Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.29
Liaison Holly Andersen
Submission Date March 30, 2022

STARS v2.2

Bennington College
EN-3: Student Life

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

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

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

There are at a minimum two: Student Action for Environmental Justice and The Purple Carrot Farm. SAEJ is committed to eradicating environmental injustice and the structures that create it and to creating a campus culture of education to that end. The Purple Carrot Farm is a student organization with a process driven and experimental approach to small scale agriculture. We strive to engage with our school community and provide a peaceful, accessible, sustainable space.


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?:
Yes

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

The Purple Carrot Farm is a student organization with a process driven and experimental approach to small scale agriculture. We strive to engage with our school community and provide a peaceful, accessible, sustainable space. The student led farm has existed in many forms at the College, starting with students being required to work on the farm during food shortages in the mid 1900's. The small farm is less than an acre and has a hoophouse, a tractor, and we started construction of our first barn in 2016. (from their website)


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

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The purple carrot farm actively plants, harvests, and sells its produce to individuals and to the College dining hall to prepare for meals.


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?:
Yes

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

In our buildings and grounds operational budget, we have a line item for sustainability. Each year, we use this line item-- which fluctuates year to year-- to perform energy efficiency and electrification projects. With each project, incentive money replenishes this fund and we continue the cycle. Student are involved with buildings and grounds in both formal and informal collaboration on use of these funds.


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?:
Yes

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

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:
Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

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

Yes, these programs change each term based on the interests of the students. They are run through the office of student life.


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

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

Yes. We have a program on campus called the first year forum-- where new students to Bennington have to take a series of one hour classes to learn about Bennington. In these classes, they learn about how to act sustainably on campus through their own personal actions. https://www.bennington.edu/academic-services/first-year-experience


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

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

Yes. Each term we have a house competition to see which house can use the least amount of resources that week. In previous years it has been called Peak Week.


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

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

The Assistant Coordinator for Sustainable Initiatives serves as the lead student coordinator at Bennington College for new and ongoing sustainability initiatives directly tied to campus and community life. This student in this position has a passion for and/or willingness to learn more about volunteer coordination, event planning, conscious consumerism, resource and inventory management, and community partnerships as they pertain to campus wide sustainability efforts.


Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

N/A


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:
---

This is the student workers job description:

The Coordinator for Sustainable Initiatives has a flexible work role that may accommodate the interests of the person holding the position. The largest component of the role is maintaining relationships developed in prior years by students in the Coordinator position. Whichever student holds this role will also be the supervisor of the nascent student organization L.E.S.S, which was initially developed to be a conduit where students with specific opportunities can work on campus lands or to participate in events such as Waste Brand Audits, collection of stored inventory, tree planting and care, advocacy for issues. A student doing an excellent job in the role will:

develop this organization in the flexible manner of their choosing for the Fall-2021-Spring 2022 academic year
center their work on land stewardship
study and be familiar with concepts such as ecology, sustainability, and stewardship in class and outside of class
have the capacity to reason and attend to a diverse array of political, environmental, personal perspectives
collaborate with other students, faculty, and staff members such as groundskeepers and dining hall workers, Buildings and Grounds, Dining Services, Science Department, CAPA, IT, President's Office, among other disciplines and departments.
develop composting management in residential housing (with B&G), waste disposal for electronic waste (with B&G, IT), waste reduction throughout campus, student engagement with campus lands, and the management of an open-year round letter sharing program called Summon, Spring!
Will oversee and collaborate with student positions in Buildings and Grounds, Dining Services, IT, and other offices that develop positions in the years to come.

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.