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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 61.37
Liaison Preston Jacobsen
Submission Date April 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.15 / 4.00 Preston Jacobsen
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
27,845

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):
7,993

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
28.71

Name of the student educators program:
Eco-Vols

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
6,889

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

Eco-Vols is peer-to-peer environmental education program within the residence halls aimed at reducing energy and water usage, increasing recycling, and promoting other sustainable living habits. They do this through a variety of programming, such as documentary screenings, zero waste events, and by participating in campus-wide sustainability campaigns.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Any student that lives in an on-campus residence hall may participate in the Eco-Vols. Those students that choose to participate are assigned to a residence hall to provide sustainability outreach and support. There are 80 members in the group.


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

Representatives from the Office of Sustainability and Recycling Office attend one of the first meetings each semester for training. This includes an overview of the program's purpose and expectations, an overview of campus energy and water conservation strategies, and a presentation on the campus recycling efforts.


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):

The Eco-Vols are supported by member dues collected each year. They also have the opportunity to apply for funding for projects and supplies from the SGA budget. Minor financial support may also be provided by the Office of Sustainability for sustainability outreach and education projects. The Sustainability Outreach Coordinator attends meetings to offer general support as well


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK)

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
477

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

For over 22 years, SPEAK has played, and will continue to play, a role in environmental education for the campus community. The group has hosted speakers from across the U.S. and Canada who have made presentations on a wide variety of environmental issues. The group works to increase awareness of and seek creative solutions to local, regional, and national environmental issues. In the spirit of thinking globally and acting locally, this organization aims to build a community of leaders who act on stewardship and sustainability through taking action right here at home - between sponsoring a local waterway (Third Creek), hosting cleanups of campus and local communities, and promoting sustainable policy.


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

SPEAK accepts students from all disciplines of study. Many of the students are or once were part of a class taught by Dr. McKinney on campus. Almost all who take the class are also Sustainability majors. There are 91 members in the group.


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

The students receive basic knowledge on sustainability in the community and internationally on campus. The Office of Sustainability Outreach Coordinator also regularly attends meetings to give updates on initiatives on campus.


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):

Outreach materials are regularly sponsored by the Office of Sustainability.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
Hydrolunteers

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
496

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

Hydrolunteers is a water and environment focused organization on UT’s campus merging the student chapters of American Water Resources Association (AWRA) and the American Water Works Association/Water Environment Association (AWWA/WEA). The goal of this group is to create a platform for community involvement, networking, and learning for students across any department at UTK interested in all things water and environment! they have 62 regular members who lead river cleanups, host panel discussions, and participate in campus-wide sustainability campaigns - all of whom are registered members of the AWRA and/or the AWWA/WEA.


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

Any student may join the Hydrolunteers if they are registered members of the AWRA and/or the AWWA/WEA.


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

Students receive adviser guidance and peer mentorship at club meetings. Many students are also enrolled in courses focusing on watershed science, which prepares them in educating others on topics regarding water and the environment.


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):

This organization has faculty advisers Kim Carter, John Hathaway, and Andrea Ludwig who provide administrative support to the group.


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:

Project V.E.G.G.I.E Project V.E.G.G.I.E., which stands for Vols Educating about Growing Gardens and Inspiring Environmentalism, started as an idea among strangers and grew into a mission amid friends to give UT students the opportunity to cultivate their gardening skills, save money by growing their own food, and educate students about the advantages of working with nature and its devices. Members of Project V.E.G.G.I.E. learn how to manage a garden (if they don’t already know how), gain experience in growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more, have access to free fresh and natural fruits, vegetables, and flowers, build long-lasting friendships with people who have similar interests, and are a part of UT’s first ever main campus community garden. This group has 77 members.

The Food Recovery Network: The Food Recovery Network is a national organization that unites students at colleges and universities to fight food waste and hunger by recovering surplus perishable food from their campuses and surrounding communities that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to people in need. The chapter here at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, works with Aramark (our dining service provider) to recover food from sporting events, dining halls, campus convenience stores, etc. All of the recovered food goes to Second Harvest Food bank of East Tennessee, which helps to feed 18 surrounding counties. They do this with a mere 10 regular members, but they rely heavily on volunteer gathering. Roughly 54 students participated in service efforts during last fiscal year.


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:
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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.