Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 54.90
Liaison Leslie Raucher
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Barnard College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.75 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

-Barnard's Student Government Association (SGA) maintains a Committee on Sustainability to educate and inform the student body on matters regarding individual and campus-wide sustainable practices. The Committee is headed by the elected SGA Representative for Sustainable Initiatives. The Committee convenes weekly and action items are assigned to members to complete for the following meeting. https://barnard.edu/sga

-The Barnard/Columbia chapter of SproutUp NYC trains college students to teach critical concepts in environmental science and sustainability to first and second graders in undeserved NYC public schools. https://www.sproutup.org/about-1

-Barnard Outdoor Adventure Team (BOAT) is a student group that organizes outdoor activities around New York state. Such activities include excursions to city parks, day hikes, kayaking, and overnight camping trips. BOAT follows the principles of environmental justice and LNT.

-Barnard Community Garden maintains a garden bed between Barnard's Sulzberger and Hewitt halls. The group facilitates conversations surrounding sustainable agriculture, food equity, and local food production. The group hosts events to eat and celebrate the produce from the garden.

-Sunrise Columbia/Barnard is part of the greater national Sunrise Movement to combat climate change and create green new jobs in the process.

-Barnard Sustainability, the administrative department, offers employment opportunities to Barnard students. Responsibilities include assisting with sustainability assessments, monitoring waste management practices, and publicizing departmental events and collaborations. https://barnard.edu/sustainability-climate-action

-Barnard for 100% Renewable Energy is a student-led campaign that is organizing the student body around asking the College to make a public commitment to a transition to 100% renewable energy on campus by 2040.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

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

Barnard currently has three working gardens on campus:

-The first is the Arthur Ross Greenhouse, which houses a variety of plants, supporting research in STEM disciplines like biology, chemistry, and environmental science, as well as anthropology and ethnobotany, political science and biogeography, economic botany, education, and history. The greenhouse is maintained by student workers, faculty, and staff. The greenhouse seeks to incorporate greenhouse resources and green expertise with campus-wide efforts to achieve sustainability locally, and to understand plant-environment interactions on large and global scales. https://biology.barnard.edu/biology-news/arthur-ross-greenhouse-celebrates-20-years

-The second is the Community Garden run by Barnard students. Located in the quad (where first-years live), it generates a small amount of produce. The group stimulates conversations about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and hosts events to share the produce grown. In spring 2020 the student Community Garden was awarded a Student Climate Action grant to expand their garden to the rooftop of the Milstein Center, our library. https://barnard.edu/student-organizations

-For Barnard faculty living on campus housing, there is a rooftop garden located in a mixed-use residential building (Cathedral Gardens). This rooftop garden hosts 5 raised plant beds and is run by Barnard faculty.

-Barnard students also help to coordinate a community supported agriculture program, which connects students, faculty, and staff from the Barnard community with La Baraja farm in upstate NY. La Baraja farm delivers produce to Barnard's campus every Sunday in the fall, for CSA participants. https://morningsideheightscsa.wordpress.com/about/

-There is an apiary on the roof of Barnard Hall, where Professor Jonathan Snow and his student lab assistants (of the Biology department) maintain several hives.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

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

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

-Rebear is a clothing exchange program hosted by Barnard's Office of Sustainability started in 2014. It is held annually and is an event where students can drop off used clothing and purchase used clothing at reduced prices. Students learn about the realities of fast fashion and develop an appreciation for sustainably sourced, well made garments.

-In spring 2019, Rebear was expanded to a full day series of events. Barnard hosted an event titled, Women, Clothing & Climate, which examined the impact of clothing on climate and the environment. The event featured a used clothing sale, repair workshops, a design challenge, and a panel discussion with experts in the fashion industry. Ultimately, the event tackled ways to incorporate sustainable practices into our daily lives and actions. https://barnard.edu/magazine/summer-2019/clothing-change

-In 2017-18, the Office of Sustainability & Climate action hosted a series of community workshops called Campus Conversations, the goal of which was to engage the Barnard community in brainstorming and envisioning what sustainability and climate action should look like on our campus. The session topics were Consumption and Waste, Buildings and Energy, Campus Culture, Curricula and Research, Local Environment and Community. During these workshops invited guests and our campus community developed a wide range of ideas surrounding campus sustainability, many of which informed the Climate Action Vision (https://admissions.barnard.edu/sites/default/files/inline-files/climate_action_plan_chart.pdf).

-In 2017, Barnard's Environmental Science department hosted a discussion of environmental leadership to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the department. The day-long event hosted panel discussions and workshops on creative approaches to research, technology, education, outreach, and advocacy. The keynote speaker was Annie Leonard, '86, executive director of Greenpeace, whose talk was titled, "The State of the Environment: How to Get to a Better Future?"

- In spring of 2020 Barnard hosted Dialogues for Change: Careers in Climate, a roundtable discussion with climate leaders from a wide range of fields: science, the arts, business, policy, activism, agriculture, entrepreneurship. The goal was to empower our students to tackle climate change from whatever professional path they follow.

BCRW's 45th annual Scholar and Feminist conference addressed climate crisis and climate justice in New York City, the Pacific, and the Caribbean and Gulf Coast. Scholars offered interdisciplinary approaches to the climate crisis and engaged in discussions about where to go from here. http://bcrw.barnard.edu/event/45th-annual-scholar-and-feminist-conference-climate-crisis-climate-justice/

- The Athena Center for Leadership Studies is hosting a Climate Change Design Challenge to envision New York City 2080. https://athenacenter.barnard.edu/AthenaClimateChangeChallenge

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

1.The College provides student groups with space and funds to produce creative works. The student dance group Orchesis has a satellite group called the MaMa Project. The MaMa Project works with the theater department to put on an evening of a single student's work. There is collaboration between the technical theater directors and lighting designers of the College with the students to produce an evening of dance. An executive and creative board of students, comprised of a choreographer, a producer, a costume designer, and a house manager.

In 2017, the MaMa Project was an environmentally focused piece, exploring the effects of ocean acidification on pteropods, tiny sea snails whose shells are dissolving.

2. In April 2019, The Woman, Clothing, and Climate event put on by Barnard Sustainability included a design challenge where students created fashion pieces using donated materials in the design center. These pieces were displayed around campus. https://barnard.edu/magazine/summer-2019/clothing-change

3. In the summer of 2019, student art was installed above water bottle refill stations to promote the use of reusable water bottles. Art was Barnard, NYC, or environmentally focused.

4. In 2019 Barnard hosted photographer Beth Osnes and students participated in her "Green Suits" project. https://insidethegreenhouse.org/student-projects/greencities

5. The Barnard Movement Lab hosted choreographer Norah Zunga Shaw and presented an open rehearsal of "Liveable Futures," an interactive dance piece about climate change. https://movement.barnard.edu/events/norah-zuniga-shaws-livable-futures-climate-gathering-open-rehearsal

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

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

BOAT (Barnard Outdoor Adventure Team) is a student-run extracurricular club funded by the College. They organize and lead outdoor excursions, ranging from hikes and backpacking trips to kayaking. BOAT follows Leave No Trace principles.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

All Barnard first year students take a course called First Year Seminar (FYS). The subjects and professors of FYS vary from semester to semester.

1. Brian Mailloux, professor in the Environmental Science department, taught a FYS course called Sustainability in spring 2019. The course description is as follows:

"Sustainability is being hailed as the solution that is going to link activists, citizens, and corporations to solve the world’s environmental problems. However, there are many ways to define the term and assess the longterm effects of so-called "sustainable" measures. In this course, we will examine current and historical writings about human interactions with the environment in order to understand and identify our most profound environmental challenges and the most appropriate responses. Responding critically to the ideas of the past, we will also ask how our views have changed over time and what it might take to tackle the current large scale environmental issues facing society."

2. Sandra Goldmark, Barnard College's Director of Campus Sustainability and Climate Action, taught another FYS Spring 2019 entitled "Things and Stuff".

The description for the course is as follows:
"How do our material choices shape our cultural and individual narratives? How do the things we make, buy, use, keep, and discard tell stories, impact our environment, and help define who we are? Americans create over 125 million tons of landfill every year, and up to 60%-80% of global greenhouse gas emissions have been traced to household consumption (food, stuff, and transport). With this contemporary reality as our reference point, we will examine how designed and built objects contribute to the human story over time, and how our decisions about “things and stuff” might change our stories moving forward.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

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

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

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

-The Office of Sustainability & Climate Action hires 4-5 work-study students per year, who work on sustainability initiatives and outreach on campus. The office of sustainability also hires students to work the green move-out (Give and Go Green) and move-in (Green Sale) initiatives.

-The Arthur-Ross Greenhouse hires 8-10 student workers to help maintain the Greenhouse.

- Chartwells Dining Services provider offers a paid sustainability internship for students.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.