'Pledge' commits College Eight grads to environmental, social responsibility

For more than 20 years, the Graduation Pledge Alliance (GPA) has been spreading its message of social and environmental responsibility in the workforce at schools across the globe.

This year, graduating students at one of UC Santa Cruz's 10 undergraduate colleges will take the pledge during commencement exercises. College Eight graduates will take the Graduation Pledge Alliance for the second consecutive year, on Saturday, June 13 (see schedule of UCSC commencements).

Nearly 150 colleges and universities are participating in the pledge this spring. In line with the College Eight's theme of environmental awareness and social responsibility, the pledge is a way for students to carry on what they learned over the years at UCSC and apply it to the next phase of their lives-whether they go on to graduate school or embark on their careers in the workforce.

Students taking the Graduation Pledge affirm the following: "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 pledge was started at Humboldt State University in 1987 to help create awareness for how personal life choices could help bring about change to the world students want to be living in. National pledge organizers are optimistic about the future growth of the pledge, given the Obama Administration's commitment to public service and civic engagement.

Currently UC Santa Cruz is the only UC to participate in this pledge. College Eight students hope to expand this pledge to other colleges at UCSC and to other campuses within the UC system.

This year's pledge has been organized by College Eight Programming Coordinator Mike Kittredge and student graduation planning committee members Hannah Maurer, Ryan Estes, Lauren Fieberg, Jennifer Pimentel, Arya Shoraka, and Jessica Wakenhut.

For more information, see www.GraduationPledge.org or contact Mike Kittredge at mkittredge@ucsc.edu.