The LMU College of Business Administration’s Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainability (IBES) and Global-Local Affairs (GLA), in conjunction with LMU obtaining United Nations Observer Status, have launched the SDG Student Ambassador Program in spring ’23 to raise awareness of sustainable development.
Intending to develop a strong, campus-wide understanding of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), six undergraduate ambassadors have committed to deepening their knowledge of environmental and social responsibility, designing and creating a structure for the SDG Student Ambassador Program, and enhancing their professional development skills.
“CBA has done an incredible job of implementing the UN SDGs throughout their college,” said Roberta Espinoza, vice provost for Global-Local Affairs, “and I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with them in this capacity to bring local awareness of our global impact. I look forward to seeing the results of the ambassadors’ work as they raise consciousness and inspire action on campus.”
Jeff Thies, director of IBES, Jennifer Ramos, academic programs liaison for GLA, and Espinoza have been instrumental in co-creating the ambassador program and providing leadership and instruction, in addition to learning alongside the ambassadors as they establish their goals and priorities.
One of the main goals for the ambassadors is to act as a catalyst on campus for awareness and action. They will be instrumental in the recruitment of undergraduate members for a new chapter of Net Impact at LMU, a student organization previously limited to graduate students. Net Impact’s mission is to inspire and equip emerging leaders to build a more just and sustainable world, and the LMU chapter has historically explored issues related to the role business can play as a force of good.
“IBES has been proud to inaugurate, in partnership with Global-Local Affairs, the SDG Student Ambassador Program, which was created to foster and activate student-led initiatives that advance the SDGs,” said Thies. “The ambassadors’ first goal, to launch a Net Impact chapter, will mobilize the next generation of leaders to use their skills and careers to make a positive impact on the world.”
Over the past few months, the ambassadors have been exploring on-campus awareness of the UN SDGs. A survey to assess familiarity of the SDGs was released in March and has collected over 300 student responses, which are being used to narrow the focus of the goals and guide the ambassadors’ work. Over half of the survey respondents reported that they are dissatisfied with the sustainable food options on campus and the treatment of campus facility workers, issues that touch on multiple SDGs.
The current ambassadors have diverse academic interests and experiences and range from first-year students to seniors, yet they all care about the same issues and want to inspire change on campus that will carry out into the broader community. Applications for the next round of ambassadors will open in August.