Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.71
Liaison Keisha Payson
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Bowdoin College
EN-2: Student Orientation

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

Are the following students provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability?:
Yes or No
First-year students Yes
Transfer students Yes
Entering graduate students N/A - institution does not have graduate students

Percentage of all entering (i.e. new) students (including transfers and graduate students) that are provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability (0-100):

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation (including how multiple dimensions of sustainability are addressed):

All incoming students are apprised of the importance of sustainability on campus. The Office of Sustainability works with Residential Life to provide information for first-year students about Bowdoin’s carbon neutrality, zero-sort recycling, Energy Star appliances for dorm rooms, and to encourage green lifestyle tools such as reusable bags, water bottles and travel mugs. Additional information is provided about a program to rent Energy Star microfridges to students. Students sign up with the Sustainability Office, who then coordinate the delivery of the unit to the students’ room before their own arrival. While microfridges are energy hogs, encouraging students to rent rather than purchase a unit, is more sustainable. All of this information is shared with first-year students the summer before they arrive on campus, to help make their transition as sustainable as possible and to encourage them to approach college with a sustainable mindset. Additionally, upon arriving on campus, each student is offered an LED bulb from the Sustainability Office on move-in day for any desk or standing lamp they may have brought with them, more as a way to make our presence known on campus than as an expectation of a major reduction in emissions.
Prior to students’ arrival, the Sustainability Office works with the Residential Life student staff to provide a basic grounding in Bowdoin’s sustainability initiatives. Two training meetings are held the week before first-years arrive.
All Bowdoin students participate in some type of orientation trip. Orientation trips are either run through the Bowdoin Outing Club, which provides information and training on Leave No Trace principles to all participants, as well as composting the food waste from the trips. The other Orientation trips are run by the McKeen Center for the Common Good, and have more direct service-learning focuses, and often highlight different aspects of sustainability. One trip each year (sometimes more) have sustainability as their specific focus. The Sustainability Office staff works with the students leading this trip to help plan activities that will highlight sustainability initiatives both on campus and in the local communities. Recent trips have worked in the Bowdoin Organic Garden, done trail work with local land trusts, and volunteered at a local food bank, among other activities.
The first meal for first-year and transfer students after all Orientation trips have returned to campus is a special dinner in the largest dining hall. Dining works hard to provide almost exclusively local Maine foods and ingredients at this dinner, including the Bowdoin Organic Garden. Sustainability Office staff works with Dining to create a PowerPoint shown throughout the dinner highlighting the locality of the meal, as well as tabling at the dinner to provide additional information about sustainability on campus, and to solicit interested students to apply to work for the Sustainability Office.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Based on data relating to 2017-2018, 2018-2019.

Based on data relating to 2017-2018, 2018-2019.

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.