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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 53.23
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date Dec. 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

St. Lawrence University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" 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:

The Environmental Action Organization (EAO) is a student led organization that strives to create a more environmentally friendly campus addressing issues of waste, food, energy and education.

The Green House (Low Impact Living Theme Cottage) seeks to create a comfortable living space for ecologically-minded and environmentally-conscious individuals on campus. They strive to be a leader in environmental activism at St. Lawrence and involve the student, employee and local community in their efforts.

The Environmental Conservation Committee of Thelmo (the student government) works to bring greener practices to campus, while raising awareness of the importance of these issues, through student government members talking with their constituents.

The Barn Good Thrift Store is a student run business that was developed to prevent usable items from ending up in the dumpsters when students move out of their dorms at the end of the year. The store is open when school is in session and sells donated items.


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:

There is an organic garden that is used by the Sustainable Agriculture Class in the Environmental Studies Department and a garden used by the Sustainability Program to produce food for students participating in the program.

Additionally, the University is home to the student run Seed to Table group. The Seed to Table garden began in the fall of 2010 as an initiative to start a student run garden on the St. Lawrence campus. Since then, our group has grown in size and has seen the first year of a successful growing season.


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 Barn Good Thrift Store is a student-run thrift store on campus that was developed to prevent usable items from ending up in the dumpsters when students move out of their dorms at the end of the year. A student manager and two other student employees operate the store during the academic year.


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?:
No

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

The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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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:

St. Lawrence University participates in an annual local sustainability conference. The Sustainability Day is an annual event created by a group of faculty and staff from all four universities and supported by the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley, whose governing board consists of the four university presidents. The event will provide an inspiring opportunity for constituents from all four campuses to come together to collectively consider and collaborate on this issue which is central to the values of all four of our institutions.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES

Inspire and empower multiple change agents to foster a culture of sustainability and institutionalize practices for meeting our respective sustainability targets.
Generate and/or disseminate applied and practical steps for integrating sustainability on the college campuses.
Generate and/or disseminate sustainability strategies that can be implemented at home and in the community.
Develop and/or enhance campus-community partnerships for sustainability research and experiential education opportunities.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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:

St. Lawrence University's campus holds an annual "Folk Festival." The Festival is coordinated by St. Lawrence University's Green House. The all-day event features eleven local foods, local music, local artists, and demonstrations of sustainable/local living. The goal of the Festival is to be a family-friendly celebration of folk music, folk arts, local living, and traditional skills of the North Country.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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 outdoor program educates students in outdoor leadership and skills, instills an environmental ethic, and empowers students through outdoor and wilderness exploration and experiences.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The Sustainability Program is an off-campus living–learning program that encourages students to examine sustainability as a way of life that promotes living well without degrading the ecological, social and economic systems on which future generations will rely. Students experience life in a local farmhouse, as they consider the most serious challenges facing their communities and the world and, by collaborating with community partners, gain experience with sustainable agriculture, green building, alternative energy, and the living arts.

The Adirondack Semester enables students to study nature and human relationships with nature through academic classes enriched by direct experience. Important elements of the semester include understanding of critical environmental issues; living in a materially simple, close-knit community and in close connection to wild nature; learning the skills to recreate safely and pleasurably in wild nature; understanding elements and interrelationships of the natural world; and reflecting critically and creatively on the experiences of the semester and the many questions it raises.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Green House (Low Impact Living Theme Cottage) seeks to create a comfortable living space for ecologically-minded and environmentally-conscious individuals on campus. We strive to be a leader in environmental activism at St. Lawrence.

We work together to create stronger and more sustainable communities in the campus and North Country community. We strive to live as low-impact as possible on campus and we work to raise awareness about the ways to live more simply outside of the dorm environment. We incorporate this awareness into our everyday lives, and lead by example so that other students may understand how to be environmentally active and conscientious, both on and off campus.

As a house we have focused on food as a tangible way to connect with local community, contribute to a sustainable food system and raise awareness about issues surrounding food. We cook dinner five nights a week using produce from two local farms and organic bulk food from the Potsdam Food Co-op and a regional distributer, Regional Access. One way we have reached out into the community is through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share with Birdsfoot Farm. Our house works nearly 200 hours at Birdsfoot to reduce the cost of our CSA and contribute to the cultivation of our food.

Each member of the house is also encouraged to organize creative programs throughout the semester that foster promote sustainability and environmental awareness. Programs are open to the entire campus community and in the past have included:

Theme dinners with local foods
Documentary nights
Trips to the Canton Farmer’s Market
Fermentation workshops
Apple picking and cider pressing
Knitting and stitching
Canning and food preservation
Natural history walks
Poetry sharing
Bike repair workshops
Weahterizaiton projects
Composting tutorials

The Cottage’s theme is “To gather caring, motivated people with similar interests to build a strong presence of environmental action and to serve as a model of low impact living.”


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

Barn Good Thrift Store


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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:
---

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?:
---

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):
---

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.