Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.19
Liaison Ian Johnson
Submission Date July 14, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

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 active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups 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 cleanups and trail maintenance. EnAct is open to all people with an interest in the environment.

Student Green Investments (self-governed)
The Student Green Investment Committee (SGIC) is a recreation of CC’s previous Divest club, who advocated for the divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry. The Student Green Investment Committee has been rebooted this year in hopes of more realistically aligning Colorado College’s mission for sustainability with its investments and continues to demonstrate solidarity with marginalized communities fighting for climate change. The Student Green Investment Committee is working on bettering their relationship with the student Investment Club to continue the conversation on green investing among the student body as well as with administration. The SGIC submits proxy votes with sustainability in mind on JW Bristol’s holdings of the college endowment.

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 the global community, the environment, and us. 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 members of the Colorado College community to maintain and repair their own bicycles by offering instruction and a workspace complete with a full inventory of repair stands, tools, and spare parts. Beginning in 2011, the Co-op began working alongside Outdoor Education and Campus Safety to better address the needs of the Colorado College community. Now officially an organization under the Outdoor Education umbrella, the Co-op is staffed by five part-time student mechanics. The Co-op processes bicycles abandoned on campus and collected by Campus Safety, refurbishing those fit for riding and recycling the rest. The refurbished bicycles are sold at affordable prices at an annual Bike Auction, during which the Co-op works closely with Campus Safety to ensure that all bicycles are purchased with a U-Lock in an effort to reduce bicycle-theft. Services offered at the Co-op range from flat tire repair to full bicycle rebuilds, but all share the common thread of experiential learning. Student mechanics strive to not only repair bikes, but to work alongside students, faculty and staff, ensuring that they are participating in and understanding the repair in order to help foster a more sustainable bicycle culture on the Colorado College Campus.

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

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. Both the Office of Sustainability (OoS) and the Collaborative oversee it for Community Engagement (CCE). The coalition employs 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-founded organization that collects food perishables and buffet leftovers seven days a week and uses bike trailers to transport the food to charities and non-profits that serve at-risk or hungry individuals. They now rescue around 25,000 pounds of food a month from 30 different businesses in the area.

CC Green Team
The Green Team is always looking for new ways to promote sustainability at CC. Currently, they work with the veggie van by converting compost from the school’s dining hall and residential hall Bemis to make vegetable oil, maintain the OEC garden, and brainstorm workshops and other initiatives to implement at CC. Their mission is to make Colorado College a more sustainable environment, in knowledge, culture, and practice.

Carnivore Club (student-governed)
Meat and good times have always been the defining characteristics of the Carnivore Club and the events they put on. The Carnivore Club supports many student groups with grilling services and event planning expertise. The Club's meat comes from Ranch Foods Direct, a distributer that works with local farmers to provide meat from happy animals raised in sustainable ways.

Real Food Task Force
The Real Food Task Force is a representative body of students, faculty, professors, cooks, and dining hall managers that collectively assess our food purchasing and make shifts towards more local, organic, fair-trade and humane products. As a community we are voting with our dollars for a more resilient and sustainable food system.


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:

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. 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-governed.


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:

Sacred Grounds Tea House is a student-led late-night gathering space that creates a warm, welcoming environment for the CC community from 9pm-1am. Open mic nights performances, poetry readings and creative social gatherings appeal to the CC community. Sacred Grounds is a sub-free venue and a student study space. 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 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?:
Yes

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

The Campus Sustainability Council designated an Investments Subcommittee in the fall of 2015 to investigate sustainable investment at Colorado College. This committee is aimed at investigating Portfolio 21 and other SRI and environmentally responsible funds with the hopes of investing council funds or school funds in these portfolios. This subcommittee is also proxy voting for companies of which the school is a shareholder. Both of these actions are the beginning steps to moving towards total sustainable investment in the future. The subcommittee is made of staff and students.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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:

Seminars and lectures are offered to the campus community on issues related to sustainability through the Linneman lecture series, the Environmental Program, Enact Environmental Club 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 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:

As a celebration of the end of Recyclemania, the Office of Sustainability hosted a showcase of student art made of recycled, reused and upcycled material. The Office of Sustainability has also teamed up with the Photography club to put on a sustainable photo gala. All students have the opportunity to submit photos to the photo club that fit a sustainable theme.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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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:

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 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:

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 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:

Students can learn sustainable life skills by living in the Sense of Place Living Learning Community or one of the two Synergy houses. The Sense of Place 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 Sense of Place 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 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:

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.

CC Farm Interns (self-governed)
The CC Farm is run by a group of student interns as well as many student and non-student volunteers during growing season. The CC Farm is a 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, sold to the community for fundraising, or donated to different local organizations. The CC Farm 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 have included bringing the new greenhouse onto campus and meeting their yearly produce quotas (selling $7,000 worth of food). It 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.


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?:
No

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

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

Colorado College offers a Community-Based Learning (CBL) program. Courses with a CBL notation include the intention of equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and experience to exercise influence toward social, cultural, environmental, or civic outcomes that benefit the common good. This applies whether the impact is immediate or deferred.


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):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.