To say that this summer’s weather was volatile would be an understatement. We watched almost daily reports of catastrophic heat and floods and of deadly winds and fires; others experienced it firsthand and tragically. No part of the world has been untouched by the consequences of climate change. It is the existential crisis of our time. As they have historically, SF State faculty, staff and students are stepping up to meet the challenge.
SF State is a leader in reducing single-use plastics and moving toward reusable and compostable materials. SF State PATH water bottles are prevalent across campus — an innovation of alumnus Gulshan Kumar (B.A., ’15). Our newest buildings are or are anticipated to be LEED Gold certified or better. While change on campus is important, it is not enough. We must change the world.
Our focus is on developing leaders in fighting climate change across all disciplines. We will need scientists and entrepreneurs, community activists and public health administrators, teachers and artists — we all need to work together. Our Climate HQ and the Climate Justice Leaders Initiative allow us to do just that. Created to support SF State’s exceptionally diverse students, staff and faculty to become climate justice leaders while advancing the economic interests of California, Climate HQ harnesses the power of California’s economy and educational system to foster climate innovation and change. We can change the world.
As I welcomed over 20,000 enthusiastic students back to campus in August, I was struck again by what an honor it is to work at SF State — a university rated sixth in California for Black student enrollment, 12th for Asian/Asian American and Latinx enrollment and with students from every ethnic, racial and cultural background. I am privileged in my daily experience in ways that many are not. I invite you all to come visit, join me on a campus walk and see the beauty that is SF State.
Lynn Mahoney, Ph.D.