Most Green Offices (GOs) want to support sustainability student initiatives. But how to do that? Learn more in this blogpost on how to organise this support.
In case that your university doesn’t support sustainability student initiatives well, then you might want to become active. Depending on how much support you want to give, you could dedicate 1-2 student employees – and volunteers – to organise the following activities:
1. Visibility: A lack of overview makes it difficult for students to find and join sustainability student initiatives focused. Gothenburg Students for Sustainability created a website that offers a good overview of all sustainability student initiatives and their contact details.
2. Joint board meetings: Once you identified sustainability student initiatives, it is a good idea to reach out to them and organise a meeting of all boards. Multiple Green Offices are doing this and it provides the basis for further exchange, support activities and even joint events. The meetings could become regular, taking place every 6-8 weeks.
3. Joint events: Often student initiatives compete, because they organise similar events – sometimes at a similar time. Green Office Konstanz brought initiatives together to co-organise an annual sustainability week. They started off organising a sustainability day, which then developed into a whole week of activities. Such a joint event is a tangible and very visible way for initiatives to work together.
4. Trainings: Student initiatives often lack basic professional skills. Maastricht University Green Office organised an academy that included two hours workshops every month over one semester. Students from sustainability student groups and projects could participate. They got trained on project management, running team meetings, organising team transitions, etc.
5. Advice: Initiatives often struggle to navigate the complex organisational maze of the university. Green Office VU emphasises on its website and other communications that student groups can contact the community coordinator to get advice and feedback if they need to.
6. Micro-grants: Student initiatives often don’t have funding. Initiatives at Utrecht University can apply for micro-grants at their GO. The initiatives need to fill out a form that they can find on the website of the GO, hand it in and then receive funding for smaller projects.
Written by Felix Spira. Please email Felix if you have another good practice. Photo by rootAbility