First-at-CSU green summit this Friday
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Environmentally conscious students will throw a party this Friday at SF State celebrating all things green, and students from all over California are invited.

The California Student Sustainability Coalition, a group representing students from 12 state universities including SF State, will host its fall convergence on campus from Oct. 24-26. It is free and open to the public.

This convergence will be the first to take place at a CSU since the group’s inception in 2003. Organizers said they predict it will be the largest yet, drawing hundreds of students active in environmental issues from around the state.

“It’s such an amazing event for people from all majors. You don’t have to be a student in environmental studies to want to come to this,” said Suzanne McNulty, member of the CSSC and ECO Students, SF State’s student group for the environmentally conscious. “It’s an amazing opportunity to meet a variety of people. Social time at these things is pretty kick-ass.”

“The whole idea is to come together, learn together with other people in the state under the umbrella of sustainability,” said Keir Johnson, a member of ECO Students Housing helping to organize the event. For three days, students will participate in interactive workshops and discussions on topics ranging from “War, Environment and Social Justice” to “Greening Capitalism.”

“If you’re interested in business, politics, health, social justice, the environment, film, psychology…somebody there will speak specifically to that major. There’s just a little bit of something for everyone,” McNulty said.

Sharing experiences and information on these topics will allow students to contribute to “a beautiful well of knowledge brought to the events” and “bring home what they learned,” Johnson said. And while local attendees will learn about green programs at other universities, some presentations will “highlight SF State’s sustainability efforts on a statewide level. A lot of eyes will be on SF State.”

Activities planned for Friday include guided tours of Lake Merced and urban gardens within San Francisco, such as the new rooftop garden at Glide Memorial Church and the Civic Center’s victory garden, Johnson said.

An Environmental Film Festival will screen topical documentaries and other videos in HSS 154 on all three days. So if students want an educational break during the festivities, “you could just chill and watch some movies,” McNulty said.

Saturday morning will feature keynote speaker Lt. Gov. John Garamendi and a Power Vote Rally. In Jack Adams Hall at 9:45 a.m., Garamendi will address students about the importance of using political action to promote sustainability.

The 10 a.m. rally in the Quad will focus on passing San Francisco’s Measure H “to let our community and supervisors know that a lot of students want clean energy and they want it now,” McNulty said.

Sunday’s main activity will be a group project: planting native drought-resistant plants around SF State’s community garden by University Housing. The project will let attendees “leave their mark [on SF State] in a positive way,” Johnson said.

For the latest schedule of events on each day of the Convergence, visit http://sustainabilitycoalition.org/index.php?page=convergence-schedule.

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