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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 57.22
Liaison Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Southern Oregon University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Roxane Beigel-Coryell
Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator
Facilities Management & Planning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
6,085

Total number of students enrolled for credit that are served (i.e. directly targeted) by a student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting to the extent feasible):
6,085

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the student educators program:
SOU Transportation Options

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
6,085

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

SOU's Transportation Options (TO) program's peer-to-peer outreach activities are available to all students on campus. In collaboration with other groups on campus, student educators mainly offer outreach, education and support for students to explore their transportation options. The TO program provides peer-to-peer outreach through hands-on workshop series, group bike rides, hosting rideshare registration events, informational tabling events, and other transportation-focused activities.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Student educators initially interview with sustainability staff for paid positions. Once these student staff members are selected, they coordinate and train volunteers to work alongside them on outreach efforts. Regularly, lead volunteers become the next generation of paid student staffers.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

Upon hire, Transportation Options student educators attend a formal training before the start of fall term, during which all important aspects are discussed. This training covers university policy, budgetary logistics, outreach tactics, goals for the year, and is the time we create a communication and expectations policy for the program.

These students then train interested volunteers through a student-created volunteer training program.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination):

Transportation Options is funded by the university and a grant from the local transportation district. The program receives administrative support from a professional staff coordinator who also oversees the Civic Engagement Program and Sustainability Resource Center. Along with funding for the staff member, TO has a small budget to pay student staff and a programming budget for campus events.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
SOU Full Circle Recycling Program

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
6,085

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

SOU's Full Circle Recycling Program was founded by students in 2011 as part of a senior capstone project focused on closing the gap between production and disposal by diverting waste from the landfill. The program is committed to providing comprehensive recycling services including conveniently located recycling stations throughout the SOU campus, development of educational programs and events, and serving as a resource center for SOU and the surrounding community. The largest peer-to-peer outreach activities occur during the RecycleMania competition in the form of recycling games and events to raise awareness and engage students in recycling on campus. Students that work for the recycling program also hold outreach events outside of RecycleMania, including tabling in the student union with recycling games and activities, hosting recycled craft events, offering recycling workshops, and having a presence at other major campus events such as Earth Day and the Health and Sustainability Fair. The program also coordinates outreach events for America Recycles Day and holds weekly Recycling Trivia Giveaways through the program's Facebook page.


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

Student educator positions for the recycling program are open to all SOU students. Interested students submit a resume and are interviewed by the Sustainability and Recycling Coordinator, who selects students for the program based on their enthusiasm, interest, and desire to spread recycling awareness and education to their peers.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

Once hired, students working for the recycling program go through a hands-on training at SOU's Recycling Center. The hands-on training provides lasting knowledge on recycling in the region, including what items can/cannot be recycled and why, the process for local recycling, university policies impacting recycling, the history of the program, and where to go for additional resources.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

The recycling program receives budgetary support from three campus departments, including Facilities Management & Planning, Housing, and Student Life. The budget includes a full-time staff person to oversee campus recycling and sustainability efforts, as well as funding for student positions, garbage and recycling fees, supplies, and other expenses.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
The Farm at Southern Oregon University: A Center for Sustainability

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
6,085

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

The Farm at Southern Oregon University: A Center for Sustainability. The Farm serves as a community resource for sustainability education, fosters sustainable business development, promotes interconnectedness, and facilitates leadership training through thoughtful learning and practice. Student employees and volunteers at the Farm host workshops, volunteer days, and other events to introduce students on campus to sustainable agricultural practices, including preparing land for production, planting, harvesting, distribution, and more.


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

Each year, the Farm advertises positions for students, including a Farm Manager, Operations Manager, and Outreach Coordinator. All students are welcome to apply and interview for these positions. The student educators are interviewed and selected by the Farm's Staff Coordinator.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):

Student educators are trained at the Farm through a hands-on orientation to introduce them to the Farm's operations, practices, and opportunities. Many of the student educators are students who served as volunteers or came to the Farm for peer-to-peer mentoring in previous years.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (3rd program):

The Farm at SOU: A Center for Sustainability is funded through the student Green Fund, produce sales, CSA share sales, private donors, and grants.


A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of students served and how student educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:

SOU's chapter of the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG) conducts ongoing peer-to-peer outreach, education, and activism on issues relating to sustainability. SOU's OSPIRG chapter directly engaged more than 65 student volunteers/interns to serve as peer mentors to other students, serving the entire campus community of 6,085 students. During their “Save the Bees” week of action, SOU OSPIRG collected over 750 petitions asking the Environmental Protection Agency to protect bees and other pollinators by placing a moratorium on neonicotinoids, a pesticide that is contributing to millions of bees dying off. During fall term they collected a grand total of 1,163 petitions! Moving forward they will be pivoting to channel this support in to statewide efforts in spring to pass a bill in the Oregon state legislature to ban neonics in the state.

OSPIRG also gathered more than 1,100 food and clothing items during the quarter, held multiple food drives, and helped organize several events on campus including a “Trick or Treat for Cans”, spoke at the Environmental Quality Conference, helped with multiple non-profits in the area, and sent letters to the editor about stopping the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

Additionally, OSPIRG released two reports that each detail a pressing issue on college campuses and include data from our school. “Access Denied” shows the financial and educational impacts that the cost of textbooks can have on college students (Follow link to "Access Denied"), while “Hunger on Campus” documents the far-too-expansive problem of campus food insecurity and its impact on students (Follow link to "Hunger on Campus").


Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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.