Oregon Tech strongly encourages extra curricular involvement in activities as a vital part of a student's college education. Oregon Tech believes that activities serve as an informal laboratory of the formal educational experience, and are beneficial to the individual, especially in developing leadership potential.
The Sustainability Internship program's objective is to involve students in sustainability activities on campus such as proposing conservation measures, conducting energy audits, creating new campus policies, conducting green house gas inventories, and assessing progress on the Oregon Tech Sustainability Plan. OREC Interns have advanced training opportunities in sustainability leadership and skill development and work closely with administration and staff. Interns meet every 2 weeks to discuss project progress with sustainability coordinators.
The Oregon Tech Sustainability Office is staffed by two Oregon Tech students working as Sustainability Assistants. Their responsibilities include supporting the Sustainability Coordinators, handling public relations, coordinating the Recyclemania competition and Earth Day activities, and managing the Sustainability Office. These paid positions (5hrs/wk) are integral to sustainability success at Oregon Tech and provide professional development opportunities for Oregon Tech students.
In the 2008-2009, the Sustainability Club at Oregon Tech improved takeout dishware in the Marketplace, which is the on-campus food service, by changing the Styrofoam takeout containers to "eco-friendly," disposable, compostable containers made from 100% renewable resources. The club meets weekly to discuss upcoming projects and events.
Oregon Tech prioritizes hands-on experience in all program areas; most students are require to complete projects and technical reports. Many students chose to focus their project time on sustainability. Several tech reports have been written on topics such as "Getting Started: The Oregon Tech Local Foods Project" and "Analysis of Oregon Institute of Technology's Waste System." Other student projects have involved hybrid cars, a fuel-cell powered car, a biodiesel generator, a solar powered robot, and energy use monitors in the award-winning sustainable Cannon Beach House. Community members and faculty can post project ideas on the Sustainability Committee wiki. Students can also make an appointment with Oregon Tech Sustainability Coordinators for other ideas.
Oregon Tech's Sustainability Committee consists of Oregon Tech faculty, staff, students, administrators, and members from the Klamath Basin Community. The committee meets once a month for update meetings or special events. During the 2008-2009 academic year, the committee enjoyed a presentation by President Chris Maples on sustainability at Oregon Tech, participated in a tour of the geothermal drill rig, and attended Sustainable Oregon Tech tours given by OREC interns. Committee members are actively involved in many sustainability projects on campus and are an integral part of making Oregon Tech a state leader in sustainable technologies. Subcommittees are devoted to landscape development, integrating sustainability into Oregon Tech academics, water use and conservation, creating alternative transportation opportunities, and improving waste management. More information about the committee is available on the committee wiki.