This month students have the opportunity to change the world, or at least learn about how to during Cal Poly’s Sustainability Month.

Throughout January, Cal Poly will hold a variety of events with the theme “Sustainability: Resolve to Change Your World.” This coincides with the CSU system’s newly issued sustainability policy. This policy encourages all CSU campuses to increase energy conservation, renewable power generation and sustainable building practices.

ASI encourages students to add improving and implementing sustainability to their own New Year’s resolutions.

“Everybody comes from New Year’s with high hopes. We intend to capitalize on this and encourage students to change positively for the environment,” ASI President Tylor Middlestadt said.

The events are a part of the ASI program “Cal Poly: NEXT,” which fosters change and progress in cultural and environmental aspects of Cal Poly.

The events are also being held to adhere to the international “Talloires Declaration.” The environmentally-based declaration was created by international university administrators and leaders during a conference in Talloires, France in 1990. The declaration calls for universities to follow guidelines for teaching environmental awareness and sustainability. President Baker signed the declaration on behalf of Cal Poly in April, 2004.

“I am gratified to see the variety of serious and creative work being done all across the university to explore the issue of sustainability, to assess its significance for the 21st century and to identify workable strategies for putting sustainability principles into practice,” President Baker said in a press release.

“(Sustainability) is becoming really important in industries in every aspect. Students today will be implementing the programs that are being developed now,” said Andrea Ramirez, an environmental engineering graduate student and sustainability director of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Though many engineering and planning students are familiar with sustainability, students from other colleges may benefit from attending events.

“Sustainability is not solely about technology, but is about human behavior. It is education, and how (people’s) habits effect a larger system,” said Linda Vanasupa, materials engineering department chair and associate director of The Center for Sustainability in Engineering (CSinE).

The series of “Cal Poly: NEXT” events will begin with a parade Wednesday, beginning at 9:55 a.m. on Dexter Lawn. The parade will progress to the UU Plaza where the Cultural Club Fair will be held until 1 p.m.

The film “Environmental Ethics: Examining Your Connection to the Environment and Your Community” will be shown Wednesday in the San Luis Lounge (UU 221) following a speech by R. Thomas Jones, the dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design dean from 7 to 9 p.m.

The sustainability club fair will take place on Thursday in the UU from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. That night, Farmers’ Market will feature dance performances and a concert by Joose, a local band that will use a solar trailer provided by Pacific Energy Company to power their show.

These events will be followed by others on future dates, and will include many guest speakers. For more information visit

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