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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 Bronze
Overall Score 41.99
Liaison Eva Rocke
Submission Date June 30, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Montana
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Eva Rocke
ASUM Sustainability Coordinator
ASUM
"---" 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:

Associated Students of the University of Montana Sustainability Committee - An all-student committee that works to promote, develop, and initiate sustainability-focused projects and goals on UM's campus.

UM Climate Action Now - Mission is to build bridges between faculty, students, and community through active public engagement to work towards a sustainable and carbon neutral campus.

Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT) - An experiential living/learning community for students to demonstrate the practicality of sustainable living.

Students for Real Food - Aimed at educating, inspiring, and taking action for a just and sustainable food system within Montana.

Environmental Law Group - Recognized student group founded for the purpose of raising environmental consciousness within the legal community.

Montana Public Interest Group - A voice for the public interest in support of a clean and healthful environment, a fair marketplace or consumers, and an open and responsive government.

1000 New Gardens - The purpose of this group is to facilitate the planting of 1000 new gardens in the local community.

Divest Montana - student group focused on working with the UM Foundation to improve the social and environmental qualities of the Foundation's investments and push it toward full divestment in fossil fuel holdings.


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:

UM Dining's gardens and associated closed loop campus food system serve as living laboratories where students, faculty, staff, and guests can learn about growing food through various methods, passive solar greenhouse design and management, sustainable waste management, composting, and water catchment.
The Lommasson garden itself has three sections: 1.) an array of 12 raised beds; 2.) a large area used for row crops, fruit trees, and the passive solar greenhouse (directly to the south of the raised bed zone); and 3.) another area used for edible Montana and Northwest native plants, including serviceberry, an assortment of currants, alpine and wood’s strawberry, the native red raspberry, and hazelnuts. The third area is planned to mimic nature and be a “food forest,” where plants can grow a little wilder, but still be for human consumption. Together, the three sections represent various methods of gardening and total over 60 varieties of plants.
This garden is unique in that it incorporates all aspects of the food production cycle within a plot of land no bigger than many people’s backyards as well as demonstrating the uniqueness of a location in an urban setting and providing a model for food production in dense, urban environments. It is also an educational tool that demonstrates the actual processes of how individuals and communities can bring their food systems close to home and move towards community food security. The South Ave garden is three times the size of the Lommasson garden and houses an orchard and mixed vegetable row crops that are served at the Iron Griz Bistro and other UM dining venues.


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 ASUM Office of Transportation is a student funded, organized, and run business that provides alternative modes of transportation for students and the campus community. The Office of Transportation provides a free bus service, rental bikes, bike repair, student education, and incentives for alternative transportation.


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 Kless Revolving Energy Loan Fund (KRELF) manages a pool of money generated from an optional student sustainability fee. Students manage the fund through committee and students develop and propose projects that save energy, lower operating costs, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of funded projects must have quantifiable savings and return on investment.


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:

1. Fall Feastival
The University of Montana and UM Dining's Farm to College program hosts the “Fall Feastival” that brings students, faculty and staff together on the University Oval to enjoy a delicious shared meal of Montana grown and produced food.

2. Earth Week:
Every year in April, the ASUM Sustainability Center and the Office of Sustainability join together to facilitate a variety of workshops, community service opportunities, and educational outreach all focused around Earth Day and the days before and after. Prior to Earth Day itself, an Ecopentatholon and Earth Service day occurs where students and community members can volunteer to pull invasive weeds, clean up the Clark Fork River, help sort recyclables at the UM Recycle Shed, and help in the University's organic garden.


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:

In April 2016, UM partnered with the Missoula Independent, a local publishing company and weekly newspaper, Climate Smart Missoula, and Home Resource to host the Eco Expo on campus. In addition to an expo hall full of local and regional sustainability businesses and organizations, the Eco Expo included workshops, keynote speakers, and an art installation wherein local artists created images of a 'sustainable future' on reclaimed wooden doors provided by Home Resource. The installation was set up during Earth Week and was accessible into early May.


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:

1. Freshman Wilderness Experience
The Freshman Wilderness Experience is a program designed to give incoming freshman a genuine wilderness experience before their first week of college. Experienced students lead groups of 5-10 freshman on backpacking, canoeing, mountain biking, or kayaking trips. These trips often expose out of state students to the natural amenities of Montana and develop community for incoming freshman.

2.Climate Change Studies in the Field:
The Climate Change Studies program provides three different outdoor field courses that students in and outside of the minor can participate in. The three courses provided are located in Glacier National Park, Vietnam or Central Montana with each focusing on a specific aspect of climate change as it is related to the location of the study abroad experience.

3. Campus Recreation's Outdoor Program runs coordinates and leads rafting, kayaking, climbing, backpacking, and skiing outings open to all students, faculty, and staff. All of their student leaders are Wilderness EMT certified and LNT certified.


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):
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 Eco Reps offer programming that address personal life choices that impact sustainability, such as: transportation, health and beauty product options, diet and nutrition, and green dorm room tips.


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:

The University of Montana supports a group of students called the Eco-Reps. This group of students live in the dormitories, off-campus student apartments, and off-campus homes. Their main focus is to educate students on sustainable lifestyles while attending school by hosting regular educational programs. A portion of their room and board is paid for by the university.

In addition to the Eco Reps, the ASUM Office of Transportation employs 2-5 Sustainable Transportation Ambassadors each year to lead the department's bike, pedestrian, and public transit outreach efforts. The Ambassadors coordinate commuter challenges, present transportation options to campus groups, and run the "Commuter of the Week" social media campaign when school is in session.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

UM currently has a sustainability pledge that is not explicitly tied to graduation, but is available to anyone within the UM community at any time. The pledge is available online and asks participants to identify specific strategies they plan to use to shrink their resource footprint and become more involved in campus and community sustainability efforts.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Sustainable Business Strategies Certificate is a collection of 15 academic credits that require students engage with sustainable business strategies, research B Corp companies, and gain hands-on experience with for-profit sustainability assessment tools. This certificate is open for students from any department. In addition to taking four business oriented classes, students are required to complete one sustainability related internship.


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.