The goal of the Student Systems Conference is to virtually bring together students, staff, and faculty from colleges and universities across the United States to discuss important problems students are facing regarding environmental issues at their respective campuses. The conference seeks to not only facilitate relationship building across campuses, but also to collaboratively work on action items that demonstrate collective support and solidarity for different policies, initiatives, or movements students are working on.
Maddie Miller (University of Minnesota) and Natalie Tinsen (University of Wisconsin–Madison) met when they were both selected to represent their Universities for the Midwest Regional Climate Summit. Maddie and Natalie served on the same planning committee and quickly bonded over the same barriers they face while trying to advocate for a more sustainable future. From there, Maddie and Natalie worked together to present a special session as part of the Midwest Climate Summit that directly focused on the student needs and perspectives on sustainability. The conference held in 2021 was insightful and inspiring for all students that attended, and it in turn inducted the Student Systems Conference as an annual event.
On Friday, March 4th from 12-3 pm CT the Student Systems Conference will consist of a panel discussion from different student organizations and then follow up with several breakout sessions that discuss the area of focus of each student group. The sessions will additionally work on one action item to address an issue across the attendees’ campuses to take tangible steps to achieve their goals. The conference chairs want to ensure that the conference is a welcoming and meaningful experience for all students to share their achievements, hardships, and experiences in advocating for sustainability and environmental justice at their campuses and in their communities.
(all times listed in Central Standard Time)
Breakout session 1 – Introductions to one another and the topics
Main session, break
Breakout session 2 – Action planning
Main session, closing remarks
Breakout sessions led by student group leaders
- Sustainability on and off campus
- Food justice and agriculture
- Fashion and consumer habits
- Environmental justice and advocacy organizing
- Food sovereignty and relationships to the food system
- Divestment and the fossil fuel industry