Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Sustainable Transportation Class this Winter

Transportation projects at UC Santa Cruz are really rolling this year, with a number of new projects taking shape in addition to the continuation of past programs. With all of the exciting work happening regarding how we get from place to place, students are seeking ways to collaborate, network, and stay better connected so that projects can support one another and have collectively greater impacts in the UCSC and Santa Cruz communities.

New Sustainable Transportation Course 
To bring together the many student projects related to transportation on and off-campus for this increased communication, a hands-on class with an internship component titled "People Power: Engaging Sustainable Transportation Solutions" is being offered through the Common Ground Center in Kresge College that will meet weekly for discussion, sharing of project ideas, and updates. The occasional walk or bike ride across campus will be part of opportunities to reflect on barriers and opportunities to encourage more students to use these methods while getting around campus instead of busing or driving. Community and campus leaders working on transportation initiatives, including representatives from People Power of Santa Cruz County, Ecology Action, Transportation and Parking Services, Fleet Services, health organizations that promote walking, and public transportation groups like Santa Cruz Metro will be invited to speak and answer questions in the class throughout the quarter.

Two undergraduate students, Alex Hoffman (third year Physics) and Melissa Ott (fourth year Literature), will be designing and facilitating the class with the guidance of David Shaw, co-founder of the Common Ground Center and Kresge College faculty member. The 2-unit class has 20 spots open for any students who are interested in sustainable transportation solutions, as well as students who are already working on projects related to transportation on or off-campus. Students who are not currently part of a project will be matched up with a project of their choice from a list of ideas, including some generated by People Power of Santa Cruz County and one of its programs Green Ways to School. People Power is a bike advocacy organization in the Santa Cruz community, and Green Ways to School is a program with a mission to get more youth on bicycles for getting to school and around town.

The course will also have time set aside each week for ideas sharing and brainstorming together, which is open to the public and to students who aren't able to commit to enrolling in the class. Each week's class will have a theme for discussion, including diverse topics like social justice, feminism, accessibility, environmental sustainability, community building, and place making.

All students are invited to apply for this hands-on class. Because of the limited number of spaces, there is an application that can be submitted here. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and it is recommended that you submit your application by December 30. The class will be held Friday mornings from 8 AM - 10:40 AM, complete with breakfast potlucks and Community Agroecology Network coffee to get the innovative thought wheels turning at the start of the day.

Campus Transportation Projects 
Here's a snapshot of some of the transportation projects taking place on and off-campus by UCSC students. The hope is that these students will participate in the class in order to create more community and connection among the various programs:

Find Out More
If you are interested in learning more, know about transportation resources or programs not mentioned here, or want to get involved in the class in any way, please email Melissa Ott at mott [at] ucsc [dot] edu. To apply, please submit your application here.

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