Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 57.92
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Bowdoin College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Keisha Payson
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainable Bowdoin
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes No
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
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences ---
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

Green Bowdoin Alliance: Green Bowdoin Alliance provides students with an introduction to the world of environmental activism. Through educational campaigns, community outreach, and environmental policy advocacy, GBA aims at helping students learn more about the green movement and how they can make a difference. Through these various activities, GBA also gives students tools to use their knowledge in their everyday life and thereby help make the world a greener place to live.

Bowdoin College Food Co-op: The Bowdoin College Food Co-op is a student-run cooking club that meets weekly to prepare an organic and vegetarian meal using local ingredients. The Food Co-op seeks to promote sustainability on campus through support of local agriculture and serves as a creative outlet for students of all experience levels to cook in a friendly community. Students sign up on a volunteer basis to cook meals while others simply come to enjoy the food and company.

Green Athletics: The mission of Bowdoin Green Athletics is to green the athletic operations of the college through the participation, connections, and influence of Bowdoin students (both non-athletes and athletes) who are passionate about supporting Bowdoin’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.

Bowdoin's Organic Garden: The mission of the BOG is to provide a place for learning, growth, understanding, and reflection about food and our environment and provides fun volunteer opportunities for students to work in the garden.
Yellow Bike Club: A bike rental and maintenance program, the Yellow Bike Club provides an affordable means of transportation for the Bowdoin Community in a healthy and environmentally friendly (carbon-free) way, and in the process, help alleviate parking and traffic issues on campus and in Brunswick.

Bowdoin Climate Action: Bowdoin Climate Action is a group of student activists working to build popular support for climate action - on campus, in Maine, and nationwide.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Bowdoin Organic Garden is operated by the College's Dining Service and includes a year-round garden manager and part-time personnel, student employees and volunteers. In addition to growing vegetables, fruit and flowers for use in the College's dining halls, it provides research opportunities for the faculty, and agricultural experiences and events for the greater College community. The Garden is presently located on two plots of land on campus at the corner of South Street and Coffin Street, and at 52 Harpswell Road. The Harpswell Road property, which is located roughly a five minute walk from the center of campus, includes a residence hall, a half-acre of growing space and an historic barn. The property has been developed utilizing principles of sustainable landscaping, including rain water collection and composting. The proximity to campus and larger, on-site storage greatly improve efficiency and provide an identifiable home location for the Garden. Recently, the College obtained approval by Maine Organic Farmers & Gardener's Association to designate the site as certified organic. The new garden location opens up academic research possibilities for faculty and students, and allows more convenient student and community volunteering.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
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A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The Events Office and various academic departments, mainly the Environmental Studies department, frequently host lectures and panel discussions where professors and invited guest speakers discuss relevant and meaningful issues revolving around sustainability and environmental issues. A sample of recent talks include: "Challenges and Opportunities of the Contemporary Arctic"; a viewing and discussion of the film "Growing Local"; and "Climate Politics Are Everywhere! Hope and Change in Transnational, National and Local Spaces." The Eco-Reps and student clubs also host various events throughout the year that educate students about sustainability including film screenings, outreach programs such as sustainability themed coffee houses, campus-wide competitions (Energy competition & EPA Game-Day Challenge) and service oriented events.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

In Spring 2015, the Bowdoin Library introduced #Carbonfeed: A New Media Installation and Conversation about Technology, Art, and the Environment. #Carbonfeed works to educate the community about the environmental cost of online behavior and its supportive physical infrastructure through sonifying Twitter feeds and correlating individual tweets with a physical, data visualization in public spaces.
Additionally, the Art Museum has had multiple exhibits or events that discuss relevant environmental issues such as the contamination of the Androscoggin River, and the melting of the polar ice caps.
http://www.bowdoin.edu/environmental-studies/calendar/spring-2015.shtml; http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2012/river-lost-and-found.shtml; http://www.bowdoin.edu/calendar/event.jsp?bid=637768&rid=73767 http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2013/sense-scale.shtml http://www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum/exhibitions/2015/earth-matters.shtml


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Bowdoin Outing Club (BOC), Bowdoin's largest club, offers a variety of trips. All trip leaders must go through an extensive training program which requires a section about the Leave No Trace principle. Additionally, the BOC teaches students how to have the lowest impact on the surrounding environment. The Outing Club also plays a prevelant role in Orientation trips (required for every student), many of which focus on sustainability and appreciating the environment.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

As a whole, Bowdoin does not have any themed semesters, years, or first year experiences such as a shared book.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
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A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Bowdoin's Food Co-op meets each week and teaches students the benefits of using local and sustainable ingredients. The Outing Club also offers Leadership Training for a group of Bowdoin students. During Leadership Training, students are taught the importance of leaving no trace and respecting (while still enjoying) the environment. Bowdoin's Yellow Bike Club holds classes to teach students how to repair and maintain bikes.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

EcoReps -- Sustainable Bowdoin hires 24 students to coordinate "green" events throughout the year. Each EcoRep is also responsible for overseeing and encouraging sustainable actions within each residential dorm.
Sustainable Bowdoin interns -- The Sustainability Offices hires students to help with office logistics or to serve as a liaison between various campus groups. These jobs include a Green Athletics liaison, a ResLife liaison, a Waste Management coordinator, a Service and Events coordinator and a Social Media coordinator.
Bowdoin Organic Garden -- the Organic Garden hires students to work in the garden throughout the school year.
Summer Fellowships -- the Environmental Studies department partners 8 students with various local environmental organizations each summer.
https://www.bowdoin.edu/sustainability/get-involved/index.shtml
http://www.bowdoin.edu/environmental-studies/fellowships-internships/index.shtml


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

The Bowdoin College Consulting Group is a student organization that is focused on preparing students for a career in consulting. While their primary area of focus is not sustainability, their recent work has provided a sustainability benefit to the college by providing research and analysis of the issue of food waste in the dining halls. They worked with Bowdoin Dining for a year to better determine the amount of food wasted from student meals and to determine methods that would reduce food waste.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:

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.