Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Columbia University
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Allie Schwartz
Assistant Director, Planning and Outreach
Environmental Stewardship, Columbia University Facilities and Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
28111

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):
28111

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

Name of the student educators program:
Columbia EcoReps

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
8704

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

Students apply to become an EcoRep and commit to a set of responsibilities and to work a set number of hours each week to fulfill them. The EcoReps are a group of students working in partnership with the Dining, Housing, and Environmental Stewardship departments to make Columbia’s campus more environmentally sustainable. Undergraduate EcoReps supervise and encourage a sustainable lifestyle in their residence halls on campus by implementing recycling programs (such as videos demonstrating how items are recycled on campus), encouraging students to save energy (through the Annual Energy Challenge), and creating educational events for the students. Their work entails publicizing available environmental services, serving as a bridge of communication between students and the administration, facilitating campus projects for a reduced university ecological footprint. EcoReps is divided into six committees that all work on different projects in those areas and aim to educate students on various issues and encourage environmental practices. The committees are Bike Share, Dining, Composting, Living Green, Give + Go Green, and Recycling. Some examples of EcoReps outreach activities include:
The Dining Committee facilitates Plate Scrapings about three times a semester and encourages students not to waste food.
The Composting Committee provides a way for students in residence halls the option of composting their food scraps in the basement of one of the residence halls.
The Living Green Committee focuses on improving the behaviors of students in residence halls such as offering plastic bag recycling.
The Give + Go Green program involves targeting students moving out at the end of the year and encourages them to donate items that they will not be shipping/taking home with them instead of throwing it away. The items are stored over the summer and sold back to the students at low prices in the Fall, and these funds fund the EcoReps programming.
The Recycling Committee focuses on recycling and educating students on how to recycle properly on campus (follow NYC Recycling laws) and advertises the importance of recycling in an engaging and dynamic way (the committee is creating videos).


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

At the beginning of each semester, the EcoReps leadership (Executive Board=2 Co-Presidents, 1 Secretary, 1 Media Liaison, 1 Treasurer) send out applications to join EcoReps and host an introductory meeting. The individuals apply and then the E-board assigns each individual to a specific committee aligned with his/her primary interests. The majority of EcoReps' commitment spans the full academic year. New EcoReps are accepted throughout the year as it's important to engage as many students as possible in the programs.


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

EcoReps from the previous year conduct training to the new EcoReps. Additionally, ongoing guidance and training are provided by Housing with support from Environmental Stewardship.


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):

EcoReps support themselves financially with the funds they have raised through the Green Sale. While being a Columbia EcoRep was once a paid position, the EcoReps themselves chose to operate on a volunteer basis and put their salaries into a programming fund to use on green initiatives totaling approximately $15,000. At the beginning of the academic year, the EcoReps host a used goods Green Sale, where they sell lightly used room furnishings and other household and office goods – most of which are donations from the Give + Go Green event at the end of the school year. Earnings from the Green Sale also help to fund the EcoReps program for the academic year.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Student Union for Sustainable Development (SUS-D)

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
28111

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

The Student Union for Sustainable Development (SUSD) is dedicated to bridging the gap between the Earth Institute and Columbia students majoring, concentrating, and showing interest in Sustainable Development.  SUSD gathers ideas, insight, and feedback from the student body and shares this information with the professors and administrators who shape the program. Beyond their work with the Earth Institute, they provide peer-to-peer advising and keep students updated on opportunities and events related to sustainability.


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

Anyone who is majoring, concentrating, or showing interest in Sustainable Development is able to join.


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

SUSD leadership trains the next set of leaders for the group and receives guidance from the Columbia University Earth Institute.


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):

SUSD is guided and supported financially by the Earth Institute.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
Columbia Aquanauts

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
28111

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

The Columbia Aquanauts is a student-led organization focused on creating awareness of and addressing global water challenges. The organization engages students, industry experts, and faculty from various disciplines at Columbia’s undergraduate and graduate schools for knowledge-sharing sessions, internship programs, and consulting projects.


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

Anyone showing interest in Columbia Aquanauts is able to join.


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

n/a


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):

Aquanauts is guided and supported financially by the Earth Institute.


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:
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Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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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.