Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.09
Liaison Joseph Kahn
Submission Date Oct. 15, 2020

STARS v2.2

Central Michigan University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Eric Urbaniak
Student Reviewer
"---" 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:

Central Michigan University has a plethora of different sustainability-based student organizations including: The Student Environmental Alliance, Take Back The Tap, Campus Grow, Collegiate Advocates for the Rights of Marine Animals, Student Advocates for Vegetarian/Veganism among others.

Student Environmental Alliance: SEA is a registered student organization that dedicates itself to the enhancement of sustainability on campus, in the local community, as well as on a state and national level. SEA has worked in conjunction with Take Back The Tap to reduce the amount of water bottles used on campus. Thanks to their effort, in part, CMU now has over sixty filtered reusable water bottle-filling stations on campus. SEA has also been a part of many national sustainability summits, such as Powershift 2008 & 2009. SEA has fought for social justice issues such as the rights of migrant farm workers around the country. SEA also works closely with Facilities Management on recycling and composting efforts around campus.

Take Back The Tap: TBTT is a student led organization that focuses on the sustainable use of water. TBTT has placed an extreme emphasis on education, outreach and policy reform efforts to reduce the amount of disposable water bottles are used on campus. In conjunction with SEA, TBTT has successfully influenced the installation of over sixty reusable water bottle refill stations across campus.

Collegiate Advocates for the Rights of Marine Animals: CARMA is a student led organization that focuses its efforts in the advocacy of marine life. The responsible fishing, treatment, and preservation of marine animal habitats, as well as proactive outreach and education on these matters are some of CARMA's main focus at CMU.

Student Advocates for Vegetarian/Veganism: SAVV is a student led organization that promotes the low impact and healthy vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. This group hosts meals, educational opportunities and community/student outreach to enhance this low impact life choice within the Central Michigan University community.

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:

Central Michigan University is home to a program called Campus Grow. This program is designed to give students hands-on experience in local farming opportunities, while providing them inexpensive space to grow personal produce. This program works intimately with Central Michigan University's composting program. In fact, one of the original founders of Campus Grow, Christopher Venegas is also a co-founder of CMU's wildly successful composting program.

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:

Central Michigan University hosts a program called the New Venture Competition. This program is designed to provide students who aspire to start up new business ventures with initial funds necessary to pursue their business dreams. There are many categories of New Venture awards, including local Michigan impact, Social Justice ventures, Sustainability Advancement ventures, as well as sustainable technology and engineering. Through these categories, student participants are educated about developing business ventures which encompass environmental and economic sustainability.


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:

Central Michigan University hosts a Speak Up Speak Out forum once each month related to interconnected issues in Administration & Policy, Social Justice, Environmental Justice, Science, Technology & Engineering, among other topics. These forums target students, but welcome any member of the community to join and participate.

Cental Michigan University also hosts guest speakers each year, many of which are influential individuals speaking on sustainability related issues.

Additionally, Central Michigan University runs an entire week event centered around Earth Day. During the week, outreach, education, focus groups, political and direct action opportunities are available to students, faculty, staff and the community. CMU partners with local businesses such as Buckley's Mountainside Canoes and Mountain Town Tap Room to offer additional programming activities off campus.

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:

Throughout the academic year, installation art pieces such as simulated water bottle islands are set up around campus to increase student awareness. There are also instances of flash mobs and other active instillation art to raise awareness and spark curiosity about sustainability-related issues.

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:

Central Michigan University has a top-of-the-charts Recreation, Parks, & Leisure Services department. Within this department, classes on backpacking, Leave No Trace, outdoor recreation facilitation, among others, provide students with ample opportunity to be inspired by nature, grow as sustainability-promoting professionals, as well as strengthen a sense of respect and stewardship for the natural world.

This department sparked several Student-led Wilderness and Outdoor programs and clubs such as the High Adventure Club and Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coalition. These clubs/RSO's provide students with opportunities to recreate in wilderness areas, experience adventures in paddling, white water rafting, hiking, backpacking and climbing, among others, as well as participate in education, outreach, stewardship, restoration and other environmentally responsible activities all while practicing the principles of Leave No Trace Ethics.

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:

The CMU Sustainability Coalition creates a monthly sustainability theme, and designs an educational poster for the theme. This poster is then hung around campus is dorms, dining halls, and academic buildings. The March 2020 theme is Human Sustainability, and the poster is attached below.

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:

In 2020, CMU implemented various sustainability outreach materials focused on educating students, staff, faculty, and the general public on sustainable life skills. These include a sustainable living guide, sustainability walking tour, and new Central Sustainability website.

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

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

Central Michigan University offers many different sustainability-focused job opportunities. These jobs can be found all over campus. Students have the opportunity to work within Facilities Management, specializing in recycling, composting, green cleaning cost and impact analysis, as well as generalized inter-campus and intra-campus collaboration in regards to sustainability enhancement.

Students have the opportunity to work within sustainable dining systems, where they gain hands on experience in daily sustainability monitoring tasks, sustainable purchasing, as well as food waste reduction techniques.

Students have a plethora of research job opportunities within Science, Technology and Engineering in regards to sustainability advancement. For example, students within the Engineering department have the opportunity to work with Darling International, a company who specializes in converting used cooking oil into bio fuels. Students also have opportunities to receive funding in return for assisting faculty and other designated employees pursue sustainability-related feasibility studies, as well as other applied research.

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.