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Moon Pankam ‘17

2015-16 Associate Vice President, Associated Students Office of Environmental Justice Affairs

Moon Pankam ‘17

Explain the role of the Associated Students Office of Environmental Justice Affairs, and how you and your team have been able to promote sustainability for the student body and get students involved in environmental justice affairs.

The AS Office of Environmental Justice Affairs (ASEJA) oversees Associated Students operations pertaining to sustainability, environmental stewardship, and environmental justice on UC San Diego’s campus and around the local San Diego area. Basically, we do everything and anything to promote a culture of sustainable and eco-friendly practices, whether that’s hosting workshops on environmental justice topics; engaging in peer-to-peer education about environmental stewardship; holding fun events and giveaways designed to get folks thinking about how wasteful we can be, and how we can improve our lifestyles; meeting with faculty and administration to discuss ways in which UC San Diego can meet its Climate Action Plan goals, and beyond! I’ve got a wonderful team of seven who help make this office run smoothly — my wonderful Chief of Staff, Olivia, and my six interns, Hector, Kimberly, Alex, Elaine, Andrew and Marci.

If you could force students to do one thing that's environmentally friendly/sustainable every day (essentially, make one action mandatory), what would that action be, and why?

I always tell people to watch how much water they use! It’s such a simple step, but folks can be so unaware of how much water goes down the drain when they leave the tap running while brushing their teeth, or how much water goes into a thirty-minute shower. Be mindful! I also think that everyone should take up gardening — it instills a love for the earth that I think many folks don’t have, and it’s a relaxing activity that can also burn some calories!

What are your short- and long-term goals? How do you see yourself implementing those changes and making a positive impact on our campus for future Tritons?

My short-term goal for the office is to put on a few more fun, educational events for the student body before the school year ends. My long-term goal is to help UC San Diego meet its Climate Action Plan goals through the promotion and maintenance of the campus culture of sustainability that I was talking about earlier. It takes everyone to move a mountain. So ASEJA will keep reaching out, educating, meeting, negotiating, talking and learning. Instituting positive social change on and around campus is and always will be an on-going effort.