The resourcefulness, energy, drive and collaboration among Oxy students, staff, and faculty drive and shape sustainability initiatives and successes here on campus.
In this section:
The Office of Sustainability was recently revived as a result of student, staff, board and faculty interest to see a coordinated effort for sustainability planning and action on campus. Given the immediate threats and injustices associated with global climate change, the College stands poised to act in ways that will protect future generations and create a healthier, more resilient ecosystem on the campus and beyond. The Office of Sustainability actively supports ongoing campus sustainability initiatives such as food recovery, composting, and bike share; data collection and benchmarking about the campus footprint; and integrated planning to gain consensus around a campus wide Climate and Sustainability Action Plan. Sustainability is a campus wide initiative and the excitement demonstrated by this event showcases the campus enthusiasm.
ASOC Sustainability Fund
"SusFund" is a branch of Oxy’s student government that funds projects, initiatives, and events related to sustainability. This includes everything from FEAST’s chicken coop and baby chicks to the physics department’s solar panel robot, farmers market vouchers for students, and the Earth Day Quad Fair.
Oxy’s no-cost shuttle service offers nightly runs to and from anywhere within 7 miles of campus. The shuttle also offers occasional day trips to a variety of locations across LA, including the Santa Monica Pier and Grand Central Market.
Bike Share is student-run service that provides free access to bikes and assistance in maintaining and fixing personal bikes for a nominal fee.
Biology Club is committed to encouraging all Oxy Students to participate in and learn about various topics in Biology. Additionally, we aim to introduce students to sustainability practices and commonly overlooked aspects such as conservation ecology, sustainable agriculture, and the science behind restoration projects. We have partnered with groups such as FEAST in the past to look at native restoration and compost science, as well as going off campus to the Pasadena Homestead to learn about sustainable urban agriculture!
EFRT is a student volunteer organization dedicated to the goal of spreading food justice through food recovery, in which the organization takes food at Oxy and the surrounding community that would otherwise be wasted and bring it to people who need it. They also support local community gardens, urban farms, and other organizations promoting food justice. EFRT is also a member of the national Food Recovery Network.
FEAST (Food, Energy and Sustainability Team)
This student service runs organic and eco-friendly gardens established with the goal of mobilizing students to work on issues around food systems, energy usage and sustainability. FEAST aims to expose students to the connections between food and regional ecology through immersion in urban gardening and sustainable landscaping.
This club provides an outlet for students, faculty and staff who are interested in the study of earth sciences. It provides support for the community relating to natural disasters, the earth’s environment, current geologic events and discoveries, and education on field methods that are specific to our region.
Green Bean is a student-run coffee lounge founded in 2009. It serves fair-trade, organic coffee in compostable to-go cups or mugs as well as pastries from a local bakery.
OSCAR (Occidental Student Composting Actions for Remediation)
This club, formerly called the Occidental Students Compost Association with REHS, is spearheading the efforts to increase composting efforts across campus. They have undertaken introducing compost bins to all residence halls. In 2022, the club combined forces with the Cooler Compost Project to sort and empty compost bins in the Tiger Cooler.
This club endeavors to reduce the amount of waste that enters landfills and decrease the number of new goods being purchased at retail stores. At the end of each semester, especially during the spring Move Out, they collect used items from each residence hall. These items are re-sold to the Oxy community at very low prices.
Public Health Club
This club presents events and campaigns that relate to the intersection of health and sustainability. It has helped to facilitate a compost project on campus, led a campaign to remove plastic water bottles from campus dining facilities and made sustainable menstrual products available to students at no cost.
Sunrise Oxy is a student organization dedicated to building student power and winning climate justice initiatives on campus and in LA. Sunrise played a strong role in Oxy's divestment from fossil fuels in 2022, as well as a supporting role in the transition to reusable take-out ware at Campus Dining. In addition, Sunrise Oxy helps local climate champions get elected to public office, and conducts mutual aid projects in solidarity with people on the front lines of the climate crisis.
SOCC is a sustainability and climate justice-oriented club that seeks to educate and engage Oxy students about sustainability, public transit, food justice, and climate justice and seeks to make the outdoors more accessible to students. SOCC hosts a variety of events throughout the school year to foster more sustainable global citizens. In the past, the club has taken groups to local farmers markets via public transit, gone on group hikes, cleaned beaches, and hosted a clothes mending workshop.
Moore Lab of Zoology
The mission of the Moore Laboratory of Zoology is to answer outstanding questions about the origins of biodiversity and how species respond to environmental change by linking information from the habitats and genomes of species with physical specimens in their collection. Currently, 65,000 specimens, mostly bird study skins originating from Mexico and Latin America, are housed within the collection.
Urban & Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI)
UEPI is an applied research and advocacy center whose mission is to advance community-driven programs and policies to build healthy, thriving communities while achieving social, economic and environmental justice.
Vantuna Research Group
Since 1966, the Vantuna Research Group has been monitoring and researching the marine environment of Southern and Baja California. Their research program features both the longest continual time series studies of rocky reefs in the world and the largest spatial scale studies of reefs in the Southern California Bight.
Food Systems Working Group (FSWG)
FSWG is dedicated to working collaboratively with the Oxy community to increase socially and environmentally responsible practices in our campus food system. Its primary duty is to harness the resources of Campus Dining, the Food Studies cluster, UEPI, and students in order to oversee, update and execute the goals of the "Food at Oxy" Resource Guide.
Occidental Sustainable Investment Fund (OSIF)
Oxy has committed $3.5 million from within the College endowment toward OSIF. This fund makes loans across the campus community, enabling investments in energy and water efficiency upgrades as well as other projects that generate utility cost savings and reduce the environmental impact of the College’s operations.