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-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kirstie Tedrick
Sustainability Coordinator
Housing & Dining Services
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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 Student Sustainability Center, a University-wide, student-run organization that empowers students to advance sustainability practices and principles on and beyond CSU’s campus. The Center leads student projects, hosts topical events, distributes information, and builds relationships to promote environmental initiatives. Committed to improving sustainability at CSU and building the skill sets of students across campus, the Center empowers students to address the intersectionality of social, economic, and environmental sustainability challenges. The events, projects, and initiatives run by the SoGES Student Sustainability Center help shape the culture and practice of sustainability on campus and in our community.

Initiatives include monthly educational workshops, efforts to decrease plastic bag use on CSU’s campus, community garden development, the nitrogen footprint project, and free documentary showings with the City of Fort Collins.

Multiple additional student groups formally collaborate with SSC including the Zero Waste Team, Eco Leaders, ASCSU (student government), etc.


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:

The department of Horticulture and Soil & Crop Sciences maintains several on-campus (and off-campus) gardens, which are used for student learning, research, and student-led gardening projects. This is all part of the certified organic research that has been occurring on campus for 15 years. The Interdisciplinary Studies Program in Organic Agriculture at Colorado State University provides a unique opportunity to study the science of organic production. These gardens are open to students throughout the entire university through course credits and volunteering. These gardens also include a space set aside for students living in the Aggie Village Apartments located on campus where they can grow and maintain produce for the Freedge, a refrigerator in the Aggie Village Community with no-cost produce available to those in the campus community who are experiencing food insecurity.

The CSU Horticulture Center also offers a hands-on opportunity for students to participate in farm-to-table (or farm-to-glass) programs through the lettuce-growing partnership with Housing & Dining Services, the hops partnership with the Fermentation Science program, and various other collaborative and research projects.


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:

The Aspen Grille is a student-operated restaurant located in the University Club in partnership with the Hospitality Management Program, on the upper level of the Student Center. The Aspen Grille is open to the public for lunch Tuesday through Friday during the academic year. The Grille maintains its certification by the Green Restaurant Association and focuses on local/sustainable food sources. The Aspen Grille proudly offers local products such as Hazel Dell Mushrooms, Jumping Good Goat Cheese, Bay State Milling Flour, Bee Squared Honey, Haugen’s Mountain Grown Lamb, Continental Bacon, and “socially conscious” coffee roasted by Cafe Richesse, a Colorado State University Alumnus-owned company. In 2016 the Aspen Grille joined the CSU composting program to divert all food waste.


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 Summit Fund's goal is to enrich students' educational experience by bridging academic coursework with professional experience in managing an actual investment fund. The students who run the fund each semester are charged with achieving the highest return possible while investing in sustainable and socially-conscious investments. The Summit Fund student managers meet with the CSU Foundation Board each year to share their success and make recommendations on socially-conscious investing.


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:

CSU hosts a large number of events and speakers related to sustainability throughout the year. The largest is the annual Earth Week celebration which includes campus-wide participation and events such as the Earth Day Festival, keynote speakers, compost giveaway, e-waste collection, student research showcases, etc. Earth Week events are typically free and open to the community. There are also lectures on sustainability issues and symposiums that highlight both undergrad and graduate student research related to sustainability.

In February of 2018, Gina McCarthy, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, came to speak at Colorado State University as part of the Global Engagement Lecture Series. McCarthy has been a leading advocate for common-sense strategies to protect public health and the environment for more than thirty years. As the head of EPA under President Obama, she led historic progress to achieve the administration’s public health and environmental protection goals and Climate Action Plan.
https://international.colostate.edu/2018/02/05/former-epa-administrator-gina-mccarthy-to-speak-at-colorado-state-university-february-28th/

In 2018, Cornell William Brooks, civil rights attorney and past president of NAACP, delivered the Diversity Symposium’s keynote address. During his tenure, 2014-17, he led the NAACP to 11 victories against voter suppression. A graduate of both Head Start and Yale Law School, Brooks is also an ordained minister, social justice activist, coalition builder and writer.

Throughout the year, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability offers symposia, lectures, panels, and workshops for students at no cost.


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 Student Sustainability Center, as well as the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, run a variety of film series throughout the year which is intended for students. The annual ACT Human Rights Film festival hosts a number of films on environmental, social, and economic aspects of sustainability.

There are also a number of exhibits in art galleries on campus throughout the year with a sustainability theme. The Design & Merchandising Department hosts a recycled fashion show each year to showcase student designs. https://chhs.source.colostate.edu/csu-hosts-urban-stars-sustainable-fashion-show/

Student members of Fashion Group International and the apparel and merchandising class AM 130 presented a sustainable fashion show titled “Urban Stars,” featuring attire made from leftover materials.
https://chhs.source.colostate.edu/oustanding-graduate-nogah-seidemann-ready-to-transform-the-fashion-industry/

In May of 2018 Nogah Seidemann (major in the Department of Design and Merchandising) became one of 50 Udall Scholars from 42 colleges and universities in 31 U.S. states and Guam. She was the only student at CSU to receive the award that year and as a former Eco Leader she combines her passion for fashion with her commitment to sustainability.


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:

The Outdoor Program through Campus Recreation offers a variety of outdoor activities which emphasize safe and low impact practices. The literature on Leave No Trace and other environmental principles is available in seminars and via pamphlets at the Recreational Center Office.

The CSU Mountain Campus is a truly unique experience where students experience nature in a remote mountain setting. The Mountain Campus offers a challenge course, world-class hiking adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, excellent fishing, wildlife viewing, classrooms, dormitories, and a dining hall. All incoming first year students are invited to take part in the Mountain Campus Experience to visit as part of the Orientation program. Students can also take courses at the Mountain Campus to study tree identification, fire ecology, map and compass use, geology, life zones, and ecosystem interaction. Students learn through instruction and activity; exploring climate change through hikes, watershed research, etc. Leave No Trace is a founding principle of the mountain campus experience.


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)?:
No

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

N/A: CSU does not do themed semesters or years.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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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:

Green Warrior is an 8-week student engagement campaign designed to educate students living on campus about sustainable life choices. Students participate by pledging to sustainable life choices through a website and can choose between planting trees or receiving sustainable prizes as an incentive for their commitments. 2,509 students or 34.95% of the on-campus student population participated in 2018 by committing to some form of sustainable life choices. A follow-up survey found 95% of green warriors continue their behaviors pledged to in the long term. Green Warrior is in its 6th year and has more than doubled in participation since its inception.

CSU runs sustainable living workshops through Housing & Dining Services each year. They also provide four model residence hall rooms, each in a different hall, which are open to students and visitors year-round. Model room tours emphasize green living on campus and include “Living Green at CSU” fliers. These fliers encourage students to buy Energy Star appliances, bring a bike to campus instead of a car, air dry clothes, etc. Additionally, there is an interactive model green room which students can tour online. http://www.housing.colostate.edu/living-green

There is also the Natural Resources and Sustainability Leadership Residential Learning Community in Summit Hall open for any student to engage in the research and outreach of the Warner College of Natural Resources. Students who apply for the community collectively register for a freshman seminar class on sustainability and agree to participate in an Alternative Spring Break in the local National Parks. Additional events are also organized throughout the semester. Students are encouraged to engage in a wide range of sustainability activities and opportunities 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:

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability keeps an active listing of student and professional sustainability positions on its website. The weekly Student Sustainability Center (SSC) bulletin also includes a sustainability job listing. This listing includes paid jobs, internships, and volunteer opportunities both on and off-campus.

RAMweb, the CSU student portal, also provides a full listing of all student positions open on campus, including sustainability positions.

Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities are provided across campus. Just a few examples include the Eco Leaders program, Ram Ambassadors and The Spoke Mechanics in Parking & Transportation Services, Facilities, Housing & Dining Services, President's Sustainability Committee internships, Composting program internships, and the Horticulture program internships.


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:

The campus SLiCE (Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement) office provides a number of co-curricular sustainability related programs and initiatives including alternative breaks, service learning, and coordinated community volunteering. Sustainability options exist in each of these categories.

The Eco Leaders program also has a strong co-curricular sustainability model as do the three sustainability-related Residential Learning Communities in the residence halls.


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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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.