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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 77.43
Liaison Claudia Frere-Anderson
Submission Date Oct. 14, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Washington, Seattle
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Claudia Frere-Anderson
Director
UW Sustainability
"---" 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 Yes
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:

The University of Washington has 40 active student groups that focus or relate to environment or sustainability topics. The primary sustainability-focused groups are:
• The Campus Sustainability Fund is helping to create a sustainable campus by fostering an environmentally conscious culture by funding student-led projects that lessen the University of Washington's environmental impact. The Campus Sustainability Fund has granted more than $1 million in project funding since it was established in 2010. This group is student governed.

• Earth Club UW Student Chapter executes projects that encourage environmental stewardship on campus and in the UW community. Over the past three years, Earth Club has planned and coordinated Earth Day campus activities, worked on a Green Map of sustainable businesses near campus, organized sustainability workshops and worked with elementary-age students for environmental education workshops. This group is student governed.

• EcoReps at the University of Washington are students who actively engage their peers to promote and encourage sustainable behavior. EcoReps will work in alignment with the UW Environmental Policy statement and the Climate Action Plan goals to decrease UW's environmental impact. Over the past three years, EcoReps have hosted two "Trashion" Fashion shows, partnered with SEED on a reusable mug campaign, piloted bathroom paper towel composting, and worked with the Greek Community on compost and recycle collection bin delivery, a Green Greek Competition, and Green Greek Certification. This group is student governed.

• Husky Sustainable Storms mitigates stormwater runoff on-campus by designing and building a stormwater treatment structure that mimics ecological processes and reflects environmental values. Husky Sustainable Storms has acquired funding, designed, and are currently implementing a bioswale south of the Burke Museum parking lot. This group is student governed.

• Real Food Challenge UW is student run campaign dedicated to working with UW and UW Housing and Food Services to provide ecologically sustainable, locally sourced, humanely and fairly produced food to students on campus in Housing and Food Services dining facilities. Over the past three years, the Real Food Challenge UW has audited the Universities food purchases to determine what percentage of our food is considered "real food." This group is student governed.

• The Society for Ecological Restoration University of Washington Student Guild brings together students with a common interest in the science and practice of ecological restoration. Over the past three years, the Society for Ecological Restoration UW has removed invasive plants and planted native plants in an area of campus, and they have attended multiple plant salvages throughout the county to acquire plants for their projects. This group is student governed.

• The Student Association for Green Environments (S.A.G.E.) is a registered student organization that helps to build a student community within the Program on the Environment. Events and networking opportunities provided through S.A.G.E. strive to stimulate awareness and promote environmental stewardship. Over the past three years, SAGE has hosted several events (such as hikes, special presentations, and social gatherings), and volunteered in the community (such as outreach for waste at football games). This group is student governed.

• Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED) is a student organization at the University of Washington, overseen by Housing and Food Services, that encourages environmentally sound practices in the residence halls and serves to raise awareness about environmental issues that affect the residential community. Over the past three years, SEED has implemented bottle cap recycling in the residence halls, lead the One Thing Challenge, created 3-D signs for compost, recycling and waste, hosted campus cleanups, maintain p-patches, and plan activities for the group. This group is student governed.

• The UW Farm is a campus center for the practice and study of urban agriculture and sustainability. It is an educational, community-oriented resource for people who want to learn about building productive and sustainable urban landscapes. Over the past three years, the UW Farm has expanded into two additional urban spaces on campus, has partnered with Housing and Food Services to sell UW Farm food in dining facilities, implemented a produce CSA and weekly produce stand, and holds regular work parties and pizza bakes. This group is student governed.

• Biodiesel Cooperative's goal is to prepare students for jobs in alternative energy through hands-on experiences. To achieve this end the Biodiesel Cooperative will arrange and execute a plan to utilize waste cooking oil from Housing and Food Services at the University of Washington for the student-led production of biodiesel in perpetuity. This group is student governed.


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 University of Washington offers two student-run opportunities for students to gain experience in farming and gardening:

The UW Farm is a campus center for the practice and study of urban agriculture and sustainability. It is an educational, community-oriented resource for people who want to learn about building productive and sustainable urban landscapes. The Farm has expanded from three carefully double-dug beds by the Botany Greenhouse, to three diverse urban spaces around UW campus. Student volunteers maintain the farm, and provide outreach and tours that are incorporated into the curriculum of classes ranging from ecology to anthropology. UW Housing and Food Services has agreed to purchase food from the UW Farm for use in campus dining facilities. The UW Farm practices sustainable agriculture as much as possible; they don’t use any pesticides or herbicides, but rather use sustainable practices such as polycultures, crop rotations, organic compost, and cover crops. This group is student governed.
http://food.washington.edu/farm/

The Student P-Patch Garden is a place for Residence Hall students to explore urban farming and food sovereignty. A committed student or group of students tends each garden plot, making individual decisions about what to plant and what to do with the food. SEED (Students Expressing Environmental Dedication), the residence hall environmental group, has taken on leadership of the project, in partnership with the Urban Farm Group at UW, and the UW Grounds Department. This group is student governed.
http://students.washington.edu/uwseed/ppatch/


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:

There are several opportunities for students to gain sustainable business skills through real-world experience at the University of Washington:

1. Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) Bike Shop (student-run):
"As kids, bikes represented freedom to explore. As adults, they provide a cost effective, fun, environmentally friendly, and healthy way to travel. Bikes provide the thrill of exploration. The goal of the ASUW Bike Shop is to provide the most affordable and the fastest bicycle repair service in the area, allowing our customers to spend less money and less time waiting for bicycle repairs. We believe that more people riding bikes on campus will lead to a healthier community. Unlike other bike shops, our goal is not to turn a profit, but rather to provide a service to the community. We love to ride bikes, and we want you to as well!" This group is student governed.
http://bike.asuw.org/

2. Parnassus has provided coffee and goodies to campus patrons since the 1950s. The range of food offerings on hand emphasize locally made items to help accommodate a variety of diets. In keeping with tradition, the café is run by students with administrative support from Housing and Food Services. https://www.hfs.washington.edu/dining/parnassus/

3. The annual UW Environmental Innovation Challenge brings together Interdisciplinary student teams to define a clean-tech problem, design and develop the solution, and produce both a prototype and a business summary that demonstrates the market opportunity. These projects encourage students to launch products and businesses that are related to environmental sustainability. http://eic.washington.edu/


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

The Campus Sustainability Fund (CSF) is a student-managed, student-funded green fee that allocates approximately $300,000 annually to student designed sustainability projects at the University of Washington Seattle campus. The fund places students in leadership positions where they gain hands on skills in project management, grant writing, and project implementation, while simultaneously allowing students the opportunity to integrate their research and academic studies into real life applications. This group is student governed.


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:

The University of Washington holds several major events related to sustainability:

• The SustainableUW Festival celebrates environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts at the University of Washington, highlighting contributions and leadership efforts across campus as well as providing opportunities for students, faculty and staff to get involved. A central part of the festival is the UW Sustainability Summit, which has featured speakers from across the University of Washington for a discussion of sustainability, as well as a poster session on student environmental projects around campus. http://green.uw.edu/festival

• The UW Earth Day Celebration brings students, faculty, staff, and community members together to celebrate environmental stewardship and sustainability efforts across campus and within the community. Groups can share information about their mission, educate others about their area of environmental focus, and encourage others to get involved. Many of the Earth Day activities are planned, run and governed by the student Earth Club. http://green.uw.edu/earth-day-2014

• The School of Environmental and Forest Sciences provides three seminar series for students to take for either credit or to attend without course registration. These series are the Water Seminar (ESRM 429/SEFS 529), the Wildlife Science Seminar (ESRM 455/SEFS 554), both offered each Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters, and the Silviculture Seminar (SEFS 526), offered Winter Quarter. http://www.cfr.washington.edu/courses/index.shtml

• The UW Nutritional Sciences Program offered a seminar series as part of its NUTR 490/500 class. The theme for the fall 2014 quarter was Sustainable Food and Nutrition Safety, and the theme for the Winter 2014 quarter was Global Nutrition and Food Justice.

•The UW College of the Environment and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences host an annual Sustaining Our World Lecture, bringing in a speaker each year to a large lecture hall. http://depts.washington.edu/sefsblog/tag/sustaining-our-world-lecture-series/

• The University of Washington also has several endowment funds administered through the Graduate School that bring speakers in for public lectures. In 2014-2015 speakers on sustainability themes included Dolores Huerta, Eric Avila, Adam Drewnowski, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, M.D., and Bruce Blumberg. http://www.grad.washington.edu/lectures/

• The Environmental Health Seminar (Env H 580) is a department-sponsored seminar series for students, staff, and faculty; practicing professionals in the environmental and occupational health fields; and the public. This seminar highlights the rich diversity of our department and is an opportunity to hear from local, national, and internationally known scientists, practitioners, and policymakers on issues of current scientific importance. http://deohs.washington.edu/calendar/environmental-health-seminar

• In Fall 2014, the UW's Program on Climate Change and Department of Global Health organized a seminar series on international climate change negotiations. The seminar focused on political and science issues associated with the negotiations and led students towards a more complete and nuanced understanding of the negotiation process as well as recent results in climate science that will inform the negotiations. http://globalhealth.washington.edu/node/9839

• The Future of Ice Lecture Series: as climate change transforms our environment, the Arctic and Antarctic face a troubling, uncertain fate. Join us for The Future of Ice, a six-part lecture series that covers our polar regions from a variety of perspectives. We offer a slate of renowned experts who will cover issues including glacial retreat, wildlife at the poles, and the changing Arctic environment’s impact on Inuit culture. http://coenv.washington.edu/alumni-and-community/calendar-events/future-of-ice-speaker-series/

• A collection of sustainability events are centralized on UW Sustainability's events calendar http://green.washington.edu/events


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:

The University of Washington holds a few cultural arts events related to sustainability:

- The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture creates understanding of the natural world and our place in it. The museum is responsible for Washington State collections of Natural and Cultural heritage, as well as housing traveling exhibits and displays. A sample of current and past exhibits related to sustainability at the Burke Museum include: "Elwha: A River Reborn," "Plastics Unwrapped," and "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats."
http://www.burkemuseum.org/

- The annual sustainable fashion show Conservation Catwalk showcases fashion which is ethically and sustainably constructed for both people and the planet.


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 University of Washington has several outdoors programs which follow Leave No Trace principles.

First Year Programs offers an optional Outdoor Adventure to incoming freshman as part of orientation. Incoming students can choose to go on a 3-day kayaking adventure (including camping, hiking, and kayaking), a 2-day Rafting adventure (including hiking, white water rafting, and camping), or a 2-day ropes adventure (including a ropes course, camping, and hiking). They follow Leave No Trace principles. http://fyp.washington.edu/getting-started-at-the-university-of-washington/advising-orientation-a-o-freshman/outdoor-adventures/

The Waterfront Activities Center offers canoe and rowboat rentals to students. They also partner on a yearly event in which volunteers are provided rentals to pick up trash in the water and shoreline. http://depts.washington.edu/ima/IMA_wac.php

Several student groups including the the Climbing Club, Union Bay Rowing club and University Kayak Club help to organize outings for students.
http://students.washington.edu/climb/
http://students.washington.edu/ubrc/overview.html
http://students.washington.edu/ukc/wordpress/announcements/
These groups are student governed.

Many courses within the University of Washington, especially in the College of the Environment, organize field trips for students to go out into wilderness areas, in which the instructors also press Leave No Trace principles. A strong example of these courses is the ESRM course titled "Spring Comes to the Cascades." Students go on three field trips in which they hike and snowshoe in the Cascade Mountains while examining the interaction between forests, environment, and growth at three locations, from lowlands to alpine, to understand a number of ecological, physiological, and meteorological concepts.


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 Sustainable Living Community, located in LEED-certified and energy-efficient Poplar Hall offers students the opportunity to explore environmental impact and social equity topics on multiple scales within their community. This living-learning community is partnered with UW's College on the Environment. The program is not student governed.


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

The University of Washington has several sustainability-focused student employment opportunities.
- Through the Campus Sustainability Fund, two students are employed to administer and communicate the fund.
- Within the UW Sustainability office, many students are employed each quarter to focus on various sustainability issues.
- In the Residence Halls, an employment opportunity is provided to lead SEED to ensure success of the program. Additionally, many Resident Advisers include sustainability as a focus of their programming.


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

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.