Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 88.14
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Colorado State University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Kirstie Tedrick
Sustainability Coordinator
Housing & Dining Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
36,966

Total number of students enrolled for credit that are served (i.e. directly targeted) by a student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting to the extent feasible):
36,966

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the student educators program:
Eco Leaders

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
7,871

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

Eco Leaders are peer educators in the residence halls and Aggie Village apartments who help raise awareness about sustainability issues and encourage environmentally-responsible behaviors throughout the academic year. There is one Eco Leader per residence hall and four at Aggie Village who engage campus residents in sustainability areas such as waste reduction, energy conservation, social justice, economic sustainability, sustainable transportation, and recycling and composting. The Eco Leader program in the halls also has an academic component with a mandatory class each Thursday from 4:00pm-5:15pm. Eco Leaders earn credits for the course and receive a housing stipend for their engagement efforts. The Eco Leaders program started in 2011 and has expanded in scope and engagement each year since.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

Any student living in campus housing is eligible to apply to be an Eco Leader. Faculty/advisors for the program review applications and conduct interviews to select Eco Leaders. Housing & Dining Services (HDS) hires one student representative from each residence hall (15), four Eco Leaders for Aggie Village (apartment living), and one Peer Mentor. Each Eco Leader completes 5 hours per week of peer-to-peer engagement for the entire academic year. Students are invited to apply for the position in the spring and interviews conducted over the summer. The hiring process gives opportunities for underrepresented students who may not have had a chance to lead sustainability efforts previously to step into a leadership role.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

Eco Leaders begin the academic year with a week-long training before classes begin, which includes a two day training retreat at the CSU Mountain Campus, to learn effective communication, leadership, community-based social marketing, team building, social justice and diversity, and environmental issues. They attend a mid-year retreat to reflect on the fall semester’s work and plan for the upcoming spring semester. During the academic year, Eco Leaders attend a weekly class titled Introduction to Sustainability Engagement to learn a foundation for sustainability challenges, plan and discuss projects, connect with key staff members, learn about university procedures and sustainability issues, and reflect on activities and experiences. Through the required courses, online program guide, and experiential learning, Eco Leaders are exposed to a variety of sustainability issues. They then work to bring those messages back to their peers in the residence halls and apartments in a variety of formats, to create collaborative relationships with others.

Eco Leaders assist with RecycleMania, Green Warrior, annual waste audit, plate waste audits, Earth Week, Environmental Eats, Pack it, Store it, Donate it, Move In Day and other related sustainability events and campaigns. Eco Leaders receive education and training on all of these initiatives before jumping in.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination):

Eco Leaders sign a contract outlining expectations and receive a $3,000 reimbursement on their housing costs for the academic year ($1500 per semester) in exchange for engaging their peers 5 hours per week.

CSU also supports the program by providing either a two-credit or three-credit course for the Eco Leaders that count toward the Global Environmental Sustainability interdisciplinary minor.

Housing & Dining Services provides four faculty/advisors for the program, the Director of Communications & Sustainability, the Assistant Director of Sustainability, Sustainability Coordinator, and a Peer Mentor. The department provides an operating budget of about $100,000 (including the campaigns the Eco Leaders are engaged in) as well as access for Eco Leaders to submit research and/or project proposals to the HDS Sustainability Fund.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
ASCSU Environmental Affairs

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
36,966

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

The Associated Students of CSU (ASCSU) has organized their sustainability efforts through a dedicated student-led environmental affairs department with a paid student leadership position.

The Director of Environmental Affairs position and team is an ongoing role that assists with furthering the university's sustainability goals. This team works alongside the Student Sustainability Center and the President’s Sustainability Commission to promote student-based sustainability initiatives. Outreach activities include involvement in Earth Week, LEED and WELL green building standard resolutions, and collaborating on the Plastic Bag and Thin Film recycling initiative for the campus book store. Other outreach activities associated with this position include working with students to write sustainability bills, partnering with the Student Sustainability Center, and hosting educational programs and events on campus.

ASCSU Environmental Affairs also partners with the student-led Zero Waste Team to advocate for recycling and compost bins around campus and at the campus stadium. They have also partnered on the Zero Waste Symposium held each spring on campus.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):

The Director of ASCSU Environmental Affairs is appointed by the CSU Student Body President, who is elected by the student body in an open election held each spring. The Director and Deputy Director then invite all students at CSU to participate and teach in events (including programming, coordinating, implementing). All events have a peer-to peer education and engagement component. For more information visit https://ascsu.colostate.edu/oea/.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

All ASCSU representatives are trained in governance and CSU University policy. Additional training and support in sustainability is provided by on campus experts in areas relevant to ASCSU Environmental Affairs projects/events. For example, in preparation for a Bike to Campus Event, members will meet with the CSU Alternative Transportation Manager, Parking Services, and the Bike Committee on campus in order to educate students on relevant issues. Informal mentoring is also provided by sustainability staff on campus who assist with resolutions, bills, events, and presentations.

Additionally, the Director of Environmental Affairs is trained through ASCSU retreats, student government conferences, required weekly Cabinet meetings and materials from those who previously held the position.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

The Department of Environmental Affairs at CSU annual budget is $5000 to cover events and student positions. The Director of Environmental Affairs receives $8,200 annually, and each deputy (The Deputy Director of Environmental Affairs and the Deputy Director of Waste Diversion) receive $3700 per year.

Total funds: $20,600

The total annual funding for ASCSU Department of Environmental Affairs has increased by $10,000 since CSU's previous STARS report in 2017.

Every spring, the ASCSU President and Vice President elect and create the ASCSU budget for the next year. They have the power to increase or decrease any funds as they see fit. The department may also approach the senate for additional funding and often partners with various entities on campus to fund projects, events, or initiatives.

Students voted to pass a student fee to support alternative transportation on campus and there is a student-led committee who allocates that funding each year.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
CSU Zero Waste Team

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
36,966

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):

As the Larimer County Landfill is expected to reach capacity by 2025, the student-led Zero Waste Team’s focus is to sort waste, educate students and community members, and aid in the acquisition of compostable materials at CSU sanctioned events, home sports games, and events held by the City of Fort Collins. Multiple events on campus each month are zero waste and most of the management and sorting is done by the Zero Waste Team, including university events like the University Picnic, Earth Week, and all home football games where the Zero Waste Team sorts recycling and compost for 40,000 attendees. The team is often reached out to by members of the CSU campus community and Fort Collins community for advice on event planning. Every year the team holds an annual Zero Waste Symposium on campus to stress the importance of waste diversion and food recovery waste, as well as educate the on and off campus community about ways in which Fort Collins can move towards zero waste infrastructures. The symposium also includes a ‘trashion show’, with clothes made from recovered materials found in the trash. Past events include on campus presentations, open panel discussions and activities created in hopes to inspire a community to focus on circular economies. Presentations are on campus, at local schools, and in 2018 the Zero Waste Team traveled to the University of Pennsylvania to present at PLAN’s annual Students for Zero Waste Conference. Some team members hold bi-weekly workshops that allows anyone to bring damaged clothing to learn how to mend it rather than purchase a replacement.

The Zero Waste Team’s target audience is all of CSU students, faculty and staff in addition to the people of Fort Collins. The more direct audience would revolve around those attending athletic events, university sanctioned events and festivals, and anyone willing to discuss the importance of waste diversion.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):

Any student at CSU is eligible to join the Zero Waste Team and they maintain a large roster of students with no limit on participants, as many of the waste sorting events the Zero Waste Team coordinate require dozens of volunteers. Leadership is selected from among the members.

When students join the CSU Zero Waste Team (CSU ZWT), they show the team's leadership that they are interested in becoming informed (or already informed) on waste diversion and sustainability. All members of the CSU ZWT are considered to be student educators, as all ZWT members interact and educate CSU students, employees, and visitors at the sporting and university events. Being an educator in recycling, composting, and general waste diversion is a requirement of all members of the CSU ZWT.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):

The Zero Waste Team is a member of PLAN and receives digital updates, access to webinars, and an annual conference through that membership. Primary leadership members (1+ year with the ZWT) are updated regularly regarding the waste streams in Larimer county (and Fort Collins). The ZWT work closely with the City of Fort Collins and the Timberline Recycling Center to be informed of updates to recycling streams as soon as they are conveyed to the public. Seasoned ZWT members also bring the newer members of ZWT (and interested students/town folk of Fort Collins) to both the Timberline Recycling Center and CSU's Composting Facility on Foothills Campus for tours, which occur at least once per semester. At these locations, tour attendees can learn more about the microbial composting process and what it takes to maintain a compost pile, as well as proper recyclable sorting and recycle stream management!


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (3rd program):

The CSU Zero Waste Team is primarily a passionate and volunteer-based organization. During non-sporting events and daily actions around campus, team members are all compensated for by the desire of members to bring about societal change regarding waste management. For CSU athletic events, CSU Facilities Department pays ZWT members a $12 per hour wage. However, current leadership hopes to secure financial/administrative support from CSU in efforts to provide incentive to maintain this important and highly effective student educator program on waste diversion.


A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of students served and how student educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:

Transportation Education and Enforcement Program (TEEP) was developed to educate commuters and enforce rules and regulations pertaining to the operation of wheeled conveyances on campus. The goal of the program is to provide a safe traffic environment so that all modes of transportation can coexist. TEEP is operated by student educators and is a unit of the CSU Police Department (CSUPD).

The Spoke is CSU’s largest living lab and is operated by student mechanics. The Spoke is open year-round for students to receive bike maintenance. Students who stay to learn about their bike during the repair do not pay labor costs, only parts. The Spoke is based in the University’s first LEED Platinum building, the Pavilion. In FY19, The Spoke doubled its educational bike repairs after the introduction of the mobile operation shop funded by the Alternative Transportation Fee Advisory Board. Since it’s beginning in 2014, the Spoke has provided a total of 12,636 educational services.

Rambassadors are paid student educators who interact with their fellow students on campus to educate them about their alternative transportation options, with a focus on safe and efficient travel. Rambassadors also present to classes and resident hall groups about transportation options, and develop custom commute routes for students.

The CSU Apiculture club works hands-on and in classroom settings to teach interested students about beekeeping and pollinators with the help of local experts. More experienced beekeeping club members work with other interested students at the beehives at the Durell Center year-round to teach proper beekeeping techniques and skills so that they can, in turn, teach others about beekeeping and the importance of pollinators. Outreach activities include bringing bees to local schools and bringing CSU groups to the hives to spread knowledge about bees and increase environmental literacy. Regular student tasks include regular hive maintenance, feeding, installing new bees, and responding with the many issues that come with keeping bees.


Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
18,427

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Student educator engagement hours were calculated by adding Eco Leader, ASCSU, CSU Zero Waste Team, Rambassadors, TEEP, the Spoke, and CSU Apiculture Club student engagement hours per academic year together. We know there are many more peer-to-peer educator programs across campus that don't track their hours so this count is low.

Additional websites:
Zero Waste Team: https://ramlink.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/zerowasteteamcsu

Rambassadors: https://pts.colostate.edu/transportation-options/rambassadors/

The Spoke: http://cr.colostate.edu/the-spoke.html

ASCSU Environmental Affairs: https://ascsu.colostate.edu/oea/

Transportation Education and Enforcement Program (TEEP): https://police.colostate.edu/bike-traffic/

Apiculture Club: https://ramlink.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/csuapiculture

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.