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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 51.95
Liaison Erin Stanforth
Submission Date July 24, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Virginia Commonwealth University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Parker Long
Sustainability Reporting and Outreach Coordinator
Facilities Management - Office of 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 No
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 Yes
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:

Green Unity 4 VCU is a student led organization that focuses on promoting sustainability at VCU through service and education. This organization works directly with the Center for Environmental Studies as well as student groups and local organizers. Their focus is VCU and the Richmond community with the belief that change can start here where students can see their impacts. Green Unity’s aim is to promote cooperation and teamwork among students, faculty and staff from different schools and units within the university, as each will have unique skills and expertise to share. They work with local organizations and businesses to promote sustainability, conservation and overall, an environmentally friendlier quality of life. Green Unity has a presence on both the Monroe Park and the MCV Campuses and is open to all students on both campuses.


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:

VCU has a Community Garden located on the MCV Campus which has plots available for rent to students, faculty and staff. The Community Garden on the MCV Campus has the following features:

1. Compost bins (3)
2. Gardens for Life signage for explanation of community garden project
3. Vermiculture and rain barrels, complete with informational signage, for educational purposes
4. Garden storage with combination lock (all current members will have the combination)
5. Raised beds to improve access to people of all mobility needs, improve soil quality, and improve soil drainage
6. Sub-irrigated planters, in addition to raised beds, to maximize use of space in the garden
7. Design around existing steam pipes and utility access areas

Plots are available for purchase to all students in a variety of packages that works with different schedules and time commitments.


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:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
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A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

VCU has a variety of sustainability events throughout the academic year, including: Move-in day, Campus Sustainability Day, America Recycles Day, RecycleMania, VCU Bike Week, VCU Earth Week, Arbor Day, and Move-Out Day. Additionally, VCU hosts conferences such as the 4th Annual Greening VA Universities and Colleges Conference, 1st Annual VA Governors Conference on Energy and VCU Energy & Sustainability Conference. Guest speakers, such as Jeremy Rifkin and Joel Salatin, are also scheduled.


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 Rams Community Bazaar is an event designed to promote community, creativity, and sustainability in the Richmond area by providing a haven for economic and cultural exchange that appeals to the VCU student body, alumni, and the Richmond community. This event happens annually, usually around Earth Day.


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

The VCU Sports Recreation's Outdoor Adventure Program ()AP) serves VCU students, faculty, staff, alumni and guests by providing low-cost outdoor activity-based trips, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing, caving, hiking, backpacking and skiing. On all of the trips every effort is taken to leave the campsite in better condition than it was found to be in. The Outdoor Adventure Program takes the steps to ensure that no one leaves any trash or harms the environment on their trips.


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:

VCU proudly kicked off its Year of the Environment Oct. 1, 2009, at the VCU Rice Center. Throughout the year, the university hosted a variety of events associated with the initiative, including workshops, lectures and other events available to the VCU and the greater Richmond communities.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

VCU ASPiRE is a living-learning program promoting community engagement through academic coursework and co-curricular experiences. The mission of VCU ASPiRE is to enrich and deepen students’ understanding of their capacity to create positive change in communities and address critical societal needs through long-term sustainable partnerships. Environmental sustainability is addressed in the ASPiRE curriculum.


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

The VCU Office of Sustainability seeks student interns who are passionate about promoting sustainability on campus. Intern positions include a graphic design intern and general support interns. Responsibilities held by interns include overseeing communications, supporting staff projects and research, and attending weekly meetings with staff. Interns also have the opportunity to create and manage independent suitability projects.


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:
---

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.