Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 30.79
Liaison Peter Schulze
Submission Date March 2, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Austin College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00 Kelby Archer
Coordinator
Center for Environmental Studies
"---" 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 Thinking Green Campus Awareness Student Committee is a group of students who are focused on campus sustainability. They lead, coordinate, and promote two sustainability-focused events every year: AC Unplugged, which is an energy-saving competition among the residence halls that takes place every October, and GreenServe, a green service event that takes place around Earth Day. In addition, they work on numerous smaller projects throughout the year that focus on campus sustainability.


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 local Sherman Community Garden is affiliated with the college, and a number of students volunteer out there every year. The students learn about organic agriculture as part of their experience.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The Student Sustainability Fund: Austin College students voted to enact a $5 fee that they pay each school year. This totals to over $6,000 dollars annually that can be used towards a sustainability initiative or project. This group is student governed. The most recent success has been the installation of water bottle refill stations that also track the amount of plastic saved with each bottle filled.


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:
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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:

Each semester the Center for Environmental Studies hosts 5-6 presentations during the students' lunch period. Students are invited to bring their lunch to the (1 hour) presentation, and those who do not have a meal plan will have their lunch paid for. Seminars are presented by faculty/staff, guest speakers, and students.


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?:
No

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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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:

B.I.G., the Biology Interest Group, regularly goes on hikes organized by a faculty member. The hikes follow Leave No Trace principles.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
No

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

Students are able to hold Work Study positions in the Center for Environmental Studies as well as the Austin College Physical Plant. Students are also recruited to work as field trip guides at the local prairie restoration site, where they are able to teach children the importance and methodology of ecosystem conservation.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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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:

The student group ECOS is dedicated to the study and preservation of the environment. ECOS organizes environmentally-oriented service projects and activities. ECOS is separate from the Thinking Green Student Committee in that its mission is broader (it's focused on the environment at large rather than campus sustainability).


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
11.67

Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Here is how we arrived at the estimated percentage above of students that participate in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs. We counted roughly 30 students that volunteer or work out at our Sneed Prairie Restoration Site each year, added that to the 118 students who participated in the latest GreenServe service day, and then added half of the total dorm residency (to estimate the number of students who participate in the AC Unplugged event every October). We then divided this total number by three to attempt to account for any overlap among those students. That total number (151) was divided by total enrollment (1294) to arrive at the percentage.

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.