Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC)

SERC LogoMission: The Student Environmental Resource Center (SERC) cultivates a collaborative space to strengthen the collective effectiveness of the sustainability community, and provides resources for students to actualize their visions of a more equitable, socially just, and resilient future.

As of January 2014: Visit us at http://serc.berkeley.edu for the most updated information on SERC.

 

TGIF Application Project Leads: Nolan Pack, Mauricio Castillo, Noah Puni, Katherine Walsh

2013-2014 Student Staff Positions:

  • Roberta Giordano - Chief of Staff
  • Louis Spanias - Internal Director
  • Angela Meese Shen - External Director
  • Magnolia Barrett - Education Director
  • Hanna Morris - Communications Director
  • Phoebe Song - Finance Director

Interns: Qusai Bhaijeewala, Samantha Klein, Kristen Chen, Regina Clincy, Angie Shen, Manon von Kaenel, Stella Kim

Staff Director: Katherine Walsh

2012-2013 Student Staff Positions:

  • Noah Puni - Director
  • Katie Hoffman - Chief of Staff
  • Zen Trenholm - Finance Director
  • Omead Kohanteb - Internal Communications Director
  • Roberta Giordano - Administrative Assistant
  • Mauricio Castillo - External Communications Director
  • Justine Rembac - Education Director


Sponsor: ASUC

TGIF Grant: $12,000; additional $5,000 awarded in spring 2013 for CSSC and Earth Week; additional $5,000 awarded in spring 2014 for student staff.

Project Theme: Education & Behavior Change

Project Location
- 337 Mulford Hall (student office); Hearst Gym Suite 2A (student office); 102 Hearst Gym (Director office)

2012 Application Submission

Appendix

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This grant will initiate the establishment of a permanent Student Environmental Resource Center by funding five implementation & planning interns and a workshop for setting objectives and plans.

SERC website

Goals: Create the Student Environmental Resource Center as an on-campus physical space for the campus groups and students with interest in taking action to reduce environmental impacts and to raise awareness of environmental issues. Use the SERC to discuss ideas and provide resources, tools, and manpower to execute sustainability projects and environmental campaigns. Create a small environmental library and computer center for center visitors. Provide advising, grant-writing support, project development materials, and employment opportunities. Strengthen the collective effectiveness and durability of campus sustainability efforts by providing information, opportunities, and services to students and student groups with an interest in sustainability. Provide a physical space for the Zero Waste Research Center, the Plastic Disclosure Project, and The Green Initiative Fund.

TGIF Blog Posts about SERC

Project Photos
 
2013 Project Poster
 


2012-2013 Accomplishments

  • Student Staff Members for SERC were hired.
  • SERC made an agreement with ECO and the ASUC Green Certification Program to house their organizations within SERC.
  • SERC acquired short-term temporary space (October 2012-January 2013) in Lower Sproul thanks to the generosity of the Cal Student Bookstore.
  • SERC officially opened on Friday, October 12, 2012.
    • SERC hosted Kristin Hansen from UC San Diego during the grand opening of SERC. Ms. Hansen gave a presentation on the topic of opening and managing a student environmental resource center.
    • Photos from the grand opening of SERC.
  • SERC presented to the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Sustainability.
  • SERC presented to ESPM Chair Ron Amundson and the ESMP Council.

 

    • SERC is now located in 337 Mulford Hall thanks to the generous support of the ESPM department. 
    • SERC was open daily during the academic year from 9am-6pm.
    • Held Grand Re-opening at the new location in Mulford Hall. Over 20 students in attendance.
    • The Center had an estimated 75 walk-ins during the fall and spring semesters.
    • 11 student groups used the center to hold group meetings.
  • Passed 2 Bills through the ASUC:
    • SB 85: An ASUC Senate Bill supporting the establishment and long term durability of the Student Environmental Resource Center.
A Bill in Support of Establishing the Student Environmental Resource Center
WHEREAS, U.C. Berkeley's existing themed resource centers provide valuable services to many communities and student organizations on campus; and

WHEREAS, U.C. Berkeley has over 30 environmental clubs and organizations and thousands of students enrolled in academic programs that relate directly to sustainability; and

WHEREAS, there is currently no dedicated space on campus intended or equipped to unite and empower environmentally conscious students and student groups; and

WHEREAS, the Student Environmental Resource Center would provide moral and structural support for environmentally conscious students and student groups by offering space and services to foster effective environmental leadership, thereby strengthening the collective effectiveness and durability of campus sustainability efforts; and

WHEREAS, environment-themed resource centers have been implemented and sustained successfully at other University campuses, such as U.C. Santa Cruz, and U.C. San Diego; and

WHEREAS, a Student Environmental Resource Center has been created and funded by The Green Initiative Fund and is supported by key clubs, organizations, and student leaders in U.C. Berkeley's environmental community;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that ASUC support the establishment of a Student Environmental Resource Center on campus designed to provide information, opportunities, and services to students and student groups with an interest in sustainability; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC President write a letter of support for the Student Environmental Resource Center, addressed to necessary staff and administrators, to advocate for the establishment of the center as a permanent University program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ASUC recognize the Student Environmental Resource Center as a first year Student Initiated Service Group; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the ASUC advocate for a permanent space for the Student Environmental Resource Center in a visible and accessible campus location.
    • SB 10: An ASUC senate bill abiding the ASUC to divest its 3 million dollar endowment from fossil fuels.
  • SERC successfully applied for a DeCal which was taught during spring semester 2013.
    • Launched Decal "Environmental Student Organizations at Cal". Over 25 students in attendance.
  • Co-sponsored the 2013 California Student Sustainability Coalition Spring Convergence at UC Berkeley.
    • Facebook Invitation
    • A 3 day event which included 3 keynote speakers, 3 discussion panels, and over 50 workshops.
    • Over 500 students in attendance. Free for UC Berkeley students.
    • Recap of the event.
  • Co-hosted several organizational and leadership development events and workshops. Including CSSC, over 700 students attended SERC-hosted activities and events:
  • Informational Resources and Lending Library
    • SERC received donations of informational resources from off-campus organizations such as World Wide Opportunities on Organic Fair, Rainforest Alliance, Amazon Watch, Student Sierra Coalition, International Forum on Globalization, Bay Localize!, Greenlining Institute, Fair Trade Universities, Save West Berkeley campaign, the No on 37 Campaign.
    • SERC received more than 50 donated sustainability-related books and operated a lending system that allowed more than 20 students to check-out books.
  • Publicity/Visibility:
    • Developed a SERC website.
    • SERC was featured in several ESPM newsletters and Daily Cal articles.
    • The SERC UC Berkeley Facebook page has 1200 likes as of fall 2013.
    • Events were publicized through: the ESPM Department, the Daily Cal, events.berkeley.edu, Facebook, CSSC, Sprouling/flyering, and Academic Listservs:
      • Conservation and Resource Studies, Society and Environment, Forestry, Environmental Science.
  • Formed a partnership with the Berkeley Institute of the Environment, which will be absorbed into the Berkeley Environmental Network. SERC's established network will be known as the Berkeley Environmental Network of Students.
  • Hired student staff for 2013-2014, held a 2 hour transition meeting with them.

 

2013-2014 Accomplishments

In fall 2013, SERC transitioned from being a student organization to being a functional area within the LEAD Center, a unit within ASUC Auxiliary in the Division of Student Affairs, and hired its first staff Director. Since the transition, SERC programming highlights have included teaching 3 DeCals, founding the SERC Blog and SERC Workshop Series, supporting the creation of Words of the Watershed, sending 13 UC Berkeley Students to PowerShift 2013 in Pittsburgh, PA, coordinating Earth Week 2014, and co-hosting with the Career Center the 2014 Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Career Fair. Please visit serc.berkeley.edu for additional details and future reporting of accomplishments.

SERC offers the following programs:

  • The Green Initiative Fund
  • Zero Waste Research Center
  • Nature Village: Sustainable Family Living at University Village
  • Environmental Coalition (ECO)
  • Workshops & Trainings
  • Career Series
  • Film Series
  • Social Greens
  • SERC DeCals
  • SERC Blog & SERC Vlogs
  • Words of the Watershed Journal
  • Food Week & Earth Week Leadership
  • California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) Council Representation


SERC Offers the following services:

  • Current database of UC Berkeley Sustainability Co-Curricular Education
  • Current directory of UC Berkeley environmental and sustainability student organizations
  • Green Certification Program for Student Orgs (Coming Soon!)
  • SERC Mobile App
  • SERC Newsletter
  • SERC Campus Events Calendar
  • Peer and staff advising for students and student orgs
  • Support for students to attend sustainability conferences and trainings
  • Connections with on and off-campus environmental and sustainability resources
  • Advertising for student organization activities
  • Limited funding and sponsorship for student activities


Ways students can get involved with SERC:

  1. Attend or volunteer with SERC’s programs and events.
  2. Join the SERC Blog Staff.
  3. Take a SERC DeCal- SERC is offering six in 2014-2015 (3/semester).
  4. Apply for a grant from The Green Initiative Fund.
  5. Join the Words of the Watershed Journal staff or contribute submissions to WoW.
  6. Join one of UC Berkeley’s 35+ student sustainability or environmental organizations.
  7. Represent a student organization on the Environmental Coalition (ECO).
  8. Apply for a paid or unpaid internship within the SERC portfolio.
  9. Represent UC Berkeley on the California Student Sustainability Coalition (CSSC) Council.
  10. Join the annual Earth Week Planning Committee.
  11. Join the SERC Newsletter or Social Media outlets.
  12. Download the free SERC Sustainable Living Mobile App and utilize coupons and resources.
  13. Attend SERC Office Hours and receive specialized advising from a SERC staff person.

 

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.