Sonoma State is a medium sized school located in Sonoma County, about an hour north of San Francisco. We are right in the middle of wine country and about 45 minutes away from the ocean. We have a beautiful campus with sustainable buildings, apartment/suite residential halls, and even lakes next to our commencement lawn.
Sonoma State has a Student Center that was opened in November 2013. Students anxiously waited for this building because many of the resources around campus were spread out. Most of our food, offices, and programming space are now in one convenient building in the middle of campus. Also of note on our campus are the Green Music center (a focal point for the arts offering year-round programming to the North Bay), the Holocaust & Genocide Memorial Grove (a contemplative space to honor survivors and victims of genocides around the world) and the Anne Frank Sapling Project (a chestnut sapling taken from the tree outside Anne Frank’s Secret Annex planted near the Memorial Grove).
Our campus is devoted to sustainability. We recently launched a residential composting program and strongly encourage our students to recycle whenever possible. Our cafeteria, which we call The Kitchens, recycles and composts as much waste as they can. Our bathroom toilets, as well as our landscaping sprinkler system, use reclaimed water. Our Student Center has a water bottle refill station on each floor. NRAP 2017 at Sonoma State will be a sustainable conference!
Our school also feels strongly about inclusivity. Our students have the option to live in a Gender Inclusive Living community, our Student Center has gender neutral bathrooms on each floor, and we recently hosted multiple summits in an effort to better support students of color. In addition, our school recently launched an initiative called the Seawolf Commitment, aimed at defining common expectations of SSU students including acting with integrity, responsibility, respect, and excellence in all areas of life. In spring 2017, we also attained eligibility as a Hispanic Serving Institution, which extends our ability to better serve our growing Hispanic student population.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Dancing with Change,” in honor of our new President, Judy Sakaki, as well as the new student-centered direction our campus has taken. Sonoma State has recently made significant advances in terms of facilities, residential life, and academics, all in the effort of creating a culture of caring.