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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 65.89
Liaison Marian Brown
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Wells College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Marian Brown
Director
Center for Sustainability and the Environment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Wells Campus Greens is the environmental group at Wells College. Members believe in the tenets of activism, action, and hard labor!

F.O.R.C.E.S. (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship) is a collaboration between Wells students and the NY Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Among the activities FORCES members undertake are trail clean-up and maintenance at area state parks (Long Point State Park in Aurora and Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia) as well as campus-based outdoor conservation and stewardship activities, like invasive species pulls and campus cleanups).
https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=Wells%20College%20FORCES

In Fall 2017, a new club, Blend, formed to promote the making and use of personal care products with natural materials. The club offered workshops to teach members how to make lip balms from beeswax and body scrubs from raw sugar. The Club also worked with the director of the Center for Sustainability to offer a workshop on identifying and avoiding potential toxins in common personal products and offering recipes for making alternative non-toxic products.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Students developed and maintain a campus organic garden behind McGordon House, just adjacent to main campus. This organic garden also produces specialized food products for the Japanese language classes. The garden recently was expanded to include vermiculture composting of coffee grounds from the student-run Grind cafe as well as spent plant materials from the organic garden and hardwood leaves collected from campus and community lawns. The compost and mulch created through this worm composting project will be used in the organic garden.

In Spring 2017, the Introduction to Gardening class designed and constructed three raised bed gardens for placement in the heart of campus, next to the Sommer Center. These beds were filled with organic soil mix and the gardens are maintained organically. In Fall 2017, the Introduction to Gardening class designed and constructed a companion raise bed for raspberry plants.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The student-run GRIND Cafe has a focus on sustainability. They serve only locally-roasted fair trade certified coffee as well as offering fair trade certified teas and hot chocolate. Many of their other food and beverage products have sustainability attributes as well. The GRIND participates with the Center for Sustainability and the Environment to redeem GOTCHA cards, given to campus community members spotted using their reusable mug for beverages. The GRIND also offers discounted pricing for refills into reusable mugs.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have 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

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

We do have an investment club, but they do not maintain a separate portfolio of sustainable investments.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

The Center for Sustainability and the Environment offers three different educational series, which are free and open to the public, but primarily geared toward students as the intended audience. The Sustainability Perspectives series brings in local and regional speakers on a variety of sustainability-related topics. The Sustainable Business series, a collaboration between the Center for Sustainability and the Sullivan Center for Business and Entrepreneurship, brings in business leaders from companies that focus on sustainability as part of their business practice. The Center also collaborates with the Sullivan Center for the annual "Be Your Own Boss" business idea competition, supporting keynote speakers and prizes for social impact or sustainability business ideas. The Sustainability Speaker series brings in national-level speakers to campus - this series has been temporarily suspended due to lack of funding. The Sustainable Film series offers screenings of sustainability-related films. The film series has been held in collaboration with Wells College Campus Greens, and several of the films offered were suggested by the club.

In addition, the Center for Sustainability has participated in sponsoring and supporting relevant programming for the annual Activism Symposium.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

The Center for Sustainability actively participates in planning and supporting the annual Peachtown Native American Festival, which offers a weeklong series of educational events. The Center arranges for a native speaker to address a relevant sustainability topic as part of the Sustainability Perspectives series during that festival week.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
No

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
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The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

All Wells College students participate in a liberal arts foundation sequence, Sustainable Community (SC), exploring what it means to be a member of interconnected communities. Four themed seminars enhance students' ability to communicate, both orally and through writing, using relevant technology. Students also learn quantitative skills and how to reason clearly while making logical arguments; they come to appreciate what is distinctive about scientific explanations; they develop an appreciation for languages and cultures in a global context; they develop awareness of the physical body and what practices help maintain health; they engage in experiential learning; and in the senior year, they explore different perspectives on a seminal idea or theory related to sustainable community in an interdisciplinary capstone experience.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Center for Sustainability and the Environment responds to requests to provide learning activities for floor programs in the residence halls. In Fall 2015, two RA groups offered their residents programs on proper recycling practices (using a recycling sort exercise the Center provided).

In addition, students can opt to live in Mandell House, a themed residence hall in which the residents learn about social justice and sustainability.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

There is a paid work-study position with the Center for Sustainability and the Environment as a Sustainability Program Assistant.

In addition, during the summer, Wells College provided funding for two paid summer positions: the Campus Gardens intern to develop new and maintain existing campus gardens, and the Aurora Farmers Market intern.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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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.