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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.62
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 11, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Auburn University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Morse
Administrator: Outreach and Communications
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes No
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills No
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives ---

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

"Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an organization devoted to the scientific study of the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. SCB also focuses on spreading the word on the importance of conservation. As the Auburn chapter SCB is oriented more towards Alabama's unique ecosystems. Activities include helping with the Eastern Indigo Snake Project, visiting pitcher plant bogs and learning about their conservation needs, and venturing to Jackson County to explore Alabama's unique cave systems. Auburn's chapter is also associated with the Tigers for Tigers organization which is a group set up to raise money and awareness about the rapidly declining populations of wild tigers in Asia. SCB meets about once a month with a different conservation-oriented speaker each time.
Advisor: Dr. Bob Boyd boydrob@auburn.edu.
Website: http://www.auburn.edu/student_info/societyconbio/.

Auburn Real Food Challenge is a student organization linked to the National Real Food Challenge. ARFC started in Fall 2011, and works to establish a commitment from Auburn University to ensure that at least 20% of the food in its food system meets the criteria of being local, ecologically sound, fair, and humane by the year 2020. The ARFC collaborated with Tiger Dining to establish the Plains 2 Plate dining venue which serves as much locally sourced food as possible. ARFC does social food events, works with Tiger Dining to improve selection and sourcing of food, and oversees the community garden. ARFC is also affiliated with CoFed and Slow Food Auburn.
Advisor: Jessica-Lauren Roberts (jzr0014).
Website:
http://auburnrealfoodchallenge.weebly.com/

Engineers Without Borders- Auburn chapter- is an organization whose mission of EWB is to partner with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmentally sound and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students. EWB is currently partnered with the community of Quesimpuco, Bolivia. EWB students and faculty advisors worked with community members to develop an irrigation system to bring water to fields that get insufficient precipitation during the dry season. EWB is helping the Quesimpuco community to design a hydroponics system to grow crops without soil and in a confined space to feed the community's farm animals.
Advisor: Dr. Steve Duke
Website: More info about EWB-USA can be found at ewb-usa.org.

The Committee of 19 is Auburn University's student-led War on Hunger initiative. The organization's goal is to engage the Auburn community in the War on Hunger through service initiatives, fundraising initiatives, and awareness and advocacy initiatives. The Committee of 19 focus on ending hunger both locally and globally. The organization's vision is to have every part of the Auburn University community engaged in finding solutions to hunger. The operating premise is that hunger is a complex, interdependent issue that can only be solved by all people coming together and offering each one's own talents, skills, passions and insights to create a comprehensive solution. Co19 hosts Hunger Week each year on Auburn's campus.
Advisor: Kate Thornton brockmk@auburn.edu
Website: www.auburn.edu/hunger.

Environmental Design Student Organization
The Environmental Design Student Organization (EDSO) serves to provide a voice to the Environmental Design students within the College of Architecture, Design, and Construction. EDSO's primary purpose is to educate students on different aspects of the design fields including: knowledge of careers, research subjects, design techniques, and professional etiquette. While the majority of members are Environmental Design students, all design students are welcome and encouraged to join. EDSO's goal is to cultivate more collaboration among students and to foster a dialog about green technologies, sustainable building, and urbanism.
Advisor: Magdalena Garmaz garmama@auburn.edu
Websites: http://auburn.collegiatelink.net/organization/edso )
https://www.facebook.com/AuburnEdso

Auburn for Water is a student organization who purpose is to passionately and proactively serve the world around them by educating Auburn University about the crisis that exists regarding the scarcity of clean water.
Twitter: Auburn4Water

The Environmental Awareness Organization is a student group whose purpose is to help educate Auburn’s students about environmental friendliness and to strive to inspire the student body to be innovative and responsible about their impact on tomorrow’s Auburn.
Advisor: Michael Kensler mdk0003@auburn.edu
Website: http://auburneao.weebly.com/index.html

The International Justice Mission is an organization whose purpose is to work with local governments and communities to meet both urgent and long-term needs of people that have been abused, prevent violence from happening in the first place, and create long-term change through Justice System Transformation.
Website: https://www.ijm.org/content/auburn-university

Campus Kitchens at Auburn University is a local branch of the national organization. Their purpose is to help fight hunger in the Auburn community, repackage unserved food in the dining halls to turn these donations into nourishing meals, and deliver meals to those in need.
Website: https://auburn.collegiatelink.net/organization/thecampuskitchenatau

The USGBC: Auburn Chapter is an organization whose purpose is to provide students a forum for education and discussion of sustainable building practices, open to all majors because the subject affects everyone.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USGBCauburn
"


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The community garden has existed on and off for approximately 23 years. It consists of approximately sixty plots which are rented year-round to students, faculty, and community members for $25, $40, and $50 respectively. Water is provided. The Auburn Real Food Challenge managed the garden for a couple years starting in the spring of 2012. It is now managed by the College of Agriculture. It has been a functional, active, popular, and fun program. The Auburn Real Food Challenge's goals are to bring more healthy, local food to campus. The broader purpose of the garden is to get people actively involved in growing their own food and foster a better understanding of where our food comes from and how it makes its way to the plate. Gardening at the Community Garden is described as an activity that builds a clear linkage and direct appreciation for the earth as the source of our food, growing and utilizing food in a responsible manner, and in managing in such a way as to nurture and improve the garden itself in the process.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
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A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The Office of Sustainability hosts monthly Campus Conversations on campus whose purpose is to engage the community in exploring issues related to sustainability. The Office of Sustainability collaborated with the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business to host the Sustainability in Business Summit. The summit brought industry leaders and academic experts specializing in sustainability who led a number of classroom programs during the day, and evening event featuring a panel discussion. Website: http://harbert.auburn.edu/sustainability-in-business-summit/index.php. During the spring semesters of 2013 and 2014 students collaborated with the Division of Student Affairs, the Student Government Association, and other groups to create, develop, and conduct an event called The Challenge, a two-week initiative designed to teach students about sustainability-related issues around the world. The goal of the challenge is to educate students and inspire them to engage and take action to address these global issues. In the 2013 and 2014 event's topical areas addressed hunger, sustainability, education, health, public policy, and human rights.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts has held many programs, films, and exhibitions between January 2013 and December 2015 that are related to sustainability. Films include the documentaries Chasing Ice, Billions to None, Fed Up, One Water, GMO OMG, My Toxic Backyard, and Tokyo Waka. Exhibitions include a display of Audubon prints, Flora and Fauna, The Lost Bird Project, and The Art of Vanishing which also aligned with multiple lectures, community outreach activities such as Fold the Flock and the film Billions to None. In addition, the exhibition Audubon in the Arboretum resulted a walking path and field guide publication. There were also talks with artists, such as Billy Renkl on his artistic response to the journals of Henry David Thoreau. Talks with book authors include Andrea Wulf talking about her book The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World. In the performing arts, the Telfair B. Peet Theatre and the Office of Sustainability cosponsored the play Elephant’s Graveyard which tells the story of when a circus elephant kills her keeper; she is attacked and hanged by an angry mob. Based on a true story of the tragic visit of a circus to a small Tennessee town in 1916, this recent work by playwright George Brant weaves facts and legend into a haunting tale of spectacle, violence and revenge.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Auburn Outdoors organize a variety of overnight trips and clinics for students such as hiking, backpacking, kayaking, rafting, climbing, biking, camping and backpacking that follow the Leave No Trace principles. In addition Auburn University is an official Leave No Trace educational partner.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

"The Live Green, Save Green Learning Community: It is possible to be ""green"" and save ""green"" - both in the monetary and environmental senses. Students who participate in this Learning Community explore the broad scope of issues involved in the sustainability movement and their impact on modern society and the environment. Topics include current events, trends, and social/economic issues; emerging green technologies; economic and environmental impacts of actions; and the economic advantages and disadvantages to adopting sustainable practices. Students explore issues through discussion, activities, reading, writing, teamwork, and community service - all of which are centered on the theme of sustainable living and decision-making. Completion of this First Year Seminar counts towards the Sustainability Minor. This Learning Community is open to students in any major.

Learning Community related to individual well being, the Be Well Learning Community: Students in this Learning Community gain necessary skills to promote all aspects of health and wellness for college students, including physical, mental, emotional, and nutritional health. This experience provides students the opportunity to connect with others who share health interests across departments and disciplines. The First Year Seminar focuses on college student health and wellness and academic success strategies and is designed by the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness Services. This Learning Community is open to students in any major.

In the environmental arena of sustainability there is the Conservation Biology Learning Community: Students in this Learning Community are exposed to a broad range of issues relating to the theme of Conservation Biology. They meet professors doing conservation research in the Department of Biological Sciences, attend meetings of conservation-oriented student groups, and participate in a Rare Species Poster group project. The First Year Seminar class also makes connections with material covered in the first semester biology course, as a way to support learning in that class and show its conservation relevance. We also support student establishment in the university environment through exercises targeting study skills and other aspects of the student transition to Auburn. These activities foster connectivity among the students and between the students and faculty.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

In the fall semester of 2014 the Office of Sustainability developed the Geared 4 Good program targeted at students to give them the opportunity to connect with others, learn about sustainability, play games, and build skills for living a sustainable life. In addition, the Live Green, Save Green Learning Community students explore issues through discussion, activities, reading, writing, teamwork, and community service - all of which are centered on the theme of sustainable living and decision-making.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

Sustainability internships exist with Tiger Dining, Academic Sustainability Programs, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, and the Office of Sustainability. For positions with all offices students must apply and go through an interview process.
In January 2014, Campus Dining hired a student to market its sustainability initiatives. The student employee created print and digital marketing content including articles, infographics and brochures. The intern served as a liaison with Auburn’s Real Food Challenge and assisted with the Sustainability Picnic during the Fall 2014 Welcome Week. This student was paid and worked with Tiger Dining for a full calendar year. The intern’s main responsibility was to market Tiger Dining's sustainable venue, Plains2Plate. Plains2Plate is an on-campus farm-to-table restaurant. Students played an essential role in making the idea a reality, from brainstorming ways to bring real food to the university, to working with Campus Dining to create a menu, to actually meeting with the farmers who grow the food. After establishing all the logistics, their dream was realized and Plains2Plate opened in January 2014. Plains2Plate is “increasing community-based, ecologically-sound, humane and fair food at Auburn University by reconnecting people with their food.” To accomplish this goal, a student employee created a series of ""Know Your Farmer"" articles highlighting farmers whose products are used in the Plains2Plate menu. In addition, this student employee helped advance sustainability initiatives by planning and hosting an interactive marketing table during No Impact Week.
The Academic Sustainability Program has one paid student intern each year to assist the director.
The Waste Reduction and Recycling Department has multiple paid student internships each academic year. Interns help with the marketing and operations of recycling efforts on campus.
The Office of Sustainability has 4-8 undergraduate student volunteer internships a year. Students are given an opportunity to make a difference by applying their talents, training, and skills in ways that support Auburn University in its move toward sustainability.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.