alive with awesome events that focus on all three pillars of sustainability: Social, Economic and Environmental. Look for events on the Bulletin and Social media. Or check out Environmental Studies professor Corrie Grosse's event list!
Learn about Sustainability
There is plenty going on in the Office of Sustainability! Let's learn more about our current projects. Have one of your own? Use our Form to let us know!
- Stash It Don't Trash It and the BIG Sale:Move-Out collection of unwanted items and Move-In sale for incoming students.
- Week of Sustainability: Week in April dedicated to sustainability with a variety of events.
- Revolving Loan Fund: Money for projects that have a return on investment that in turn create a more energy efficient school.
- Sustainability Student Worker Network: Representatives from volunteer departments assign a student worker to address sustainbility concerns in their office/department across campus.
- Senate Sustainability Representative: Student Senates have one representative from each campus that focuses in on sustainability on campus. For 2021-22, our CSB rep is Eden Deal and our SJU rep is Charlie Ellis.
- Green Residence Program: Volunteer program for peer educators on sustainability issues in the residence halls.
- Cut the Current Energy Challenge: Annual challenge to see which residence hall can reduce the most electricity.
- Community Involvement: We are always looking to partner with different groups in the area!
Save resources in the classroom, office, and residence halls
As a community which cares about sustainability, help create a culture of sustainability by doing these simple things to cut waste and energy use.
Read the Green Guide
This guide was created by students with the help of campus staff to provide some easy tips for living a sustainable lifestyle on our campuses.
Take a class
The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University offer a number of courses and programs focusing on the environment and sustainability.
Take part in a club
Submit a proposal for a Revolving Loan
Anybody can submit a proposal for a sustainability project through our two funds for long-term and short-term projects. Projects will be audited, and the results will be posted on our website to prove the viability and legitimacy of the fund. A committee of faculty, staff, administration, and students govern the fund.
Start something you are interested in
The possibilities are endless. We want to work with you to take your sustainable idea from concept to reality. Back in 2011, Stephen Johnson approached Nick Moe at the SJU Office of Sustainability with his idea of building a greenhouse on campus. Just two years later, the Refectory started buying lettuce grown right at SJU. Another example of student-led initiatives was the idea of an intern in the Office of Sustainability. Michael Lockwood wanted to reduce phantom energy on campus. During the summer of 2013, 125 phantom energy-reducing powerstrips were distributed across campus.
Land Acknowledgements and Why We Make Them
"The land we gather on today is the traditional homeland of the Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. We honor and respect the Indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed from, and are still connected to this territory.
There are over twenty Native and Indigenous students at our schools from different Nations. St. Ben’s Monastery and St. John’s Abbey used to operate boarding schools for Native children. Now, students, faculty, and staff are working to repair relationships with our Native Nation neighbors. There are well over 35,000 Indigenous people living in the Twin Cities metro area, including a diversity of nations. Centuries of genocide and forced assimilation have created a range of challenges for Indigenous peoples.
I open up this classroom as a space to discuss ways in which we can support Indigenous people in our area and enact a reparations framework – a framework that works to return land to Native people."
- Environmental Studies 275 Syllabus
Have you ever heard these words spoken at the start of an event or class on campus? It's called a land acknowledgement. It's a way of ackowledging historic damage and setting your actions, especially at large events, in the context of that history. It's a way to keep yourself thoughtful about the inclusion of Indigenous issues and peoples. They change depending on a few things:
WHERE: This is the big question. North America (and South America, Central America, Canada, Alaska, and more) was home to countless nations and groups of Indigenous people before White settlers got there. The campuses of CSB and SJU, for example, straddle the territories of Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. To see whose land your home or college is on, use Native-Land.ca.
WHO: Who are you? CSB/SJU has a lot of history (now being uncovered by Ted Gordon and his team of researchers!) of other harmful actions involving Indigenous peoples, including but not limited to establishing boarding schools that contributed to erasure of Indigenous culture in our area.
WHAT: What more can you do about Indigenous rights than say a statement? Educators like Corrie Grosse (below) might affirm that they work to include Native issues in their curriculum. An institutional body like the Joint Faculty Senate (#4) has the power to commit to further action.
WHY: Land Acknowledgements are a call to action-- a call to keep Indigenous justice in your thoughts at events, gatherings, and in every email. You can recite a land acknowledgement at family dinners or gatherings-- Just use Native-Land.ca and historical records (I used Ecosia for example #5) to really dig into the history in your area.
- CSB/SJU is on the ancestral homeland of the Dakota and Anishinaabe people. Our campuses were once home to St. Benedict’s and St. John’s Indian Industrial Schools, which were part of a nationwide effort to force Native youth to assimilate through family separation. -Native American Advisory Committee
- College of St. Benedict & St. John’s University occupies Dakhóta and Anishinaabe homelands. Through my research, teaching, and activism, I am working to honor and build relationships with my Native neighbors. Find out whose territory you live and work on. -Corrie Grosse, Environmental Studies Professor, email signature
- The CSB/SJU Archives are located on the original homeland of the Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. We honor and respect the Indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed from and are still connected to this land. -Peggy Roske. CSB/SJU Archivist, email signature
- We acknowledge that the very ground on which our institutions are built is the original homeland of the Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. We honor and respect the Indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed from, and who are still connected to this territory, and we pledge, in every way possible, to make the facilities and resources of our campuses available to those peoples for appropriate ceremonies or events they may desire, and to make scholarships available for Native-American students. -Joint Faculty Senate statement on the killing of George Floyd.
- "Welcome to our Thanksgiving dinner, and thank you for coming. I just wanted to acknowledge that the land we gather on today in Minneapolis is the homeland of Chippewa and Sioux tribes. Our land was contained in Cession 243, made in 1837. As we are grateful and thankful for each other on this holiday, let's remember the traumatic history of Native peoples that were displaced and hurt due to colonial expansion. When we remember the first Native Americans that helped the pilgrims, let's not ignore the damage that happened then and still affects us here and now.
Create your Own Land Acknowledgement Email Signature
J. Doe (pronouns: They/Them)
GBUS Major | Environmental Studies Minor
The land we gather on today is the traditional homeland of the Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. We honor and respect the Indigenous peoples who were forcibly removed from, and are still connected to this territory. Find out whose territory you live and work on.
CSB/SJU students can use the italicized acknowedgement at the top of this article as an email signature. Just put it below your name or major, and remember to use it as an opportunity for thoughtful reflection. You can also add your own commitment or links if you wish-- like Peggy does in hers.