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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 56.88
Liaison Dedee DeLongpre Johnston
Submission Date June 3, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Wake Forest University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Hannah Slodounik
Program Coordinator
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 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 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 Yes
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

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

The Wake Forest Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), is a local chapter of the national SEAC organization. This organization is governed by an executive board consisting of six students. SEAC hosts an annual "Earth Hour" event on campus.

The Environmental Law Society is a group of Wake Law students who share an interest in the field of environmental law. Group activities include a speaker series, community service, and an occasional outdoor adventure.

EcoTHEO is a student organization at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity whose chief aim is to care for Creation through service-based initiatives, experiential education, grassroots political engagement and advocacy, and communal practice.


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 the fall of 2009 as the result of the interest of two professors, one in the Biology Department and one in the English Department. Two Office of Sustainability interns manage the garden and host stakeholder meetings during each growing season. The goals of the campus garden evolve based on the needs and wants of the campus garden interns and other stakeholders. Research and campus community engagement are always embedded within these refined goals.

Some rows in the garden are comprised of tomatoes, which are the subject of genetic research and community outreach. Additionally, the garden has been used as a hands-on outdoor classroom for many classes spanning biology to religion, the "Students Promoting Action and Responsibility in the Community" (SPARC) program, and a summer program for high school students (LENS). Food grown in the garden is distributed to community agencies through the Wake Forest Campus Kitchen project. The garden is tended using organic gardening techniques; soil amendments for the garden are generated in an on-site compost area.


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:

Campus Grounds is a student-run coffee shop on campus. They serve Krankies Coffee, a local roasting company that "...strive(s) for honesty, transparency, sustainability, and excellence." (www.krankiescoffee.com) Campus Grounds also gives a 10% discount on beverages when a a patron brings a reusable mug or thermos. Learn more about the intentional switch to Krankies Coffee: http://sustainability.wfu.edu/2012/09/27/campus-grounds-serves-locally-roasted-coffee/

Fresh Food Network (FFN) is a student entrepreneurial business that was launched at WFU in fall 2014 by a WFU undergraduate student. The business now employees three additional student staff. FFN only sells goods that are "responsibly produced." All products are locally produced and/or organic. Customers place an order online, then local producers prepare the order. The orders are delivered to WFU and picked up by the customers. FFN also instituted a reusable bag swap program to reduce waste. A couple of the local farms that FFN purchases from are alumni and faculty-owned farms. For more information about Fresh Food Network: http://freshfn.com/.


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

Graduate students in the WFU School of Business offer a Net Impact chapter. The chapter promotes social responsibility and sustainability in relation to the purpose, practice and payoff of business. The club develops awareness of current social, environmental, and cultural issues in all business disciplines through educational materials and events.


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:

Wake Forest hosts a variety of speakers and symposia related to sustainability to engage students. Three notable events and series presented by the Office of Sustainability and the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability from the 2014-2015 academic year include "Make Every Bite Count" featuring Vandana Shiva, PRO+ECT featuring Sylvia Earle, and "The Human Face of Environmental Inequality" featuring Mary Robinson and Andrew Revkin.

Student-governed Net Impact and Environmental Law Society chapters also frequently bring sustainability related speakers to campus. In spring 2015, Net Impact hosted former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis to speak on "Energy Optimists, Climate Realists" and Chris Fox, the Associate General Counsel & VP of Corporate Social Responsibility at HanesBrands, Inc. to discuss CSR.


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:

WFU hosts a variety of cultural arts events and installations throughout the year to support Winston-Salem's designation as the City of the Arts & Innovation. The Reynolda House Museum of American Art hosts exhibits that draw campus and community members. In spring 2015 the museum hosted George Catlin's American Buffalo. The 40 painting exhibit featured the massive herds of buffalo roaming the Great Plains and portray how embedded they were in the daily lives of American Indian tribes. The START Gallery, a year-round venue for student works of visual art, hosted exhibitions titled "Filtered through Nature" and "Living Landscapes" during the 2014-2015 academic year. In fall 2014, Hanes Gallery featured the exhibition "Spencer Finch: color / temperature." WFU is also fortunate to host a Museum of Anthropology with rotating exhibits that support sustainability-related installations. In spring 2013, the museum hosted "This Beautiful World," a 65 print exhibit of Robert Radin's work, which includes landscape and wildlife. In spring 2015 the museum hosted "Understanding Our Past, Shaping Our Future," a traveling exhibition focused on Cherokee language and culture, using sound recordings as the basis for presenting a coherent story in words and text. Major themes included Cherokee Homeland, Heritage Sites, Tourism, Family, and Community Celebrations.


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 Wake Forest outdoors club, Outdoor Pursuits, is an adventure-based group that provides a gear rental service to interested students. Outdoor Pursuits plans and leads outdoor adventure trips for Wake Forest University students, staff, and faculty. Aside from one, full-time staff member, Outdoor Pursuits is run by WFU students.

In partnership with Campus Recreation, Outdoor Pursuits also offers a pre-orientation program called Wilderness to Wake.


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:

First-year students are required to read a book as part of the "Summer Academic Project" before arriving to campus for orientation. In fall 2013 incoming students were required to read "Everything I want to do is Illegal" by radical farmer Joel Salatin. Salatin then spoke about food justice issues during orientation.


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

Sustainability Ambassadors, members of the sustainability peer-to-peer education program, present to peer groups about sustainable life skills. Theses presentations include information on waste reduction, water conservation, emissions reductions, and other key topics.

The Sustainability Theme House is home to 10 sustainability-oriented student residents interested in living out their values. Residents host regular "family" dinners for to which the broader Wake Forest student community are invited. Meals often include produce harvested in the organic student-run garden.


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, in partnership with ARAMARK and Facilities and Campus Services, employees 10 student interns that are paid at $10/hr. The internships are project-based and include garden management, peer education, photography, energy management, and sustainability in dining, among others. The intern group has bi-weekly team meetings with Office of Sustainability staff.


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:

Beginning with the Class of 2011, the graduation pledge has been offered to all seniors.

Wake Forest University Green Graduation Pledge: "I pledge to take into account the social & environmental consequences of any future endeavors I pursue. I will work to improve the sustainability of the communities in which I work, live & play."

Three hundred reusable thermoses are given away to the first 300 seniors who sign the pledge.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest is a student-led food rescue program that partners with community agencies to redistribute meals from campus dining facilities and fresh produce to organizations and individuals in the Winston-Salem community.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:

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.