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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 56.68
Liaison Jeanne Gulnick
Submission Date July 18, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Saint Joseph's College - ME
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kimberly Post
Community-Based Learning Director
Community-Based Learning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

EcoReps: The mission of the EcoReps is to serve as peer educators to raise awareness on sustainability issues ranging from waste reduction and diversion, energy efficiency and conservation, to health and well-being, water conservation, and more. EcoManagers are paid student positions who educate in the residence halls by encouraging and promoting sustainable behavior changes while leading entrepreneurial projects, events, and competitions. There are six EcoManagers positions and a rotating number of EcoReps who volunteer and learn with their peers. There is an open door for more EcoReps to join throughout the semester.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Saint Joseph's College operates a 5-acre working farm that offers students opportunities to engage in service, volunteerism, and collaborate with academic pursuits. The farm also offers to students, faculty, staff, and community members a comprehensive CSA program in the spring/summer/fall. In addition, all first-year students visit the farm to learn about operations, sustainability, and farm-related activities and opportunities.

Pearson’s Town Farm is a small non-certified organic farm that is working toward a permacultural design. Staff and volunteers operate under the philosophy that food is a right, not a privilege, and that everyone is entitled to and should have access to fresh, healthy food. The College supports the belief that agriculturalists are responsible for producing food in a manner that does no harm to the environment, meaning that they sacrifice “picture perfect” food for the sake of properly ripened, fresh, nutritious, flavorful food that is grown in balance with the world around us.

As an educational tool, the farm is an invaluable means for reconnecting people, both young and old, with simple, naked foods; reintroducing others to the simplicity and superior health of non-processed foods. Pearson’s Town is committed to reaching out into the community to encourage those who are able to recapture the practice of Victory Gardening, to empower the under-served to help subsidize for themselves, and to inspire small at-home agriculture projects to, perhaps, subsidize incomes.

Our staff is working to create as many closed system programs on the farm as are practicable in order to demonstrate the feasibility and ease of growing a variety of foods with only as many “outside inputs” as are necessary. Using the permaculture model, everything from our soil to our llama are interconnected for the greatest good of the whole of the farm. The farm recognizes this model's potential as a teaching tool for promoting a strengthened and more independent local community.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The College offers a 16-week CSA program where shareholders can purchase in-season vegetable from our farmstand or Greater Gorham Farmer's Market. The CSA is primarily student-run, and engages students in both leadership and management capacities.

New in 2017, Pearson's Town Farm is offering a seedling sale, which again engages students in both leadership and management capacities through all stages of the process.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Green Revolving Fund (GRF) is an investment fund that finances energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability projects on campus, including waste reduction. The Fund provides capital for special projects conducted by Facilities that reduce environmental impact and can repay the fund with cost-savings within seven years.

The mission of the Green Revolving Fund is to encourage environmentally sound technologies and practices on campus. The fund will further the broader academic mission of the College while helping it to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and embody the College’s values. The Green Revolving Fund will function as an independent fiscal entity managed by the Sustainability Task Force. The Fund will grow over time by collecting cost-savings from the projects it funds and reinvesting them in new projects, while offering opportunities for engagement and hands-on learning for the College community.

Green Community Fund
A percentage of savings from the Green Revolving Fund energy efficiency projects at the College are being allocated to the Green Community Fund. The Fund will:

Focus on smaller projects that may have longer payback timeframes, or even no financial payback, but that will foster sustainability awareness among members of the College.
Community and empower them to develop their own solutions.
Consider projects proposed by College community members that promote sustainability in education, campus culture, and behavior.
Consider project ideas from all areas of campus, including academic courses, independent student research, student organizations, and academic departments.
Award money that does not necessarily require repayment.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Many sustainability related events have been hosted by Saint Joseph's College. These events vary from year to year. Seven years ago we began the academic year with our Fall Sustainability Festival and Eat Local Lunch. This event celebrated sustainability and showcased many local vendors who were involved in energy conservation, clean energy, local food and sustainably produced goods. The event was originally planned and implemented by the campus E-Team, but three years ago it changed to a Spring event (during Earth Week) and the student EcoReps became involved as well.

During Earth Week, one or more lecturers are brought to campus. Some past speakers were Carl Safina, founder of the Blue Ocean Institute; Tom Wessels, forest ecologist and author of the Myth of Progress; Drew Barton, ecologist who specializes on the impacts of climate on the New England forest; Ray Sirois, who was trained by Al Gore's Climate Reality Project; Sr. Mary Pendergast, RSM, the director of ecology for the Sisters of Mercy Northeast Community, who presented on the impact of tar sands extraction and transportation, during the time when local communities were directly impacted by this issue (proposed pipeline reversal for tar sands transporting) because of the pipeline that borders Sebago Lake and our College campus.

Each year we also show a variety of current eco films. In 2016 we showed Racing Extinction, Cowspiracy, Damnation, and Penobscot.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

As part of the College's new civic action plan, the Community Culture (3C) was created. Built on the philosophy that collaboration between communities can create powerful visions and robust strategies for growth, 3C is a place-based interdisciplinary collaboration of campus and community members supporting civic engagement through creative programs and media, and promoting an environmentally sustainable and “socially just presence on Earth. Projects housed within the Collective include exhibits, performances, participatory events, and creative collaborations.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Saint Joseph's College Outdoor Adventure Club is an active club supervised by a faculty member and student-led. Additionally, the College operates a full-functioning Campus Recreation department that engages students in outdoor adventure and leadership experiences throughout the year. The Director of the program is a certified Leave No Trace trainer.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
No

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

SJC Ecoreps employ between 12-17 students each semester.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

A brief description of the 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 (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.