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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 Gold
Overall Score 69.60
Liaison Shanna Eller
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of North Carolina, Greensboro
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Chad Carwein
Sustainability Education and Outreach Specialist
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
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
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences No
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives ---

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

UNCGreen is a student-governed organization dedicated to advancing sustainability and environmental awareness on campus. Members work with the Office of Sustainability to address a variety of campus sustainability issues. Members also collaborate with other UNCG student groups to promote events and activities on campus.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

* Adopt-A-Stream cleanups
* Vampire Energy Slayers Events
* Proposed "Green Fund" Sustainability Fee


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The campus garden was started in October 2010. Faculty and staff, working with the Sustainability Office, were allowed use of the site of a demolished home to build the UNCGreensboro Gardens. The empty lot first contained 25 raised beds, constructed with boards salvaged from an old barn; this was expanded to more than 35 in 2012. Pathways are covered with wood chips from tree trimming and removal work that occurred on or near campus.

UNCGreensboro Gardens aims to build healthy, interactive communities through the collective production of locally grown, organic food. The UNCGG draws on the knowledge of various experts at the university and within the local community, including area master gardeners.

The Garden has been used by many classes, including Environmental Studies and a Classics course, “The Archaeology of Roman Daily Life,” in which students grew foods used by ancient Romans. "Environment in Anthropology" currently uses two beds, one for medicinal herbs and the other for edibles. Students are interested in ethnobotany and are looking at indigenous plants used in NC for healing.

Several staff groups have plots, and the Garden has also spawned a student gardening club. Dining Services has planted herbs in four beds for use in dishes they cater on campus.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

The Spartan Trader (ST) is a student-run retail store for first-hand consignments made by students, faculty, and staff. Built around experiential learning, ST provides students the opportunity to work and learn in this entrepreneurial environment through a variety of UNCG classes. Much like residencies and internships, the ST bridges the gap between classroom learning and real-world application.

The ST places an emphasis on sustainability and locally sourced materials while also making a profit for the seller and store, which is a 50/50 split. The ST encourages all of the consignees, customers, and employees to be leaders in sustainable practices and buying local. The ST wants to serve as a model for other businesses looking to incorporate sustainable practices in a practical way.

The ST seeks to continuously improve on these themes year after year through constant education and support of resources on campus. Through selling items in the retail store, the consignees learn what the consumer is interested in and how to price their products. At the same time, the students learn all aspects of business that directly translate into self-employment skills.

The ST is operated through the Entrepreneurship Cross Disciplinary Programs (ECDP) Office in the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG. The cross-disciplinary structure of UNCG’s Entrepreneurship program allows students from a variety of schools across campus to implement ideas at all levels of the store from marketing strategies to 5-year plans. See public notes for more detailed information on the courses involved with ST operations.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

The UNCG Bryan School of Business got a new Dean and we are working with him to have the student group that has investment oversight of a portion of our endowed funds to research socially and environmentally responsible investments to include in the portfolio.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
---

A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

UNCG has held several events related to sustainability:

* UNCG has held Earth Day celebration events for several years.

* UNCG has held the Sustainability Film & Discussion Series since 2006.

* UNCG has held the Sustainability Shorts Film Competition since 2010.

* UNCG has held Campus Sustainability Day since 2010 with the exception of 2014.

* In Spring 2014, the Ecologically SANE Think Tank Class hosted the Chautauqua for an environmental awareness and action event focused on undergraduate higher education with contributions from the arts and humanities. The event included music, poetry and science with a focus on the "Role of Undergraduate Education in Meeting the Demands of Planetary Change in the 21st Century." *** Student-Governed ***

* In Fall 2014, UNCG hosted an event called “What’s Green Got to Do with It?" The goal was to bring attention to issues surrounding the low number of minority students enrolled in the Environmental Studies program and their lack of participation in sustainability initiatives on campus. The event also highlighted the issue of Environmental Justice featuring guest speaker Dr. Bob Davis, a member of the local Solid Waste Commission and Chairperson of the Concerned Citizens of Northeast Greensboro. In addition, the event featured other speakers such as Dr. Markham, Director of Environmental Studies, and Kala Taylor from Career Services who joined together to give a green jobs presentation. Dr. Sevil Somnez, Professor in the new Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality program, moderated the student panel discussion.

* Throughout 2014, UNCG hosted the 8th Annual Sustainability Film & Discussion Series. This monthly event features the latest documentaries about environmental education, climate change, and sustainable living. The post-screening discussions are led by local experts, which gives the participants a chance to ask questions and learn more about relevant sustainability issues in our community. All films are free, open to the public, and screened in the Weatherspoon Art Museum Auditorium.

* In Spring 2014, UNCG hosted the 5th Annual Sustainability Shorts Film Competition. Judging was based on relation to sustainability as well as concept, cinematography, acting, production quality, costuming, writing, etc. All entries were screened as part of the UNCG Sustainability Film Series. After the film screening, three winners were announced and celebrated at the event.

* In Fall 2013, UNCG expanded Campus Sustainability Day by partnering with students, staff and faculty that were from both on and off campus. The Office of Sustainability invited faculty engaged in sustainability research to a scholarship fair so that students could learn about their current work in the field. HealthyUNCG showed an original video on pedestrian safety to demonstrate how the environment can effect a person's stress level. Students from both UNCG and The Middle College program attended a presentation about "green careers" given by Dr. Markham, Director of the UNCG Environmental Studies Program, in collaboration with staff from the UNCG Career Services Center. Students who submitted grant proposals for the Creative Sustainability Initiative (CSI) were given space to display project posters and discuss their proposals with guests. Before the event closed with an announcement of the 2013 CSI winners, Dr. Allen, Academic Sustainability Coordinator, gave a preview of the "Clover Project" proposal that would create a unique platform for integration of sustainability in the arts here at UNCG.

* In Spring 2012, author David Owen gave the keynote for the Harriett Elliott lecture and participated in a panel discussion with local politicians and academics titled: "Greening Greensboro: How the Sustainable Cities Movement Can Make Our City and Region More Liveable."

* In Spring 2011, UNCG hosted speakers that focused on sustainability practices and policies. David Orr, professor at Oberlin and leading voice for sustainability, and Stephen Leeds, Chief Sustainability Office for the US General Services Administration, both spoke to large audiences that included members of both the campus community and the greater Greensboro community.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

For the UNCG Earth Day Celebration in 2014, we invited Creative Organizing and Leadership (COAL), which is an upbeat musical fable and grassroots engagement campaign that awakens climate awareness and activism. The story of climate change is often told through a despairing and overwhelming lens that results in the feeling that the way forward is beyond our control. COAL takes people to the heart of today’s paradox, benefits and consequences of our fossil fuel based society. As a performance, COAL encourages diverse audiences to become participants in re-imagining our extractive and transactional culture. As a change making vehicle, COAL empowers facilitators of interconnected, solutions-oriented projects. All of COAL, as it expands and activates the commitment to climate action, also energizes a transformative movement for a just and sustainable world.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Outdoor Adventures Program is the outdoor education and recreation component within the Department of Campus Recreation at UNCG. Outdoor Adventures is a program housed in the Student Recreation Center and serves the UNCG community with its three divisions: Adventure Trips, Rental & Trip Center (outdoor equipment rental) and The Edge (indoor climbing wall). Outdoor Adventures strives to blend recreation and education to offer a quality outdoor experience for every participant.

The mission of UNCG Outdoor Adventures is to promote healthy, active lifestyles through outdoor recreation activities for the UNCG community. Staff aspire to enhance participants’ environmental awareness and technical outdoor skills while fostering a sense of community and encouraging positive relationships.

Leave No Trace principles are followed on all trips. LNT is taught to all participants - it is a cornerstone of the program philosophy when traveling in wilderness and outdoor locations. Over the past several years Outdoor Adventures members have also conducted stream clean-up service projects on a two-mile stretch of Buffalo Creek just north of campus.

Information for this credit was received from Mike Ackerman, Assistant Director for UNCG Outdoor Adventures.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the theme is available:
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A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Sustainability Office created a "Virtual Green Dorm Room" for Housing and Residence Life, which they link to from our website. This interactive Prezi slideshow demonstrates techniques for students can live more sustainably in their dorms or apartments, skills that they can carry with them upon graduation.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Office of Sustainability is eligible to hire two (2) Federal Work Study Students to work 10 hours per week throughout each year. In addition, we also offer students internship opportunities for volunteer service hours or course credit.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of 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:
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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.