Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.42
Liaison Darcy Everett
Submission Date Feb. 18, 2020

STARS v2.2

College of Charleston
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 P Brian Fisher
CSO/Executive Director
Sustainability
"---" 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:

Alliance for Planet Earth is a student-driven club that engages on a variety of local, state and national sustainability and environmental advocacy campaigns and initiatives. In recent years, Alliance for Planet Earth students have supported university Strawless Week, the international climate strike and campus waste audits. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/allianceforplanetearth/.

The student Vegan Club educates peers on campus about the environmental and health benefits of a primarily plant-based diet. Student organizers often table at campus and community events, host family-style meals and potlucks and organize documentary screenings. More information can be found at https://www.facebookgroup.com/groups/CofCVeganClub/.

The student chapter of Stone Soup Collective is modeled after the success of its parent chapter, which aims to provide fresh, local food to vulnerable community members. Student leaders work to gather produce from food hubs and campus gardens to make a distribute healthy, warm soup weekly to Cougar students. This effort is actively working to reduce food insecurity on campus. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/TheStoneSoupCollective/.


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:

Guided by the Center for Sustainable Development, the Garden Apprenticeship program engages students in hands-in-the-dirt experience in sustainable agriculture, seasonal and local harvesting, and food systems. The Center provides staff and intern resources to support the program, and apprentices contribute weekly support to four urban gardens on campus. More information can be found at https://sustainability.cofc.edu/.

The graduate-level Environmental and Sustainability Studies program coordinates the College's Sustainable Agriculture program. Students enrolled in the program help manage a quarter-acre plot of Lowcountry farmland at the Stone Preserve satellite campus. The farm produces fruit and vegetables for the College and greater Charleston community. More information can be found at http://www.facebook.com/CofCSustainableAg/.


Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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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:

The ECollective Student Project Committee presides over a portion of the ECollective Fund, which is funded by the Green Fee, a $10/semester fee applied to semester tuition costs. The student-led and run ESPC is comprised of one Chair, a student involved with the Center for Sustainable Development, and a group of four to six committee members. This group receives and reviews student grant proposals and applications for funding to advance a sustainability focused project or initiative on campus. ESPC provides funding to projects that exhibit a strong need, will benefit all students and can be scaled up or down in conjunction with financial support and implementation timelines. More information can be found at http://sustainability.cofc.edu/espc-student-projects/index.php.


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:

The Center for Sustainable Development organizes and convenes students from across various disciplines for a monthly speaker series known as Social Justice Coffee Hour. A Center intern typically shapes and moderates this sustainability focused, student-targeted discussion, which features strong leaders, advocates and experts from the community who can share personal and professional experiences and lessons to inform student perceptions.

Previous conversations have focused on the social and environmental consequences of a rapidly growing Charleston peninsula, the economics of sustainable food systems, and racial and gender inequities. More information can be found at sustainability.cofc.edu.


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:

As part of the Quality Enhancement Plan, the Center for Sustainable Development and sustainability literacy staff members have commissioned student artists to produce sustainability related artwork that aligns with campus-wide annual themes, including food insecurity. Once produced, these pieces are prominently displayed on campus to inspire conversation and reflection.

This year, three student-produced pieces concentrate on food security and are featured in highly trafficked, accessible locations on campus. One is a large apple that captures the outline of the globe and serves as a statement piece on the intersection of higher education and food security. More information can be found at sustain.cofc.edu.


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:

Members of the College's Outdoors Club enjoy mountain climbing, camping, paddle boarding and hiking. The group travels extensively and adheres to Leave No Trace principles. More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/cofcoutdoors/.


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:

In advance of the Quality Enhancement Plan and to frame sustainability programming and goals annually, the Center for Sustainable Development and sustainability literacy leaders work to select and promote campus-wide themes. Faculty-developed curriculum, student-targeted events, art installations and even first-year books echo the select themes.

In 2017-18, the theme was water quality and quantity. In 2018-19, the theme was social justice and fair distribution. In 2018-19, the theme was and is food security. Later in 2020, the theme will shift to climate change.


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:

This fall, the Center for Sustainable Development organized a series of workshops with the College's Career Center and Center for Civic Engagement. The series was designed to support students in translating sustainability experiences and education into workforce marketability. Students learned how to frame sustainability projects and internships on resumes and answer interview questions using systems and solution-oriented thinking. Students received 1:1 coaching and professional reviews of traditional application materials, including cover letters and statements of purpose, as well as guidance from community leaders and College of Charleston alumni working in sustainable spaces, such as agriculture and public policy.

More information can be found at sustainability.cofc.edu.


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 Center for Sustainable Development facilitates approximately 30 projects-based student employment and internship opportunities from its campus headquarters at 14 Green Way. Our team supports students to contribute to existing projects (i.e., sustainable transportation, zero waste and water quality) and create new initiatives that reflect the university's commitment to sustainability and its strategic vision. Students can receive funding and academic credit, depending on experience and skills. More information can be found at http://sustainability.cofc.edu/internships/index.php.


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):
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:
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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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.