Consonant with our Jesuit and Catholic identity, we believe that respect for creation and the integral development and flourishing of the human person are inseparable from a faith that does justice. The Advisory Council on Stewardship and Sustainability (ACSS) is an ad hoc University committee in service to sustainability efforts at Gonzaga, and specifically to the carrying out of the Gonzaga University Climate Action Plan, which was reviewed and approved by President Thayne McCulloh in January 2013. As such, the ACSS works collaboratively with the Director of Sustainability to provide support and advice for him and for the President, as well as to engage with other individuals or groups on campus who are or become involved in sustainability projects.
A Brief History
In September of 2008, Psychology Professor Monica Bartlett began laying the groundwork for reviving a group of students, faculty, and staff to address environmental issues on campus. Monica partnered with Philosophy Professor Brian Henning, who had experience creating and organizing a stewardship committee at his former institution. Throughout the fall of 2008, the group (consisting of faculty, staff and students) met regularly to discuss organization, purpose, and duties.
It was known that many projects/classes/research aimed at reducing waste and cutting energy consumption were already happening at Gonzaga. The hope of this group was to gain knowledge about what was already happening on campus, celebrate it, and identify new projects and ideas for the institution to implement.
Sustainability efforts naturally range across the traditional divisions of the institution, including but not limited to Student Development, Mission, University Relations, Budgeting and Finance, Plant Services, and Academics. Then President Robert Spitzer, SJ officially approved the creation of the Advisory Council on Stewardship and Sustainability (ACSS) and its Steering Committee on January 29, 2009. In October of 2010, President Thayne McCulloh signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and officially charged the ACSS with the responsibility of implementing the Commitment.
- The ACSS reviews current and proposed projects and policies concerning energy use, waste disposal and recycling, water use and quality, water and air emissions, air quality, conservation, land use and preservation, biodiversity, and sustainability.
- The ACSS works collaboratively to make recommendations to the President, the Cabinet, and the Director of Sustainability. The ACSS is ready to engage with other individuals or groups on campus who are or become involved in sustainability projects.
- The ACSS assists the Gonzaga Student Body Association in vetting proposals submitted to the Green Fund program.
- The ACSS helps increase environmental awareness and education on campus. The ACSS will assist the Director of Sustainability in maintaining oversight and implementation of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
The ACSS is composed of Gonzaga faculty, staff, students, and community members committed to environmental stewardship and sustainability. The ACSS Steering Committee consists of thirteen voting members: six faculty, three staff, and three students. The Steering Committee also includes the following ex officio, non-voting members: the Director of Sustainability, a representative of the Faculty Senate, the advisors of institutionally recognized, relevant student organizations, the chair of the Environmental Studies program, the director of Physical Plant, and the Groundskeeper supervisor.
The voting members of the Steering Committee are appointed as follows: One staff member is appointed by the Staff Assembly, one staff member is appointed by the Executive Vice President, one staff member is appointed by the Vice President for Student Development. One faculty member will be appointed to the Steering Committee by the Academic Vice President. Three students with appropriate interests and/or from appropriate student organizations will be appointed to the Steering Committee by the Gonzaga Student Body Association. The remaining 5 faculty members of the Steering Committee will be elected. The Steering Committee annually elects its chair before the end of the previous academic year. The Director of Sustainability will serve as an ex officio co-chair. Gonzaga faculty, staff, or students who is interested in participating in the work of the ACSS is invited to join our monthly meetings, held the second Tuesday of every month from 12:15 pm -1 pm in Jepson 120. Please contact us for more information.