Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.36
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date June 8, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ian Johnson
Sustainability Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
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 Yes
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 No

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

EnAct (self-governed)
EnAct, the oldest student group on campus, began after Earth Day 1970 and was influenced by the Colorado Springs Ecology Action group. EnAct serves as a forum to raise environmental and social awareness through research, education, and action at CC and within the Colorado Springs community. EnAct is student-governed and is an umbrella under which students can organize and pursue the environmental and social justice projects they value. In the past, EnAct projects have included Earth Day/Week, developing the college's present recycling program, taking trips to research regional environmental issues, presenting speakers and slideshows to educate students on current environmental issues, instituting the Timothy Linnemann Memorial Lecture on the Environment, running the Swap-Space on campus, which is a place for students to donate and take items, collecting compost from off-campus students, and volunteering for the Rocky Mountain Field Institute and other organizations for clean-ups and trail maintenance. EnAct is open to all people with an interest in the environment.

Divest (self-governed)
The Student Divestment Committee (SDC) advocates for the divestment of CC's endowment from the Fossil Fuel Industry as a method of stripping fossil fuel companies of their social license, aligning CC's mission for sustainability with its investments, and demonstrating solidarity with marginalized communities fighting for climate justice. The committee requests for the board to freeze all new investments immediately and to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies within five years. Within the previous three years, the committee has collected over 1,000 student signatures for a petition supporting divest, organized several all campus events such as Divest Fest and Divestment 101 talks, run several articles in the college newspaper and magazine, and met with and presented to the Board of Trustees several times. Currently, the SDC is working on an outreach campaign to get alumni involved.

CC Farm Club (self-governed)
The CC Farm is a student run, self sustaining 1.3 acre garden on Wood avenue, behind the president's house. Since 2008, students have taken the initiative to grow and harvest produce on the land, which is then supplied to the college's food service provider, Bon Appetit. The CC Farm Club aims to promote a greater understanding and practice of local agriculture and food cycling amongst the community. The CC Farm serves as both a classroom and gathering place for people of all ages, as well as a flagship of sustainability at CC. Recent accomplishments of the CC Farm Club have included bringing the new greenhouse onto campus and meeting their yearly produce quotas (selling $7,000 worth of food). The club is also responsible for organizing several popular campus events including the Harvest Banquet, the Green and Bluegrass Festival, and the Pig Roast. During the summer of 2014, the CC Farm began a farmer's market on Saturdays in the parking lot of Slocum Hall. The market was extremely successful and will be continued next year.

EcoFit Audit and Retrofit Team (self-governed)
The aim of the EcoFit project and associated fund is to create a lending institution that will provide loans to finance home retrofits in the Colorado Springs community. The project strengthens Colorado College’s ties with the local community by helping families lower their home-energy expenses and reduce the community's carbon footprint. The project also provides valuable educational experiences to students and families involved, especially in the fields of accounting, environmental science, physics, sociology, and southwest studies. The EcoFit group also perform audits on campus, which is essential in helping the College reach the college's 2020 carbon neutrality goal.

The Good Food Club (self-governed)
The Good Food Club (formerly known as the Veg Heads) is CC's club "for those who wish to eat thoughtfully." The club promotes discourse and action focused on sustainable food practices and food ethics. The mission states, "As socioeconomically privileged, 21st century Americans, we have the opportunity to make responsible, knowledgeable, ethical, and sustainable decisions when it comes to the food we choose to consume". In other words, Good Food concerns itself with holistic discussion about food: what it is, where it comes from, and how it affects us, the global community, and the environment. The group has organized several food-related panels, organized a canning workshop, assisted the Food Coalition with its Food Day event, and hosts a potluck each block.

CC Bike Co-op (self-governed)
Started by students in 2008, the bicycle cooperative’s goals are to empower people to maintain and repair their own bikes and to negate the necessity of cars within a five-mile radius of campus. The co-op offers free classes in bike repair and maintenance. Student volunteers also keep a self-service bike shop stocked with tools, workbenches, and used parts. They also gather abandoned bicycles, “resurrect them” to keep them from becoming trash, and sell the refurbished bikes.

Plant Strong (student-governed)
CC Plant Strong is a new vegan club focused on food, health, sustainability, ethics, and agriculture. The club has worked to bring multiple food-related speakers to campus.

Fair Trade Committee (student-governed)
The Fair Trade Committee supports fair trade food. It's primary objective is to make CC a certified fair trade campus, that is, having fair trade items at all dining areas and convenience stores.

Food Coalition (student-governed)
The Food Coalition hopes to bring together the knowledge, energy, and ideas of CC students interested in food justice and food-related issues both on and off campus. The Coalition acts as a link between groups and individuals on campus, and between students and Colorado Springs community partners by providing the resources and support for organized networking. It is overseen by both the Office of Sustainability (OoS) and the Collaborative for Community Engagement (CCE). The coallition employ a Collective Impact model of collaboration with the CCE acting as the group's "backbone support." In October of 2013, to celebrate National Food Day, the Coalition brought together CC students, community members, and representatives from local businesses and organizations to discuss the local food movement and to explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration. Since then, the Coalition has continued to unite its efforts to make a sustained impact in the community. Food Coalition groups include the CC Farm, the CC Greenhouse, the Carnivore Club, the Good Food Club, Colorado Springs Food Rescue, the Palate Project, and the SOUP Project at the Community Kitchen.

Colorado Springs Food Rescue (student-governed)
Founded in 2013, the Colorado Springs Food Rescue is a student-run organization that collects food perishables and buffet leftovers six days a week and uses bike trailers to transport the food to charities and non-profits that serve at-risk or hungry individuals.

Energy, Environment and Security Project (student-governed)
Founded in 2011, the Energy, Environment and Security Project is a student-led think tank that aims to promote discussion and research on the rising energy and environmental security challenges of the 21st century. The club hopes that by publishing undergraduate working papers through CC's Political Science Department they can foster innovative, interdisciplinary, and practical thinking and research that will advance stability and sustainability in the international system.


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:

CC Farm
Students created the CC Farm on campus in Spring 2008. Produce from the 1.3 acre organic permaculture garden is sold to Bon Appétit, the college’s food services provider, and at local farmers markets. In addition to a wide variety of vegetables, the CC gardeners raise apples, cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots in a small orchard, raspberries, wildflowers, free-range chickens, and bees for honey. The CC Farm is self-governed and is run by the CC Farm Club.

Greenhouse
The new greenhouse is carefully designed as a passive solar system that maximizes the heat capacity of the sun during cold Colorado winters, and employs passive ventilation during the summer to create a hospitable growing climate year round. Water barrels along the north wall provide crucial insulation by absorbing heat during the day and releasing that heat throughout the night, keeping the internal temperatures steady. It is a student-run space maintained through the collaboration of the CC Farm and the Synergy Houses. The greenhouse is home to radishes, beets, turnips, carrots, lettuce, chard, kale, beans, peas, onions, scallions, tomatoes, basil, thyme, spinach, cilantro, and melons. The food is split between the Synergy community and the CC Farm Synergy House Garden.

Synergy Garden
The Synergy House includes an organic garden in the backyard that is tended by its inhabitants. The garden is harvested in the fall, and its produce is shared with the CC community. The Synergy House garden is self-govenered.


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:

Sacred Grounds is CC’s student-governed, sustainable, socially responsible, fair trade and organic coffee house. It is located in the basement of Shove Chapel.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

In April 2011, Colorado College established the CC Green Fund. The initial $10,000 designated for the fund was invested by CC students with support from the Office of Endowment & Investment and the Campus Sustainability Council. The CC Green Fund showcases responsible investing at CC while providing new and exciting education opportunities.

The CC Green Fund aims to:
-Give students an opportunity to learn and apply responsible investing practices.
-Help align CC’s values for a just and sustainable world with institutional investment decisions.
-Support the most socially and environmentally responsible businesses in the U.S. and abroad.
-Generate investment returns that will fund on-campus sustainability initiatives.

The CC Green Fund is not student-governed.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Seminars and lectures are offered to the campus community on issues related to sustainability through the Linneman lecture series, the Environmental Program, and the State of the Rockies Project.

Colorado College celebrates Earth Day on a yearly basis with an entire week of environmentally-focused activities. Typically, events include speaker presentations and films. In October of 2013, to celebrate National Food Day, the Coalition brought together CC students, community members, and representatives from local businesses and organizations to discuss the local food movement and to explore opportunities for partnership and collaboration. In fall of 2014, the Food Coalition collaborated in celebrating Local Food Week with a panel discussion of community members and professors about food security and sustainability from the local perspective as well as workshops with the Real Food Challenge engaging both students and community members about improving our food community. Both of these events are student-governed. In February 2014, the Outdoor Recreation Club hosted the Colorado Outdoor Education Symposium. The conference included a number of presentations, skill sessions and workshops given by local and national organizations and opportunities for students to network with attending program directors and administrators.


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:

The Divestment Club held a demonstration in 2013 placing various oil barrels in and around the Worner Campus Center with red hand prints. This was an art installation intended to raise awareness about the initiative to divest from fossil fuels and gain student support. The Palette Project is a student led project in urban agriculture. There is currently a palette garden behind the CC Inn which prompts students to ask questions about growing food, urban agriculture, and reclaimed and recycled palettes.


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

The Outdoor Recreation Club (ORC) offers student led outdoor activities that include group hiking, camping, backpacking, canyoneering, cross-country skiing, back-country skiing, cycling, kayaking, ice climbing and rock climbing. Student leaders are trained to follow Leave No Trace principles.


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:

There are numerous study-abraod opportunities for students to participate in sustainability-related semesters including: HECUA Environmental Sustainability Semester: Science, Public Policy, and Community Action, and Agriculture and Justice Semester: Building a Sustainable Food System in Minneapolis, HECUA Culture and the Environment: A Shared Future in New Zealand, SEA Semester: Oceans and Climate, Frontiers Abroad in New Zealand: Earth systems or Geology semester, Earth and Environment in Italy semester, ACM Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Science, and Humanities semester, ACM Tanzania: Ecology and Human Origins semester, ACM Oak Ridge Science Semester, SIT Madagascar: Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management, Comparative Wildlife Management Semester in Tanzania and Kenya, ISDSI: People, Ecology, and Development semester in Thailand, DIS Copenhagen: Environmental Science of the Arctic, Sustainability in Europe tracks, International Environment and Development semester in Washington, Tropical Ecology at Boston University Ecuador, CIEE Bonaire: Tropical Marine Ecology, TREE Semester: Environmental Education at the Catamount Institute in Pike National Forest.


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

Students can learn sustainable life skills by living in the Local Living Learning Community or one of the two Synergy houses. The Local Living Learning Community is a residential program that encourages students to explore the sustainability of local systems, on a scale ranging from the buildings to the greater Pikes Peak region. Students investigate their individual and collective roles as active agents in local food, water, energy and economic systems. The group will work to design and implement holistic, creative and practical solutions to foster vibrant, sustainable communities. The Local Living Learning Community is self-governed.

Furthermore, students inhabiting one of the two "Synergy" houses on campus learn to incorporate sustainable practices into their daily lives while teaching these techniques to the larger Colorado College community. Students in Synergy operate a backyard permaculture garden, use gray water from sinks and showers to run toilets, and invite the campus community over for a monthly potluck and an opportunity to learn more about green living.


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

Office of Sustainability Intern
The Office of Sustainability offers nine paid student internship positions. Interns collaborate with the Sustainability Manager and take on projects that mobilize campus sustainability efforts.

ECO-RA
The Colorado College ECO-RA program, supported by the Sustainability Office, promotes peer-to-peer education to foster sustainable living practices on and off campus. All residential areas, including large residence halls, apartments, smaller campus houses and off-campus areas are served by one or more student ECO-RAs. Selected ECO-RAs educate locally in their respective residential spaces, through formal and informal programming, marketing materials, and events. In addition, ECO-RAs implement conservation measures in their residential areas. Examples of activities include monitoring and reporting on energy and water use, identifying opportunities to minimize paper waste, coordinating CFL lightbulb exchanges, and supporting material reuse & recycling. ECO-RAs also participate collectively in campus-wide initiatives such as Recyclemania and Campus Conservation Nationals. Stipends for ECO-RAs are $50 per block, with additional funds available to support programming. While the ECO-RA program was on hold during the 2013-2014 school year, it has been reinstalled and enhanced for Fall of 2014.


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:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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A consolidated pdf of sustainability/environmental science themed semesters titled "Environmental Studies Off- Campus" is available through inquiry into the study abroad office and the Assistant-Director of Off-Campus Study, Heather Browne.

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.