There are numerous volunteer-run student clubs, organizations and initiatives at UBC focused on sustainability. While some activities are in specific departments or faculties, many are open to students of all disciplines. All offer plenty of opportunities to meet new people and explore the many facets of sustainability.
The Botany Enthusiasts Club (BEC) is the first and only Botany Club at UBC, and the only student club directly affiliated with the UBC Department of Botany. BEC seeks to bring together UBC faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates who share a passion for the discipline of botany and/or a general interest in plants. Throughout the Winter Session, the executive members of BEC organize a variety of plant-related activities and events that promote the building of a community of plant admirers at UBC (please check below for the schedule of events). Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend these events, as long as they share our love for plants.
The Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE) Sustainability Club is made up of students and faculty who wish to serve as a model of sustainability for individual members and our University community. The main goal of the club is to foster a culture of sustainability in the department and on campus. This is achieved through Education, Academic Integration and Enhancement of department sustainability. The club organizes events, including movie nights, regular speaker series, field trips and large e-waste collection. The club also has a number of ongoing projects, including a bi-weekly newsletter, organic waste collection, e-waste collection and a departmental sustainability assessment. Please contact us if you would like to receive the newsletter or become involved with the club. We welcome new members from any department.
The Commerce Undergraduate Society (CUS) Sustainability's mission is to provide opportunities for Sauder School of Business students to educate themselves on what sustainability means in the context of business; to motivate students to integrate sustainability into their professional and personal lives; and to use the Commerce Undergraduate Society as a model for how sustainability can be implemented into the operations and strategic thinking of an organization. In only its second year of operation, CUS Sustainability has successfully hosted two Chasing Sustainability Conferences, which have brought together a diverse and engaged group of students, faculty, and members of Vancouver’s business community in an intimate, discussion-oriented setting aimed at educating students about the current paradigm shift affecting the business world. Through the efforts of CUS Sustainability, the Sauder School of Business is now offering a Business and Sustainability concentration! Please visit our website for more information about our committee, events, and initiatives.
EESA is a student society dedicated to providing environmental engineering students many valuable resources and bridging the student bodies of UBC and UNBC. Throughout the year, EESA strives to involve environmental engineering students in various national conferences and competitions.
The Environmental Science Students Association (ESSA) is the student club representing the environmental science program at UBC. We are dedicated to bringing together people with a passion for the environment. To do this, we organize social events for students to get to know each other outside the classroom. We also put on academic conferences and discussions with professionals in the environmental sciences field, as well as study groups for the program's core courses. We also take part in events promoting public awareness of environmental issues. Please contact us anytime if you are interested in joining ESSA or the environmental science program!
The Forestry Undergraduate Society (FUS) consists of the undergraduate students enrolled in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. The FUS Council directs the FUS and represents the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC for the Faculty of Forestry. About 20 elected student members embody the Council and are made up of individuals in all years and degree programs. The FUS Council shines with their enthusiasm for their fellow colleagues by providing professional, educational, recreational and social opportunities. They coordinate events to allow students to achieve certificates, participate in intramural sports teams, benefit from social events, partake in engaging presentations, and much more. The FUS ensures that each student will leave UBC with experiences they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
The Geography Students Association (GSA) is one of the most active student organizations on campus. The GSA strives to build and maintain a sense of community within the geography department, and maintain a liaison between the students, staff and faculty. We promote social, academic and leadership opportunities for our members and strive to make our club and department sustainable socially, environmentally and economically. The GSA offers beer gardens, majors nights, graduate school information sessions, bake sales, a UBC Rec sports team, field trips and many more community events!
GEOROX is the Geological Engineering undergraduate club. GeoRox are keen participants in intramural sports, field excursions, the "Back from Bush Bash" and the Engineers' Ball. They organize the annual GeoRox Alumni Dinner, and the Distinguished Lecturer industry night.
The Land and Food Systems Undergraduate Society is a student-run organization committed to building a sense of community within the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. From growing and harvesting to cooking and eating, the faculty knows all about food and understands the unique ability food has to bring people together. The LFSUS knows that students may not always have the means or time to cook nutritious meals for themselves. With this in mind, every week LFSUS members plan, shop for and prepare dinner for students, faculty and staff. The dinners have grown in popularity, and now the LFSUS serves meals for upwards of 100 people each week. The menu focuses around local seasonal food and tries to uses produce from the UBC Farm and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems Orchard Garden when available. Food is at the heart of all Faculty of Land and Food Systems members, and it is what they do best!
The Law Student Society (LSS) is a student-run organization operating out of the Faculty of Law at UBC. Our primary goal is to promote greater awareness of the legal aspects of current environmental problems to the community and to offer opportunities to law students to understand the practice of environmental law. The LSS sponsors many events at the law school, including an Environmental Negotiation Competition, Career Panel, field trips, and more. In the past year, the LSS has hosted these and other events, and submitted environmental suggestions to the committee planning a new law building.
Our mission is to enhance the personal, professional and academic success of psychology students in UBC by working together with the Department of Psychology. We try to accomplish this mission in large part by holding great academic and social events throughout the academic year. By signing up as a PSA member for a modest annual fee of $10, you will get free access to every academic and social event, information about research or volunteer opportunities, 15% discount off of graduation photos and a great opportunity to meet fellow members who love Psychology.
The University of British Columbia Emerging Green Builders (UBC EGB) engages a robust inter-disciplinary network of students, scholars, professors, practitioners, and administrators concerned with the future of the built environment. We intend to provide students and new professionals affordable resources for integrating green design in their studies and practice. Further, it is our mission to partake in advancing UBC and the Pacific Northwest as a global leader in sustainable design, development, and building.
The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm stewards a diverse, integrated on-campus 24-hectare farm system for learning, research, and community service. UBC Farm is a one-of-a-kind facility that brings together the rural and the urban, connecting people with the source of their food. The farm explores how food systems can meet the challenges of climate change and improve the health and well-being of our communities. UBC Farm welcomes learners of all ages, researchers and students from all disciplines, First Nations groups, and visitors from around the world.
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The UBC Alma Mater Society (AMS) recognizes the ecological crisis that humanity faces and the special responsibility universities and university students have in finding and implementing solutions. The creation of the AMS Sustainability provides a framework for walking the talk. From local food security, responsible consumption, and a youth climate action coalition to a water bottle-free campus campaign, community-based social marketing and the Natural Step Framework, the AMS Sustainability initiative showcases the many faces of sustainability, strives to build stronger campus sustainability networks and fosters sustainable behavior change in our everyday life. Please contact us to get involved.
The Bike Kitchen is UBC's non-profit, student-owned, full-service bike shop. The shop was founded by the UBC Bike Co-op, with the support of the UBC Alma Mater Society and the Trek Program Centre. At the Bike Kitchen, you can purchase a fully refurbished and guaranteed used bicycle; donate your old bike and parts; fix your bike with our tools; learn to fix your bike if you don't already know how; leave your bike for repairs if you're too busy; and choose from a wide selection of new and used parts and accessories.
Friends of the UBC Farm (FotF) is a group open to both students (as a UBC Alma Mater Society club) and the wider community. Our mission is to support the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm by increasing awareness about the value of the UBC Farm and its education, research and community outreach programs at UBC and wider communities. Of course, we love food, and we love doing fun activities relating to land, food and community.
This year, FotF will be working to support the successful adoption of the Sustainability Academic Strategy and the South Campus Academic Plan, which outline the long-term future for the farm. We will also continue to organize fun workshops and events at the farm, and raise awareness about the farm through our presence at outreach events throughout the city. If you are interested in connecting with this great community of students and non-students, feel free to drop into our weekly meetings or send us an e-mail.
Pride UBC is a UBC Alma Mater Society resource group that offers educational and social services dealing with sexuality to the UBC community. We provide support and information to those who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, asexual, transgendered, allies and other colors of the rainbow. We assist people who are coming out, supply a forum for dialogue about sexuality, hold social events, and educate the wider UBC community about the variation in human sexuality. Members of the group come from diverse backgrounds, and everyone is welcome regardless of sexuality.
Sprouts is a favourite destination for seasonal organic soups, fresh organic bread, baked goods, and fair trade coffee. We also offer workshops and a grocery delivery service, organize a bulk grocery buying club, and host a bi-weekly free lunch (Community Eats). A dynamic, volunteer-powered initiative, we aim to connect customers to the land and people that grow their food. E-mail us regarding volunteer opportunities. Placements begin in September and throughout the year. We're located in the SUB basement, room 66, and we are open Monday–Friday from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. during the regular semester.
The Social Justice Centre (SJC) is a Resource Groups of the Alma Mater Society at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. We recognize that there are immense socio-economic inequalities both globally and in our communities. These inequalities are inherently unjust. At the SJC we aim to take action to abolish these inequalities.
The Student Environment Centre (SEC) is a resource group mandated by the UBC Alma Mater Society for people within the UBC community who are concerned, or would like to learn more about, environmental problems and the broader issues of sustainability facing our planet. We provide environmental and sustainability resources to the UBC community and organize events throughout the year on campus, such as Responsible Consumption Week, and events for our members, such as the annual Bike to Wildwood. If you have an idea for an environmental event or program, you can apply to SEC for funding and we are happy to provide advice, volunteers, funding and any other support you may need for your project. Our meetings are every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. in Room 245 in the Student Union Building. If you can’t attend, sign up for our listserv to receive weekly newsletters and updates about environmental activities happening around campus and in Vancouver.
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AIESEC, the world’s largest student-run organization, is the international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential to have a positive impact on society. In partnership with business and higher education, AIESEC has over 50 years’ experience in developing high-potential students into globally-minded, responsible leaders. AIESEC’s innovative development process consists of unmatched leadership experiences and global internships. Through active participations in internship programs and national conferences, students have the opportunity to develop their professional skills and develop an international perspective while making many memorable friends and memories.
The Bike Co-op provides students and the wider community with an accessible environment where they can learn to fix bicycles, share resources, and work together. Members engage in cycling EDUCATION, OUTREACH, and ADVOCACY to promote biking as a safe and sustainable means of transportation.
Common Energy UBC is a student-run organization of diverse and forward-thinking individuals working to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of the UBC community. We aim to affect real change by building strong networks and working proactively with the University. We strive to foster leadership and engage our peers through innovative programming. We currently have four subgroups–Challenges, Food, Dialogue and Tangible Solutions–working in dynamic ways to create a more sustainable UBC community. Contact us at any time to join a team or find out more!
The University of British Columbia chapter of Engineers Without Borders is a dedicated family of student volunteers, working to create systemic change to improve the livelihood of people in developing countries. And it’s not just for engineers! We are one of 34 professional and student chapters that is working to create lasting change. By engaging fellow Canadians, government, UBC faculty, and companies, we promote building connections to Africa and making choices that better contribute to human development.
Made up of Environmental Design students in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, our primary focus is to provide academic and social support for the program’s students. In addition, we communicate to a wider audience the role of design in shaping the way we inhabit and form relationships to our natural and built environments.
We're a diverse group of students, both undergraduate and graduate, working toward creating an inclusive learning and working environment. We raise student awareness via workshop education and outreach activities to: Better recognize prejudices in ourselves and others, identify ways of responding to situations of discrimination and harassment, and discuss strategies for working to build a socially responsible campus community. Social justice and dedication to promoting human rights and inclusivity for all students, staff, and faculty is the common goal for all Equity Ambassadors.
Founded in 1976, the Friends of the Garden or ‘FOGs’, are members of a volunteer-based branch of the botanical garden dedicated to assisting the UBC Botanical Garden in maintaining its position as a valued member of the University community and strengthening its reputation nationally and internationally as a world class centre for horticultural research and education. Comprising 160 active members, FOGs assist in the planning and execution of events, operation of specific garden features such as the Shop in the Garden, and play a critical role in fundraising and generating new membership. Being a FOG is more than just volunteering, it’s a commitment to upholding the mission of the garden, and ensuring that the garden remains a sanctuary for the preservation of both native and global biodiversity not only in the present, but also into the future.
The group's mission is to support the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm through fundraising and increasing awareness about the value of the UBC Farm, its education, research and community outreach programs in both the UBC and wider communities.
Friends of Wetlands combines education, volunteering, and socializing with anything related to wetlands and conservation. Volunteer opportunities include regular work parties at Camosun Bog, Jericho Beach, and participation in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. In spring 2006, a small area of Camosun Bog was designated "FOWL Bog", and FOWL volunteers were given the title of Crazy Boggers!
There is also ample opportunity for socializing and making new friends. We go on several camping trips each year to places like Pitt Lake, Garibaldi Park, and Green Drop Lake. We have also gone on educational trips to Burns Bog and the Delta Bird Sanctuary.
If you are interested in making a difference in the world around you, the Global Lounge provides you with an opportunity to connect with other UBC students and get involved with the international issues that matter to you. The Simon K.Y. Lee Global Lounge & Resource Centre at the UBC serves as a home base for globally-focused UBC student clubs and organizations, currently representing membership of more than 1000 students. With funding and operational support from the University, these groups are committed to dialogue and action, regularly sponsoring programs and initiatives that foster intercultural understanding and international engagement, and build a community among students, faculty, and staff interested in global issues.
The Global Outreach Students' Association (GOSA) is an interdisciplinary group that provides students with opportunities to learn about health and development issues. GOSA primarily focuses on raising awareness about the complex issues surrounding health in less developed countries. We provide students the opportunity to gain practical experience working within disadvantaged communities locally and internationally.
We also organize an annual conference to bring together experts, students and members of the community to further understanding of how to address health issues. Through these initiatives we aim to generate student involvement and stimulate awareness about the nature of international development and global health, expanding the network of individuals active in nurturing sustainable development.
oikos Vancouver is a newly founded chapter amongst many others in over thirty three countries around the world. Each oikos chapter is led by a group of University students passionate about Sustainable Economic Development and Sustainable Business Practices.
Oxfam UBC is committed to developing innovative ways to support Oxfam's important aid and relief work, and to raising awareness of global poverty. We act locally, helping to create UBC's Ethical Purchasing Policy Committee, which draws together representatives from the UBC Alma Mater Society, the administration, and Oxfam Canada, and is committed to the goal of a "No Sweat" campus. We also foster partnerships to host exciting events such as fundraiser dinners, film nights, concerts, rallies, Uneven Playing Field soccer games, and workshops. Come join us and take this opportunity to act locally on global issues, while meeting great people and building lifelong skills.
The Sauder School of Business's Net Impact Club is devoted to finding business solutions that promote environmental and social sustainability. It's Sauder's largest student club and has over 130 members. The group hosts speakers, pro-bono consulting sessions and other social and networking events. Net Impact members attend conferences worldwide and volunteer in the community to make an impact. Its flagship event is the Sauder Net Impact Conference and Career Fair which occurs each spring, bringing in 160 attendees, and representatives from 40 community-minded organizations. In 2009, prominent conference speakers included Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and the David Suzuki Foundation’s CEO, Peter Robinson.
We're here to give you opportunities to take part in incredible projects in the field of social enterprise. We seek to educate students about all aspects of social enterprise, engage students in active examples of social enterprise, and connect students to social enterprise organizations and professionals and other students, locally and internationally.
Whether you've been involved in social enterprise before or you're completely new to the field, we welcome you into a community of individuals passionate about social enterprise. We offer many exciting events and opportunities for you to deepen your knowledge, be engaged, and become inspired.
The Sustainability Ambassadors Peer Program is a sustainability education outreach activity of the UBC Sustainability Initiative (USI) Teaching & Learning Office. Volunteer Ambassadors work with the Sustainability Student Advisor as part of a team to deliver sustainability programming to fellow students on the UBC-Vancouver campus. They also network with student groups on campus to promote sustainability education.
Sustainability in Residence activities at UBC are organized collaboratively between Residence Life and Campus Sustainability.
Want to learn more about your wellbeing as a student? Interested in topics like healthy eating, sleeping, safer sex and stress management? Stop by the UBC Wellness Centre and chat with a Wellness Peer!