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Making SERC Work: Dante Gonzales

SERC is made possible by a dedicated team, made up of students, sustainability professionals, and the UC Berkeley environmental community. In the coming few weeks, leading up to Big Give on 3/14/19, we’ll be highlighting and showcasing the people and programs that #MakeSercWerc

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1. Introduce yourself!
Hi! My name is Dante Gonzales and I am the Carbon Crew Team Leader and Environmental Justice Rep at Large for TGIF! My position, as the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Engagement Fellow, has given me the platform to redefine what carbon neutrality efforts look like on our campus and in our community. In tandem with UC Berkeley students, staff, faculty, and various institutions both on our campus and in our community, Carbon Crew hopes to continue our carbon neutrality efforts by working towards institutionalizing more plant-forward/less carbon intensive recipes in our dining halls, hosting unique events and workshops that engage our campus with the goals and strategies of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative, and developing carbon neutrality/environmental curriculum to teach at local K-12 schools in the Berkeley and Oakland area.

2. How has SERC changed your life?
Although I have only been involved with SERC as a staff member for a semester, I can genuinely say that SERC has dramatically changed my life. After being exposed to SERC from Solar Spring Break, I applied to be a SSB director, but Sharon had other plans for me. She saw something in me that I didn’t even see, and she empowered me with a platform that I intend on using to the fullest in terms of achieving carbon neutrality here on our campus. After only one semester, I can easily say that our space and my fellow SERC members are home and I only regret that I hadn’t found them sooner.

3. What’s your favorite SERC moment?
My favorite SERC moment has been our transition into our new space in bNorth. Having a physical space that we can call ours has been so empowering. The slow decoration of it with art, pictures, and other amazing things and just constantly interacting with fellow SERC members has provided me with a space in which I can always come back to.

4. If you had $5000 towards the programs you support , how would you spend it?
If I had $5000, I would give my amazing directors the financial support they deserve for all the amazing things they are currently doing. These 5 directors were a part of my crew in the very first semester we were formed and have blossomed into amazing campus leaders and I couldn’t be more proud of them. In terms of programming, $5000 would help us revolutionize our campus engagement tactics with panels, podcast series, and events to increase the discourse on campus regarding carbon neutrality. For our Food Team, we could increase the frequency and robustness of our Plant-Forward Sampling Events with interactive technology and/or more educational materials to increase campus knowledge of the environmental, and health benefits of these dishes to unleash the full power of student support. For our environmental curriculum team, $5000 could allow us to buy various interactive technology so that we could bolster our lessons. With just some construction paper and a quick yogurt activity, we were able to teach and have an enriching discussion with 25 amazing third graders. On top of that, this money could allow us to expand our curriculum and expand our reach to other schools that may be interested.

These programs and events would not be possible without the support of donors and alumni. Please consider donating on March 14th during Big Give, an annual giving campaign at SERC: http://bit.ly/2iehs6Z

With your contributions, we’re able to make SERC work and continue to develop sustainability programs and services for students at UC Berkeley.

Has SERC positively impacted your life? Share your stories and experiences using #MakeSercWerc

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