|Submission Date||Oct. 6, 2014|
|2.00 / 2.00||
The Sustainability team within Facilities Management collaborated with Western Mustangs, the Athletics Department, to create and organize an Independent Orientation Event (IOE) for Orientation Week 2014, entitled “The Amazing Race Western”. This event was a scavenger hunt themed event, available to all first year students, in order for incoming undergraduates to learn more about the campus's features, in addition to sustainability initiatives. Teams of students competed for prizes by completing various hands-on challenges across campus. Examples of sustainability challenges included participating in a waste sorting challenge, completing trivia for Western's Energy Dashboard, and visiting LEED-certified buildings on campus.
In terms of promoting sustainability to all incoming graduate students, the Sustainability team within Facilities Management set up an information booth at the main “Graduate Student Orientation” event in September 2014. This allowed students to learn about sustainability initiatives across campus, and how their contributions are crucial to Western’s community.
Sustainability is also integrated into new-student orientation (O-Week) through three groups on campus: EnviroWestern, Residence Life, and Facilities Management. EnviroWestern is a club/service at Western that encourages students from any faculty or academic year (undergraduate and graduate) to become involved in “green” events and address sustainability issues around campus. Residence Life provides an array of activities to all students living on campus including, orientation week programming, service learning opportunities, mental health services, and sustainability opportunities and initiatives. Residence Life works closely with Facilities Management’s Sustainability Coordinator to integrate sustainability opportunities into residences on campus. The summer of 2014 is the first summer that a Master of Environment and Sustainability co-op student was hired on by the Housing Programming Office to focus specifically on integrating sustainability into first year undergraduate student living at Western. Examples of resources created by the Housing Programming Office for this year’s O-Week events include a Program Guide for ‘Zero Waste’, a Sustainable Living Guide, and a sustainability presentation while students are settling into residences. Facilities Management’s sustainability team provides sustainability opportunities to all students, staff and faculty on campus. This year, one of the sustainability team’s initiatives was to educate Orientation week leaders on sustainability issues and opportunities on campus and prepare them to be role models for incoming students. Additionally, these three groups are working together to provide more sustainably sourced materials in the orientation week kit, and reduce paper products from posters and flyers, by instead offering online resources and magnets. During O-Week, sustainability is promoted through presentations, tours, recycling awareness campaigns, and “green stations” encouraging people to properly sort their waste.
Given all of the above resources and initiatives, it is estimated that about 6000 incoming students (all first year undergraduate, graduate, and transfer students) are provided with activities and programs that prominently include sustainability.
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