Log In
  • 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 Gold
Overall Score 67.06
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date April 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Columbia University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Allie Schwartz
Assistant Manager
Environmental Stewardship
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution coordinate one or more ongoing student, peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs that meet the criteria for this credit?:
Yes

Number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
23,870

Name of the student educators program (1st program):
Columbia EcoReps

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (1st program):
7,777

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):

EcoReps operate in a similar manner to the RA program; students apply to become an EcoRep and commit to a set of responsibilities and to work a set number of hours each week to fulfill them. The EcoReps are a group of students working in partnership with the Dining, Housing and Environmental Stewardship departments in order to make Columbia’s campus more environmentally sustainable. Undergraduate EcoReps supervise and encourage a sustainable lifestyle in their residence halls on campus by implementing recycling programs (such as videos demonstrating how items are recycled on campus), encouraging students to save energy (through the Campus Conservation Nationals Energy Challenge), and creating educational events for the students. Their work entails publicizing available environmental services, serving as a bridge of communication between students and the administration, facilitating campus projects for a reduced university ecological footprint. EcoReps is split into six committees that all work on different projects in those areas and aim to educate students on different issues and encourage environmental practices. The committees are Bike Share, Dining, Composting, Living Green, Give + Go Green, and Recycling. Some examples of EcoReps outreach activities include: The Bike Share program offers a way for students to get around the city and exercise in a sustainable way--on a bike. The Dining Committee facilitates Plate Scrapings about three times a semester and encourages students not to waste food. The Composting Committee provides a way for students in residence halls the option of composting their food scraps in the basement of one of the residence halls. The Living Green Committee focuses on improving the behaviors of students in residence halls such as offering plastic bag recycling. The Give + Go Green program involves targeting students moving out at the end of the year and encourages them to donate items that they will not be shipping/taking home with them instead of throwing it away. The items are stored over the summer and sold back to the students at low prices in the Fall and these funds fund the EcoReps programming. The Recycling Committee focuses on recycling and educating students on how to recycle properly on campus (follow NYC Recycling laws) and advertises the importance of recycling in an engaging and dynamic way (the committee is creating videos).


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (1st program):

At the beginning of each semester, the EcoReps leadership (Executive Board=2 Co-Presidents, 1 Secretary, 1 Media Liaison, 1 Treasurer) send out applications to join EcoReps and host an introductory meeting. The individuals apply and then the Eboard assigns each individual to a specific committee aligned with his/her primary interests. The majority of EcoReps' commitment spans the full academic year. New EcoReps are accepted throughout the year as it's important to engage as many students as possible in the programs.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):

EcoReps from the previous year conduct training to the new EcoReps. Additionally ongoing guidance and training is provided by Housing with support from Environmental Stewardship.


A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (1st program):

EcoReps support themselves financially with the funds they have raised through the Green Sale. While being a Columbia EcoRep was once a paid position, the EcoReps themselves chose to operate on a volunteer basis and put their salaries into a programming fund to use on green initiatives totaling approximately $15,000. At the beginning of the academic year, the EcoReps host a used goods Green Sale, where they sell lightly used room furnishings and other household and office goods – most of which are donations from the Give + Go Green event at the end of the school year. Earnings from the Green Sale also help to fund the EcoReps program for the academic year.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Student Union for Sustainable Development (SUS-D)

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
23,870

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

The Student Union for Sustainable Development (SUSD) is dedicated to bridging the gap between the Earth Institute and Columbia students majoring, concentrating, and showing interest in Sustainable Development.  SUSD gathers ideas, insight, and feedback from the student body and shares this information with the professors and administrators who shape the program. Beyond their work with the Earth Institute, they provide peer-to-peer advising and keep students updated on opportunities and events related to sustainability.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):

Anyone who is majoring, concentrating, or showing interest in Sustainable Development is able to join.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (2nd program):

SUSD leadership trains the next set of leaders for the group and receives guidance from the Columbia University Earth Institute.


A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (2nd program):

SUSD is supported through guidance and financially by the Earth Institute.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
---

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
---

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):
---

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):
---

A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (3rd program):
---

A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (3rd program):
---

Name(s) of the student educator program(s) (all other programs):
---

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by all other student educator programs:
---

A brief description of the program(s), including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (all other programs):
---

A brief description of how the student educators are selected (all other programs):
---

A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (all other programs):
---

A brief description of the financial or other support the institution provides to the program (all other programs):
---

Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually:
---

The website URL for the peer-to-peer student outreach and education program(s):
---

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.