Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Morse
Administrator: Outreach and Communications
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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:

"Society for Conservation Biology (SCB) is an organization devoted to the scientific study of the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity. SCB also focuses on spreading the word on the importance of conservation. The Auburn Chapter of SCB is a group of students dedicated to expanding our knowledge about conservation and spreading awareness on campus and in the community. They are the only chapter of the international SCB organization in Alabama. The Auburn University chapter focuses on local Alabama conservation projects such as the Eastern Indigo Snake Project, pitcher plant conservation, cave habitat preservation, and endangered Alabama beach mouse studies. They also take trips based on these various topics. Meetings are held about once a month during both spring and fall semesters.
Advisor: Dr. Bob Boyd (boydrob@auburn.edu)
Website: https://auburnscb.wordpress.com

Engineers Without Borders - Auburn Chapter - is an organization whose mission is to partner with disadvantaged communities to improve their quality of life through implementation of environmentally sound and economically sustainable engineering projects, while developing internationally responsible engineering students. The Bolivia group has been working in Quesimpuco for 8 years on many different projects to improve the lives of the community members. They work alongside the community members, SIFAT, and CENATEC to implement projects that include an irrigation system, a hydroponics system, hand powered washing machines, and solar showers. The team is currently working on getting their latest project officially approved by the National EWB Chapter. The Auburn Chapter began working in Kabaya, Rwanda in the summer of 2016. They have partnered with a local Rwandan NGO called Vision for Life ICYUSA to help complete their projects. They have successfully implemented a water supply system at the Kabaya Technical Secondary School. This system doubled their water supply during the wet and dry seasons. Through education and working closely with this community, the Auburn Chapter also hope to see the technology spread to the surrounding villages.
Advisor: Dr. Steve Duke
Website: https://wp.auburn.edu/ewb/

Universities Fighting World Hunger - In 2004 Auburn University accepted an invitation to partner with the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) in the fight against hunger, one of the world’s most pressing global issues. The WFP/Auburn “war on hunger” led to the creation of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) in 2006, a coalition that has expanded to nearly 300 campuses since its inception. With sustainability as a framework, the comprehensive UFWH best practices model outlines a short-term grassroots student advocacy and action campaign, as well as an academic agenda focused on long-term solutions that are suitable for adaptation or replication by participating universities. The model is designed to (1) produce graduates who are not only technically competent, but globally aware and socially engaged, and (2) challenge universities to assume a leadership role in creating innovative solutions to global sustainability issues like world hunger.
Website: http://universitiesfightingworldhunger.org

Environmental Design Student Organization strives to encourage conversation and community with Environmental Design Students and other design majors through monthly meetings, socials, and fundraisers. The goals of EDSO include educating students on difficult aspects of the design field, to advance knowledge of careers, research subjects, and professional etiquette within the various design fields and to foster a dialog about green technologies and sustainability.
Advisor: Magdalena Garmaz: garmama@auburn.edu
Website: https://auburn.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/edso

Auburn for Water strives to passionately and proactively serve the world around us by educating Auburn University about the crisis that exists regarding the scarcity of clean water. They seek to humbly lead our community towards a bigger goal and inspire others to join Auburn in living out the creed. Their main event is called Water Week, a week in which they raise funds and awareness to help end the water crisis. Auburn for Water also hold other small events that support a local organization called Neverthirst, including a 5k, benefit concert, and ultimate Frisbee tournament.
Website:https://auburn.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/au4water

International Justice Mission is an organization working in 17 countries to rescue victims of human trafficking, restore survivors, restrain criminals and represent survivors in court. IJM heals broken communities so that their people can live in freedom. The Auburn Chapter is a group of students at Auburn University who have found a common passion responding to this Biblical call to seek justice for vulnerable populations by fundraising and raising awareness to support International Justice Mission.
Website: https://auburnijm.com/our-cause/

Campus Kitchens at Auburn University is a local branch of the national organization. Their purpose is to help fight hunger in the Auburn community, repackage unserved food in the dining halls to turn these donations into nourishing meals, and deliver meals to those in need.
Website: http://www.auburn.edu/outreach/ops/campuskitchens/

The U S Green Building Council: Auburn Chapter is an organization whose purpose is to provide students a forum for education and discussion of sustainable building practices, open to all majors because the subject affects everyone.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/USGBCauburn

Other student groups that have an emphasis in Sustainability include For the Bees, Horticulture Club, Marine Biology Club, National Society of Black Engineers, Organic Garden Club, Society of Natural Resources, Auburn Chapter of Southern Poverty Law Center on Campus, Spectrum, and the Student Government Association.
Website: http://wp.auburn.edu/sustainability/engage/student-groups/


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:

"The Auburn University Community Garden (AUCG) is overseen by campus Dining Services and a seven-member Advisory Committee. Comprised of faculty, student, administrator, and community representatives, the Advisory Committee has worked to update policies to improve the garden and benefit the Auburn community. Individual plots of varying size are available to rent for a nominal fee each year. All Auburn/Opelika residents are eligible to rent a plot, including students, faculty, and community members. Our gardeners grow everything from herbs, fruits, and vegetables, to pollinator host plants, flowers, and other ornamental plants. School groups, university classes, and other groups also use the garden as an educational resource. The community garden has a variety of plot sizes and types including raised garden bends and traditional plots. The broader purpose of the garden is to get people actively involved in growing their own food and foster a better understanding of where our food comes from and how it makes its way to the plate. Gardening at the Community Garden is described as an activity that builds a clear linkage and direct appreciation for the earth as the source of our food, growing and utilizing food in a responsible manner, and in managing in such a way as to nurture and improve the garden itself in the process.

The Organic Garden Club is located at the Forest Ecology Preserve on North College. Their goal is to provide hands-on education about natural growing methods for edible and medicinal plants. They search out and bring together different natural growing methods to maximize efficiency of farming techniques, including composting.
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The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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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:
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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 Office of Sustainability has hosted monthly Campus Conversations on campus whose purpose is to engage the community in exploring issue related to sustainability. Topics have included citizen activism and being proactive in the educational world.

The Office of Inclusion and Diversity hosts Critical Conversations with guest speakers who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and fields. Topics have included individual rights for education, promoting women in STEM fields, and the Global Health Corps.

During the Spring of 2018, the Office of Sustainability hosted Retired Colonel Mark ""Puck"" Mykleby who spoke on the New American Grand Strategy as the inaugural speaker of the Sustainability Speaker Series.

Auburn also hosts the Alabama Water Resources Conference. This conference lasts from September 5th through the 7th (2018) and is the premier water conference of the state. Since 1986, it has provided a forum for showcasing emerging research, education and outreach in all aspects of water resources. Water resource professionals and students from water related fields are invited to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations. Conference presenters represent a wide range of disciplines related to water resources.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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 Jules Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts has held many programs, films, and exhibitions as well as hosting community events that are related to sustainability. Film showings have included titles such as ""Jackson,"" a story about women's rights and access to affordable health care options, ""Southwest of Salem,"" a story about social justice issues with regards to women in prison, and ""When God Sleeps,"" a story about oppression and abuses of human rights as told by an Iranian rap-punk-rock musician. These films are a part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Film Makers. Programs include the Immanuel Symposium, a look at the role of African American Churches as starting points for civic and political engagement, and Conversation promoted by Art, a look at how the permanent collection of art at the museum promotes diversity in our community. A biannual community event was also recently started to bring together students and the community to celebrate diversity. Exhibitions have included The Lost Birds by Todd McGrain, Nature Inspired Music by faculty members, and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, all of which promoting conservation.

In the performing arts, at the Telfair B. Peet Theatre numerous sustainability themed plays have been produced by students including Antigone, a play about breaking down authoritarian rule, The Foreigner, a comedy about xenophobia in the south, and the Integration of Tuskegee High School, a play about the civil rights movement.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Auburn Outdoors organize a variety of overnight trips and clinics for students such as hiking, backpacking, kayaking, rafting, climbing, biking, camping and backpacking that follow the Leave No Trace principles. In addition Auburn University is an official Leave No Trace educational partner.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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:

The Live Green, Save Green Learning Community: It is possible to be "green" and save "green" - both in the monetary and environmental senses. Students who participate in this Learning Community explore the broad scope of issues involved in the sustainability movement and their impact on modern society and the environment. Topics include current events, trends, and social/economic issues; emerging green technologies; economic and environmental impacts of actions; and the economic advantages and disadvantages to adopting sustainable practices. Students explore issues through discussion, activities, reading, writing, teamwork, and community service - all of which are centered on the theme of sustainable living and decision-making. Completion of this First Year Seminar counts towards the Sustainability Minor. This Learning Community is open to students in any major. For the 2017-18 academic year, the Live Green Save Green was a Living Learning Community.

Be Well Learning Community: Students in this Learning Community gain necessary skills to promote all aspects of health and wellness for college students, including physical, mental, emotional, and nutritional health. This experience provides students the opportunity to connect with others who share health interests across departments and disciplines. The First Year Seminar focuses on college student health and wellness and academic success strategies and is designed by the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness Services. This Learning Community is open to students in any major.

The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Learning Community: WISE seeks to create a healthy and supportive community of learners and friends, provide opportunities for leadership development, improve the retention of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, and to create long-term personal and professional relationships between students. This learning community is open to students in any major.

Conservation Biology Learning Community: Students are exposed to a broad range of issues relating to the theme of Conservation Biology. They meet professors doing conservation research in the Department of Biological Sciences, attend meetings of conservation oriented student groups, and participate in a Rare Species Poster group project. The class makes connections with material covered in the first semester biology class as a way to support learning in that class and show its conservation relevance. It also supports student establishment in the University environment through exercises targeting study skills and other aspects of the student transition to Auburn. These activities foster connectivity both among the students and between the students and Biological Sciences faculty.

Cultivating Diversity in STEM Learning Community: The goal of this learning community is to assist students traditionally underrepresented in STEM (including, but not limited to, people of color, women, students from communities that are underserved, persons with disabilities, first-generation college students, and students from rural areas) succeed within majors offered by College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM). Students in the Cultivating Diversity in STEM learning community explore the breadth and depth of opportunities in the sciences and mathematics including requirements for attending graduate and/or professional school, the benefits of participating in scientific research, and explore STEM career options while building a sense of community with other COSAM students.


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:

Auburn Outdoors has a variety of resources, tools, and expertise to help members repair their bike. The bike shop offers walk in hours where bike technicians are available to teach members to maintain and fix their own bike using a complete line of bicycle-specific tools at no cost. Members to the Recreation and Wellness Center can learn how to change a flat tire, clean the drive train, provide general maintenance, as well as learn proper bike safety procedures and bike terminology. Students are encouraged to come regardless of if they own a personal bicycle or not. Events at Auburn Outdoors focus on helping students learn about sustainable transportation around Auburn as well as getting them involved in the local biking community.

In addition, the Live Green, Save Green Learning Community students learn that it is possible to be “green” and save “green” – both in the monetary AND environmental senses. Students explore issues through discussion, activities, reading, writing, teamwork, and community service - all of which are centered on the theme of sustainable living and decision-making. Topics include current events, trends, and social/economic issues; emerging green technologies; economic and environmental impacts of actions; and the economic advantages and disadvantages to adopting sustainablity-related practices.


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:

Sustainability internships exist with Tiger Dining, Academic Sustainability Programs, the Waste Reduction and Recycling Department, and the Office of Sustainability. For positions with all offices students must apply and go through an interview process.

In 2018, campus dining operations, Tiger Dining, hired a public relations intern to promote numerous events, student groups, and activities around campus. The main focus of the internship is to plan and execute the ""Tigers on the Green 2.0."" Last year, this event promoted locally-grown food and allowed students a chance to connect with the farmers actually producing the food. The intern will also be involved with promoting and educating students on the Campus Kitchens Project, a student-led organization that repackages and distributes food to community members and fellow students to combat food insecurity.

The Academic Sustainability Program has had two paid student interns to assist the director.

The Waste Reduction and Recycling Department has multiple paid student internships each academic year. Interns help with the marketing and operations of recycling efforts on campus.

The Office of Sustainability has had 4-8 undergraduate student volunteer internships a year. Students are given an opportunity to make a difference by applying their talents, training, and skills in ways that support Auburn University in its move toward sustainability.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

During the fall semester of 2017, students from biosystems engineering, civil engineering, and landscape architecture completed in the EPA RainWorks Challenge.Stormwater runoff is a significant source of water pollution in communities across the United States. The Campus RainWorks Challenge seeks to engage with undergraduate and graduate students to foster a dialogue about responsible stormwater management and showcase the environmental, economic, and social benefits of green infrastructure practices. Student teams design an innovative green infrastructure project for their campus that effectively manages stormwater pollution while benefitting the campus community and the environment.


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.