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CHESC Breaks Record Number Attendance to Discuss Sustainability in Adaptation

By Ryan Smith
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San Fransisco State University hosted California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), a gathering for sustainability in higher education, with participants representing universities from all over America. Breaking record attendance, the 1,222 registered attendees, 95 volunteers, and 313 presenters, discussed sustainable practices instated at their respective institutions, paying close attention to current projects. Katie Maynard, the conference manager and the University of California, Santa Barbara’s sustainability coordinator, facilitated panels on topics pulled from student-proposed initiatives, institutionalized sustainability practices, and new technology implemented on campus. 

While past efforts such as SF State's 2013 fossil fuel divestment have made major headway in climate action, attendees recognized that adaptation must play a key role in future climate talks. SF State’s Sustainability Coordinator, Nick Kordesch shared, “...we’re already at a point where there are going to be impacts on the climate no matter what we do going forward. So the question is, how do we deal with that, and what role does sustainability play?”


SF State Rallies Around Greener Campuses During State-Wide Conference 

DARCY FRACOLLI | Golden Gate Express

The largest-ever California Higher Education Sustainability Conference emphasized the urgent need for sustainability on college campuses July 20-24 at SF State.

This year was the first time SF State hosted CHESC, with attendance being the highest in the conference’s 13-year history, according to Katie Maynard, the conference manager and University of California, Santa Barbara’s sustainability coordinator. Maynard said the record turnout, which included 1,222 registered attendees, 95 volunteers and 313 presenters, was in part due to the scholarships provided to schools with smaller budgets.

SF State students, faculty and staff led panels on topics pulled from student-proposed initiatives, institutionalized sustainability practices and new technology implemented on campus.

SF State’s Sustainability Coordinator Nick Kordesch said that this year’s conference theme, “Can we change fast enough?”, highlighted the urgency of making college campuses greener.

“Everyone there is focused on sustainability and improving the way we interact with our environment and our impact on the environment, but we’re already at a point where there are going to be impacts on the climate no matter what we do going forward,” Kordesch said. “So the question is, how do we deal with that, and what role does sustainability play?”

Cain Buckler, the student sustainability coordinator at SF State, presented his campus de-lamping project July 22. De-lamping is an ongoing project in which Buckler and others remove light bulbs from a portion of the stairwells at school, many of which, according to Buckler, are over-lit.

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