Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.20
Liaison Mina Amundsen
Submission Date Nov. 5, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colby College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Sandy Beauregard
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Environmental Coalition (EnviroCo) seeks to educate Colby students about environmentalism both on campus and in the world though events throughout the school year promoting waste reduction, conservation, sustainability innovation, food composting, and buying local. The club holds weekly meetings and breaks up into committees who each focus on different sustainability goals for the college, including food, pesticides, education, and waste and recycling. EnviroCo plans Earth Week events, hosts information sessions in the Student Center, and brings thought-provoking sustainability-related films to campus. Many of EnviroCo’s events are open to the Waterville Community, and the club promotes sustainability-related activities in Waterville, such as advertising meetings for environmental groups in town and participation in town clean ups. In the past, EnviroCo has been involved in the push for trayless dining and the overhaul of Colby's IPM Plan.
Another group is the Colby Environmental Educators, who travel to a local middle school to teach students lessons about the environment. They create their own lessons, which are fun, engaging, and help familiarize students with the environment and environmental concerns.
The Colby Alliance for Renewable Energy (CARE) promotes divestment from the Underground 200 Fossil Fuel Companies with the goal of more sustainable investments through student education and formal meetings with administration and trustees.
The Colby Outing Club (COC) promotes sustainability through an appreciation of nature by offering trips to all students throughout the year. These trips include backpacking, day hikes, and canoeing and abide by Leave No Trace practices. The COC also operates an on-campus maple sugaring site.
The Colby Fly Fishing Club spreads the sport of fly fishing and brings together fly fishermen and women at Colby no matter what their ability or experience with the sport. Maine is one the best places in the country to fly fish and there are many talented fly fishers at the school. The club allows these individuals to connect and collaborate, while also introducing other students to the sport. Beyond fishing trips, club activities include fly tying, casting lessons, viewing new fishing films, community outreach, and conservation activities.
The Food Recovery Network is a national organization that seeks to eliminate hunger and reduce food waste by recovering food that might otherwise be thrown away. At Colby, volunteers collect unused food from the dining halls and donate it to a local organization.
Finally, Amnesty International promotes sustainability through social justice. They bring to light human rights abuse and inspire hope for a better world through public action and international solidarity. They help stop human rights abuses by mobilizing our members and supporters to put pressure on governments, armed groups, companies and intergovernmental bodies.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects 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:

Colby College has a ½ acre garden located on campus on Runnals Hill. The garden is supervised by the Associate Director of Dining Services; technical assistance and support is provided by Physical Plant, volunteer mentors, and the Biology Department. The garden is staffed on a volunteer basis by the Colby Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, which is the student gardening club on campus, and by three paid student interns during the summer. As part of the interns’ responsibility, they are required to visit both conventional and organic farms and distributers in the area to learn about everything that goes into supplying produce to institutional users. Ten percent of the produce harvested from the garden goes to local food pantries while the rest is used in Colby’s dining halls.
The Colby Beekeepers tend to a hive located on Runnals Hill near the Organic Garden, motivated by the realization that these creatures are dying out but are necessary for the survival of healthy ecosystems. The Beekeepers train students in beekeeping and educate those who are not formally trained in beekeeping practices. During the winter when the hives are not active, the Beekeepers meet weekly to discuss bees. The hives have only been active for one year, so the club hopes that next year they will be able to produce their own honey.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Colby College has an iBike program that had been run by students since 2008. Student workers go through a comprehensive training session where they learn about the technicalities of bike maintenance and repair. These student mechanics are then paid to maintain the iBike fleet throughout the school year. After signing a waiver, students, faculty and staff may borrow a bike, free of charge for up to 24 hours at a time; a fee is assessed for late returns. Each bike comes with a helmet and lock. The mission of iBike is to make sustainable transportation, exercise, and areas off campus more accessible to students and faculty.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have 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

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

N/A


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

The Environmental Studies Department hosts a series of lunch and evening colloquia throughout the year. The list of colloquia is published at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters and posted in several buildings on campus. The colloquia are also promoted via the daily electronic announcements ColbyNow, and is posted on the online events calendar. These talks, given by people from many different disciplines and from many different places, cover numerous sustainability topics, including sustainable forestry, ecotourism, climate change, environmental justice, water quality, green technology, and tips on how to promote sustainability and become a leader in sustainable practices. There is generally at least one talk each week.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

The Center for the Arts and Humanities hosted a number of arts events in the 2015-16 school year in accordance with our campuswide humanities theme "Human/Nature." These events included films, hands-on art projects, and student dance performances. Additionally, the Colby Art Museum showcases a number of works related to nature, and the human/nature relationship year round.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

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

Colby College has been a member of the Leave No Trace partnership since 2009. The Colby Outing Club is a student run program that schedules hikes, kayaking trips, and other outdoor activities. It also provides students with equipment for a broad range of activities including camping, hiking, backpacking, ice/rock climbing, cross country skiing, canoeing, kayaking, snow shoeing, etc. The officers of this club are offered an optional LNT certificate course. The Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips (COOT) program is offered to all first year students entering Colby in either the fall or spring semester. The students are divided into groups, each of which goes on a different trip. The majority of the trips involve backpacking or camping in established campgrounds in Maine. Each group is assigned two COOT leaders who are chosen from the student body using an application and interview process. These 140 or so leaders are required to go through a two day Leave No Trace (LNT) training program and are provided with durable LNT note cards designed to be attached to a backpack with a carabineer for easy reference. The goal of the COOT program is to build strong bonds between incoming freshmen while instilling them with the principles necessary to interact with the outdoors in a respectful and sustainable manner.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

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

First-year students can opt to participate in the Green Cluster during their first semester. Students explore central questions in environmental philosophy, ethics, and politics, and learn the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism as they pursue their own activist projects. See Environmental Studies 126, and Philosophy 126 for course descriptions.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

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

One way students can learn sustainable life skills is by attending events organized by EcoReps, the Office of Sustainability, the Environmental Studies Department, and other environmentally-focused clubs on campus, which take place throughout the year on various days. One especially valuable experience to learning sustainable life skills is the competitions hosted by the EcoReps, which both allows students to see what kind of daily impact they have on the environment. EcoReps also send out monthly Green Tips which give tips on how to alter their consumption to be more sustainable. Additionally, the Sustainability Office posts information on its website providing tips on sustainable living on campus.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

Aside from hiring students as EcoReps, the Sustainability Office currently hires a student summer intern and research assistant for special projects during the school year.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
Yes

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

A green graduation pledge is presented to seniors in the week preceding their graduation. A small token (this past year it was a magnet) has been given to seniors in order to remind them of their commitment to this pledge in their time after Colby.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

RESCUE (Recycle Everything, Save Colby’s Usable Excess) started in 2001-02 to capture clothing, household items, furniture, appliances, and other items that departing students leave behind. Now clothing and furniture are donated to local nonprofits and other items are cleaned and stored for sale the following fall, taking literally tons of material out of the waste stream for reuse. In 2003 RESCUE was named a “best management practice” by the EPA.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
100

Additional documentation to support the submission:
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