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The Graduation pledge of Social & Environmental Responsibility!

Hello CCCU Students!

graduation pledege imageI’m Alexis Galvan, a bilateral exchange student from Humboldt State University, a small university located in Northern California, nestled between some of the world’s tallest redwood trees, and wondrous beaches we refer to as The Lost Coast. It’s always been a goal of mine to travel back to the motherland of England, and explore the roots of America, and I’m delighted to spend this term at Christ Church, in the beautiful and historic city of Canterbury.

Since I’m only here for 3 months, I aspire to leave my mark and influence in the hearts and minds of students abroad. At my home institution, I am the Coordinator of a program called The Graduation Pledge Alliance. The Graduation Pledge Alliance is a symbolic pledge created by a group of students in 1987, it states:


I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work.”


The idea of the pledge was brought up in a time where monetary acquirement was becoming the main focus of the professional world, with a growing disregard for the diminishment of Earth’s natural resources. These students recognized the danger of this idea seeping into the minds of impressionable college graduates, and sought to create a movement to remind them of values that should be kept in mind.

28 years later, the efforts of these students have not gone unnoticed. I am here today to spread this message of social and environmental responsibility. When you graduate from university, recognize that you now withhold a power in the world. You are, essentially the future; considering that you will be responsible for how the professional world is operating since you will be working in the midst of it all. The Graduation Pledge is not limited to majors ​geared towards environmental or social reform, rather it strives to appeal towards all academic majors. It is a call to action; a pursuit to activate environmental and social consciousness into our hearts and minds and being able to transfer that attitude into the workplace. It can start with something small, such as incorporating recycling in the office, or directing their energy towards improving human rights both in the workplace and towards clientele.

Since being founded, the Graduation Pledge Alliance has been adopted by 200 schools globally, in countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Australia, Singapore and Taiwan – with efforts being considered in the Philippines and India. Elite schools such as Stanford University and Harvard University stand whole-heartedly next to pledge. Every year thousands of graduates across the globe take part in this movement, simply by signing a pledge card that states the pledge and placing a green ribbon on their gown as a symbol of their commitment. Since it is a voluntary pledge, the university does not call to check up on you – it’s just an emblematic representation of your allegiance to the cause.




With population on the rise, environmental resources depleting at a constant, and corruption in the world, we as students must take matters into our own hands. We must not feel succumbed by society’s limitations. We must utilize our brain, speech, and actions and fight to create a more harmonious world, respectful of all life forms, biologically and anthropologically speaking.


Anything is this world is possible, we are living in a state of flux. Remember that you can make a difference, no matter what field you go into after leaving university. I hope this message reaches you in an inspiring and heart-warming manner. Thank you.

-Alexis Galvan

Graduation Pledge Coordinator 2013 – 2017


“Responsibility is the ability to respond. Inherently, to respond means to act, to create, to change. But responsibility also implies an awareness of the impacts of one’s actions, and it is this concept that is finally becoming part of the global community’s consciousness. The days of action without thought are obsolete in this increasingly closely knit world.” – 1997, Matt Nicodemus Graduation Pledge founder


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It really is the Good Life!


photo 3

Cue Soundtrack


When it comes to gardening and allotments the first thing that springs to mind is BBC’s Good Life with Felicity Kendal and Richard Briers. Even though this is way before my time I remember sitting down and watching this with and grandma and experiencing my first glimpse of sustainable living through the main characters Tom and Felicity; Tom’s career has been as a draughtsman, a job he thoroughly dislikes. He feels his life is meaningless, nothing more than work and consumption. Becoming self-sufficient is his idea, but Barbara, after expressing concerns, supports him. Tom is determined to succeed at self-sufficiency, and is mostly cheerful about his new lifestyle.

Good life


So your probably thinking what is the point of this. Well here at Canterbury Christ Church University we have our very own Student Green Office where we promote sustainable living and self-sufficiency through our very own Edible Campus programme.

What is Edible Campus I hear your ask: Edible Campus at CCCU allows students and staff to reconnect with the food they eat in a sustainable way. Through food related activities such as Food for Thought debate events and our Allotment Blitzes provide the opportunity to understand what food security is and gives both students and staff to learn new skills through skill sharing opportunities.



How can you get involved:

If you would like to try your hand at being self-sufficient and growing your own flowers and crops please come along to the SGO and Edible Campus Allotment Blitz’s held Wednesday’s on the main university campus. To find out when our next allotment is running head on over to the SGO facebook page and join our group, where you can then join each allotment event. We are always looking for new people to join the SGO, if you would like to also help run our allotment diary here on the blog after each allotment blitz please let us know via our email; greenoffice@canterbury.ac.uk.


Lent term Allotment dates:



Jess & SGO


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How to make the most of a small room

My partner has just recently moved in with me and my mum as we hope to save and buy our own place once I finish my degree and we cannot save and rent at the same time.

After a good day of clearing out things I no longer wanted (4 big bags full, which was sent to the charity shop). My partner moved his stuff into the room, but i’ve noticed that the room is very crowded and it’s hard to move around. Something you may experience with your own student rooms or your own rooms at home.

Over the course of the summer I am hoping to decorate this room and turn this small space into a lovely relaxing room big enough for two.

Top tips on how to use a small space wisely:

Storage is key when in a small room, I’m luckily to have under bed storage space and a built in cupboard, but not everyone has this. I use to just push things under my bed and forget I owned it but now I use clear plastic storage containers to keep clothes, bags or shoes safe and tidied away.

Colour: Make sure you pick a light colour to paint your room to give the illusion of a bigger room. I currently have bright yellow walls which make the room feel smaller than it is, but I will be painting them cream to give the room a fresh feel to it and help make the room feel bigger and brighter. However I do love a bit of colour as well to give the room some personality. Many people opt to have a feature wall, be it a bold colour or wallpaper, but as my partner said no to wallpaper (I’m trying to convince him otherwise) I have opted to have blue and green accessorises instead (think peacock colours) allowing me to change the colour of the room when I want (plus blue is his favourite colour too so its a win win situation).

Mirrors: Having mirrors on the wall can also help create the illusion of a bigger room. I have two mirrors on my wall which not only helps create space on my chest of draws/dressing table but makes the room feel a little bigger.

Many of you won’t be able to secure things to your walls if you’re in student accommodation but there are many creative ideas you can do with your bedroom to make it your own relaxing hide away, take a look at my inspriartion board for a few ideas.

Redecorating a room can become expensive, these are a few places I use to look for a bargain:


Boot fairs

Charity shops

Second hand furniture shop

This is my  inspiration board so far:

inspritation board


I shall keep you updated with my little summer project and if you have any ideas or top tips of your own about making the most of a small room, please leave a comment as I would love to know your ideas.


Jess & SGO


SGO Logo Website

*All images were taken from google.