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  • The 2017 SSL Symposium will be hosted by Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania on Sunday, November 5th, 2017. To reduce the time and carbon impact of travel, there will be satellite locations at Champlain College in Burlington, VT and Emerson College in Boston, MA.
  • In conjunction, the 2017 PLAN Conference will be hosted by Temple University on Saturday, November 4th, 2017.
  • The Symposium Board of Curators is soliciting proposals for schools wishing to host the 2018 symposia. All proposals are due FEBRUARY 8th, 2018. View the application.

What is the Sustainability Student Leaders Symposium?

The annual Sustainability Student Leaders (SSL) Symposium (née Eco-Rep Symposium) brings togetherStudents Sustainability Leaders from many different colleges and universities in the Northeast to learn and be inspired by each other for a half-day conference. Peer-to-peer sustainability education and engagement programs (sometimes called Eco-Reps) are commonly found at colleges and universities across the country with sustainability programs. These students promote environmental stewardship among residential or other students by raising awareness about ecological issues and encouraging environmentally conscious behavior. A list of other names for similar programs can be found here.

The SSL Symposium is a great opportunity for students to learn and be inspired by each other through presentations, workshops, and round-table discussions. The structure of the symposium allows students from different schools to lead sessions on a variety of topics, providing valuable presentation experience as well as facilitating the spread of ideas between schools. Sessions are typically grouped by broad topics, or tracks, such as “engagement,” “building a program,” or “communications.” The symposium typically ends with a social gathering that allows these students to informally meet each other and share ideas.

The symposium provides an opportunity for attendees to be part of an active community of like-minded individuals striving for positive environmental change on their campus. It also gives students the mobilizing and facilitating tools to create grassroots peer-to-peer environmental education in their communities after they graduate. After attending the symposium, students should feel inspired in their work as sustainability leaders and feel like they have been given new tools to help them overcome barriers they may face in their work.


As of 2014, the Symposium is guided by a a Board of Curators made up of sustainability staff from colleges and universities in the northeast. Its mission is to make sure the annual Student Sustainability Leaders Symposium continues to exist and flourish.  It meets a few times a year to choose host schools and discuss other matters related to the symposium.

Current Members:

Name Title School
Ashwani Vasishth Associate Professor Ramapo College of New Jersey
Chad Jones Faculty Director, Office of Sustainability Connecticut College
Christina Erickson Sustainability Director Champlain College
Emma Kerr Campus Sustainability Coordinator Smith College
Janna Cohen-Rosenthal Director of Membership Programs Second Nature
Kelsey Grab Residential Program Coordinator Harvard University
Kevin Hollerbach Sustainability Coordinator for Residential Life UMass Amherst
Kristi Wiedemann Sustainability Manager Princeton University
Lisa Tornatore Assistant Sustainability Director Boston University
Natalie Berland Manager of Sustainability Bentley University
Robert Pion Sustainability Program Director Boston College
Talia Arnow Campus Sustainability Manager Coalesce/Bryant
Tina Woolston Sustainability Program Director Tufts University

Past Symposia

2016 – The 2016 SSL Symposium was be hosted by UMass Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts. Visit the website to learn more.

2015- The newly renamed Student Sustainability Leaders Symposium was hosted by Connecticut College. See the conference website here.

2014- The #EcoSympo was hosted at Tufts University. Check out the web page here.

2013-  The symposium was hosted by Boston University and GreenerU.  Check it out here.

2012- Brown University and GreenerU hosted the symposium.  The schedule can be found here.

2011- Symposium was hosted by Babson College and GreenerU.  Info here.

2009- Tufts hosted the first Eco-Rep Symposium.  Check it out below!

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The Tufts University Office of Sustainability and the class Environmental Action: Shifting from Saying to Doing hosted a half-day conference for college students region wide to share best practices in peer-to-peer education on November 7, 2009  • 12:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Check out the schedule from the 2009 symposium here.