Cultivate Sustainable Communities

Vibrant, healthy and connected communities are essential to becoming “sustainable." Sustainability cannot be achieved in isolation. A sustainable community starts with healthy and prosperous individuals and extends out to a healthy and prosperous community on campus, in Newport News, in Virginia and globally.

The Class of 2016 generously provided funds for a community garden that includes 12 4’ x 4’ plots that can be rented to grow produce right here on campus.

  • This gives our campus community members the opportunity to get their hands dirty and connect back with nature and the food that is essential to our existence.
  • In fall 2018, the Residence Hall Association provided funds to improve the garden by adding a community tool chest as well as a demonstration plot that creates space to host demonstrations, including topics such as lasagna composting, DIY personal care products and more.

  • CNU has a chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness that hosts educational and awareness events.
  • The Office of Counseling Services provides a range of services to address the mental health needs of the student body and university community.
  • Week of Wellness is an annual event focusing on mental and physical wellness and how to access resources and information on campus.

Giving back to your community is at the heart of being a CNU Captain. There are a number of service opportunities to complement your academic experience and build a more sustainable local community.

  • Any student can elect to add a service distinction to their academic achievements. You can focus this service on a sustainability topic through service tracts such as Hunger & Housing, Environment & Animals, Community Development or others.
  • Programs such as the President’s Leadership Program, many Greek organizations and athletics teams have service requirements that students may choose to focus on a sustainability topic.
  • The Bonner Scholars have two community partners working in sustainability: the Virginia Living Museum and Commonwealth Catholic Charities - Refugee Resettlement and Immigrant Services.

  • Christopher Newport has a University Statement on Diversity and Inclusion.
  • CNU participates in the SafeZone Program and many of our faculty and staff have completed training.
  • The Student Diversity and Equity Council promotes, educates and engages our campus community in conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • A special assistant to the vice president of student affairs for diversity and inclusion works to create dialogue on campus surrounding issues of race, discrimination, acceptance and more.

As a way to connect student organizations that work in sustainability, the Student Sustainability Network (SSN) serves as a hub to create a space for collaboratively advancing sustainability. Some of these organizations are listed below, categorized by the type of sustainability work that they do. The SSN is a Student Government Association initiative.

  • Culture, Diversity, Placemaking and Identity - Black Student Union, Farmer’s Market Club, Latino Student Association, Multicultural Inclusiveness Board, Spectrum
  • Equity, Peace, Democracy, and Social Justice - International Justice Mission, Food Fighters, Student Diversity and Equity Council
  • Ecosystems, Nature, Animals, and the Environment - Student Sustainability Commission, CNU Green Team, CNU Roots and Shoots
  • Mental and Physical Health and Wellness - NAMI @ CNU, PP Generation Action, Where Is The Line

In order to sustain something, you must care and respect it enough to be willing to invest your time and efforts into improving it. We call this “placemaking.”

  • Our tradition of holding doors for one another creates a sense of respect and belonging.
  • The student run “Love NN” project creates a sense of belonging between CNU students and the Newport News community they are surrounded by.
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