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Co-Curricular Education

In STARS, the co-curricular education section deals with efforts to provide sustainability education opportunities to students outside of the classroom.  This includes organic gardens, outdoor education programs, and other programs and events that encourage students to learn about sustainability.

ER Credit 1: Student Sustainability Educators Program (2.67/5)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This credit is awarded to colleges and universities that have programs that involve students in peer-to-peer sustainability education.  Programs such as “Eco-Reps” count toward this credit.  The institution has to formally select or designate the students to participate in the program, offer them formal training, and give staff and/or financial support for the program.  Partial points are available for this credit based on the percentage of degree-seeking students that are reached by the program for a total of 5 potential points.

UVM has a very active Eco-Reps program run by the Office of Sustainability and supported by the Recycling & Waste Management Office and ResLife.  The program has been run for 5 years and received a governor's award for environmental excellence early on.  The Eco-Reps are paid undergraduate student employees who educate their peers on waste management, energy conservation, and much more.

In the Fall of 2009, there were 5,329 students in residential halls on campus.  On average there is a 90.3% penetration rate in the 31 residential halls, or 4,813 students.  In addition to the residential students, about 1,500 students are reached by Eco-Rep run events such as the Farmer’s Market, waste sorts, tabling at Earth Week, VT Food Summit and other events.  With the residential students, this results in approximately 6,313 total degree-students reached by the Eco-Reps. 

Based on the STARS criteria of the number of students reached by the program (6,313) out of the total full-time equivalent students at the university (11,838.2) times a factors of 5, UVM may get 2.67 out of 5 points.

The reason for the score is the way that STARS calculates the penetration based on the total number of students, not just residential students.  Currently the UVM Eco-Reps program does not have off-campus representatives, but tries to reach off-campus students through other events and initiatives such as the waste sort and farmer's market.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Gioia Thompson, Office of Sustainability Director
UVM Office of Sustainability
 
Steve Posner, Eco-Reps Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
 
Supporting Documents:

ER Credit 2: Student Sustainability Outreach Campaign (5/5)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This credit is given to institutions that have outreach campaigns on campus that result in real measurable positive results in advancing sustainability.  The program can be a competition and can involve faculty and staff, as long as students participate as well.  Competitions to reduce energy use or waste can count toward this credit.  There are no partial points available for this credit.

UVM Recycling has participated in the RecycleMania competition in the past and is planning to sign up again this year.  The program has resulted in decreased waste diverted towards recycling in the past.  In 2007, UVM placed 4th among Northeast schools in the competition.  Therefore, UVM would receive the full 5 points for this credit.

In addition, the University of Vermont Eco-Reps coordinator attempted to do a Greek Life energy competition, which was not successful.  However, UVM is planning on running another Greek Life energy challenge soon.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Gioia Thompson, Office of Sustainability Director
UVM Office of Sustainability
 

ER Credit 3: Sustainability in New Student Orientation (0/2)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This credit is given to institutions of higher education that incorporate sustainability activities and programs into new student orientation.  This credit, for which no partial points are available, applies to all institutions that hold an orientation.

The University of Vermont does not explicitly include sustainability in orientation that all first year students have to attend.  Although the Eco-Reps educate new students about proper waste sorting and waste reduction through a zero-waste meals initiatives, there is currently not a full sustainability orientation integrated into first year orientation.  Therefore, UVM would not receive any points for this credit.

In the future, the Office of Sustainability hopes to use the work that students from the Spring 2011 ENVS 187 "Campus Sustainability" class put together and distribute it to all first year students on a thumb drive.  In addition, we hope to look at what is considered best practice in integrating sustainability into orientation.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Gioia Thompson, Office of Sustainability Director
UVM Office of Sustainability
 

ER Credit 4: Sustainability Materials and Publications (3.5/4)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

Institutions may receive this credit for providing educational outreach materials about sustainability outside of the formal classroom.  Schools may receive 0.5 points for each material that they provide, for a total of 4 points.  The following list indicates eligible materials, with bold font indicating which materials UVM makes available:

  • A central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts
  • A sustainability newsletter
  • A vehicle to publish and disseminate student research on sustainability
  • Building signage that highlights green building features
  • Food service area signage and/or brochures that include information about sustainable food systems
  • Signage on the grounds about sustainable grounds-keeping strategies employed
  • A sustainability walking map or tour
  • A guide for commuters about how to use alternative methods of transportation
  • A guide for green living and incorporating sustainability into the residential experience
  • Regular coverage of sustainability in the main student newspaper, either through a regular column or a reporter assigned to the sustainability beat
  • Other

The UVM Office of Sustainability provides public information about the university’s sustainability efforts, including data, programs, initiatives, and courses that the Office of Sustainability is/has been involved in.  The Office of Sustainability also writes and distributes a monthly newsletter about sustainability-related efforts going on campus.  Anyone can register for the newsletter through the sustainability website.

The Davis Center, the University of Vermont’s LEED Gold student center, has a dashboard that is available in the building as well as online that illustrates the buildings features and real-time energy and water data.  The dashboard also has information about LEED.  Brennan’s dining facility in the Davis Center, which sources as much local, organic, fair trade, and sustainably-raised food as feasible, has information about the sources of the food as well as other information.

UVM’s Transportation & Parking Services department has an “Alternative Transportation” link on their website, which has information about the various modes available to UVM faculty, staff, and students.  The Campus Area Transportation Management Association (CATMA) website provides information about incentive programs as well as other resources on alternative transportation.

The Office of Sustainability provides “The Guide to Green Living” on its website.  The guide, which started as a class project in 2005, is updated and published every two years.  In addition to the electronic version available on the Office of Sustainability website, some hard copies are also available for distribution.  UVM’s Office of Sustainability also manages the GreenUVM listserv, where any UVM member that subscribes can post information about sustainability-related events, job openings, articles, and other pertinent information.

Based on the number of resources, UVM may get 3.5 out of a possible 4 points for this credit.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Gioia Thompson, Office of Sustainability Director
UVM Office of Sustainability
 

Tier Two Credits

Credit 1: Student Group (0.25/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This Tier Two credit is awarded to institutions that have a student organization dedicated to sustainability.  UVM has a student organization called The Vermont Student Environmental Program (VSTEP) that is comprised of “concerned individuals dedicated to coordinating environmental activities on Vermont campuses and throughout the general public.”

VSTEP has been a student-run non-profit club since fall of 1988.  The organization, along with a class, helped to draft a solid waste management plan for the university in the spring of 1989, which helped to expand the university’s recycling program.

Their goal is to foster sustainability on campuses through the state and help disseminate information through networks.  Their focus is on environmental education, activity, and research.  The group meets every week in the university student center and is open to new members.

There are many other student-oriented groups and organizations on campus, most of which are listed on the UVM SGA website.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Gioia Thompson, Office of Sustainability Director
UVM Office of Sustainability
 

Credit 2: Organic Garden (0.25/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This Tier Two credit is awarded to institutions that have an organic garden for students to work on for educational purposes.  The garden does not have to be Certified Organic, but has to practice organic gardening techniques.  UVM has three organic gardens on campus that students can work on:

  1. The common garden near the GreenHouse is managed by the GreenHouse Garden Guild and employs organic practices.  The Guild is a group of students that design, plant, tend, and harvest the garden under the supervision of Professor Terry Delaney.  The students also cook meals together with the food grown in the garden.  The program has an educational purpose, although there is no academic credit for the work completed and participation is voluntary.  The students learn about crop rotation, planting dates, garden planning, and food preparation.
  2. The Common Ground Farm is located in South Burlington and is entirely run by a student club.  It is a 3 acre farm where students grow vegetables for a Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA).  Dr. Yolanda Chen teaches two formal classes on the farm.
  3. There is a small organic garden outside the Jeffords science building.  The UVM club Campus Kitchens grows vegetables in the garden to use in hot meals for those in need in the Burlington area.  Dr. Yolanda Chen also teaches a class (PSS 124 ‘Agroecology of Vegetable Crops’) where students design research studies using the Jeffords gardens.

 

Contact of Responsible Party:
Mark Starrett, GreenHouse Garden Manager
GreenHouse Residential Learning Community
 
Walter Poleman, GreenHouse Garden Manager
GreenHouse Residential Learning Community
 
Yolanda Chen
Common Ground Farm Manager
 

Credit 3: Model Room in Residence Hall (0/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

Although UVM does have a model room in residence hall, it does not serve to demonstrate sustainable living practices.  Therefore, UVM would not receive any points for this credit.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Stacey Miller, Director of Residential Life
ResLife
 
Steve Posner, Eco-Reps Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
 
Supporting Documents:

N/A

Credit 4: Themed Housing (0.25/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This Tier Two credit is awarded to institutions that have sustainability-themed housing on campus that students have to apply to live in.  UVM has both Slade Hall and the GreenHouse Residential Learning Community, both of which focus on sustainable living practices and require separate applications from the rest of the UVM residential halls.

Slade Hall is a residential community on campus that non-first year students are invited to apply to live in.  The students focus on purchasing local/organic food, cooking together, producing as little waste as possible, reducing water usage, composting, and many other practices to reduce their impact on the environment.

The GreenHouse is a environmentally-focused residential community on the UVM campus with an entire program, including courses, that accepted residents must participate in.  The GreenHouse focuses on teaching the residents how to live in a sustainable manner and continue these practices once they leave the residence hall and the university.  The hall is made up of many guilds and has organized field trips, workshops, discussions, lectures, and events all focused on sustainability.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Walter Poleman, Faculty Director and GreenHouse Garden Manager
GreenHouse Residential Learning Community
 
Steve Libby, Assistant Director
GreenHouse Residential Learning Community
 
Karen Nordstrom, Program Specialist
GreenHouse Residential Learning Community
 

Credit 5: Sustainable Enterprise (0.25/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This credit is given to colleges or universities that have a sustainable enterprise where students can practice running a business.  The business, which can be a café or any other business, must include sustainability as part of its mission statement.

The University of Vermont has the Growing Vermont store in the Davis Center.  The shop is student-run and promotes Vermont-made products as well as socially conscious goods.  The purpose of the store is to give students the experience of running a business as well as to raise awareness about the benefits of buying locally produced items.

Other programs include the student run bike-sharing program, run by the Bike Users Group (BUG).  BUG also runs a free bike shop in the Davis Center.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Michael Moser and Gwen Pokalo
Growing Vermont
 

Credit 6: Sustainability Events (0.25/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This credit is awarded to institutions that hold sustainability-related events.  UVM hosts events during Earth Week that focus on educating and involving students in sustainability-related practices and issues.

The week includes speakers, a craft show and farmer’s market, locally grown and produced dinner, music, and so much more.  Many of the events are free and all are open to the UVM community.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Stacey Miller, Director of Residential Life
ResLife
 
Frank Michael "FM" Muñoz, Student Life Professional
Student Life
 

Credit 7: Outdoors Program (0.25/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

The University of Vermont has a student-run Outing Club, which follows Leave No Trace principles and would qualify for this credit.  The club is open to all UVM students and leads hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking, camping, canoeing, rock climbing, and other outdoor/wilderness trips throughout the year.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Pat Brown, Director of Student Life
Student Life
 
Supporting Documents:

Credit 8: Themed Semester of the Year (0/0.25)

Description of credit:

Note: This page displays data from a 2009 pilot study.  Updated, official data for UVM's STARS submission will be available in early 2014.

This credit is awarded to institutions that have a sustainability-related theme for a semester, year, or a first-year experience within the past three years.  A common reading of a sustainability-focused book would qualify for this credit.

UVM has not led such a initiative and would, therefore, not receive any points for this credit.

Contact of Responsible Party:
Pat Brown, Director of Student Life
Student Life
 
Supporting Documents:
N/A