Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.06
Liaison Margaret Bounds
Submission Date June 18, 2021

STARS v2.2

Connecticut College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Margaret Bounds
Assistant Director of Sustainability
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Climate Collective is a student-led club that aims to increase the amount of student participation in projects and actions relating to sustainability, climate change, and/or the environment on campus and in the community by providing resources and support to students who have a sustainable idea that they would like to implement on campus.

Spokespeople is a student group responsible for coordinating free semester-long bike rentals and bike maintenance.

Oceana is a student chapter of the international organization dedicated to marine conservation. Their policy campaigns range from curbing ocean pollution to promoting sustainable fishing. Past activities include: beach clean ups and restoration projects, film screenings, lectures by Oceana representatives and members of local nonprofits or organizations, fundraisers, panel events, a mock oil spill, and many other events.

Conn C.A.R.E.S. is an animal-rights organization. The purpose of this organization shall be to advocate on behalf of all non-human animals through education and reform by creating a safe-space community for those interested in ameliorating animal suffering and by providing resources for both living and sustaining a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Sprout Garden covers around half an acre in the center of our campus and provides social and educational spaces in which students can practice gardening and gain hands-on experience with sustainable, small-scale agriculture. Sprout strives to build community and empower individuals by planting, growing, and sharing ethically produced food. It consists of a student-run gardening club and an academically integrated farm space that share tools, volunteers, and goals. The goals of Sprout are to: Build community around food by providing opportunities for hands-on growing to individuals on campus and in the greater New London area, Provide experiential education in small-scale agriculture and local food systems for students, faculty, and staff by cultivating land and producing food together, and actualize the College’s commitment to sustainability by minimizing the College’s food-footprint and increasing New London’s local food resilience.

Sprout is also a key component of the College’s sustainable agriculture curriculum. By working in this space, students develop a comprehensive understanding of food systems and small-scale agriculture that can prepare them for careers in farming, agricultural science, food justice, policy, community organizing, and so much more. On the farm, students explore sustainable soil management, integrated pest management tactics, season extension strategies, and wholesale distribution to the College’s dining and catering services.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

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

The Sustainability Revolving Fund (SRF), was established in 2015 with $50,000 and the first project was completed in 2016. The SRF is overseen by a committee of students, faculty and staff who evaluate proposed projects based on their environmental impact and the length of payback.

Information can be found here: www.conncoll.edu/sustainability/resources-for-students/funding-opportunities/

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

The Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment hosts biennial symposia focusing on environmental and sustainability topics. These symposia are open to all students as well as the general public. The 2019 symposium "Climate Action from Below: A Cause for Optimism?" was held on March 2, 2019 and focused on momentum from state and local governments, businesses and corporations, and colleges and universities toward climate action and whether those efforts could make significant change. https://www.conncoll.edu/climate-action-from-below/

This year's symposium "Discarded: Unmasking and Understanding the Waste Stream" was held on March 6, 2021 and included speakers on closing material loops, making art from reclaimed materials, and the invisibility of many parts of the waste stream.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

There were several dance performances in the past two years that focused on sustainability. Sydney Bryan '21 made a dance film concerned with the amount of plastic in the ocean. Sophie McLaughlin '20, a Botany and Dance double major, created a dance related to the life cycle of plants which was performed in the Sprout Garden. Abby Reich created an honors thesis, performed in the Arboretum, which utilized cardboard boxes and studied the ongoing competition between humans and nature through a site-specific dance.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

Outdoor Adventures: The pursuit of wilderness activity through group planning and organized outings. Outings shall be geared so as to emphasize instruction and the improvement of wilderness skills. Special attention will be drawn to the importance of safety during wilderness activity, and to the development of a respect for the great outdoors, including Leave No Trace principles.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

The President's Sustainability Council selects a theme each April for the following academic year. Each theme is embedded throughout the year through speakers, movie screenings and social events, coordinated social media outreach, and an active campaign to make sustainable change on campus. The first three themes were: Pass on Plastic (2018-2019), Putting the Liberal Arts into Climate Action (2019-2020) and Nourishing Community: Cultivating equitable and Sustainable food systems (2020-2021).

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Earth House is Connecticut College's sustainable living residence. Each year, a small group of sophomores, juniors and seniors apply to live in Earth House as an alternative housing housing option. Earth House features a kitchen, living room and seven single rooms.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

The Office of Sustainability offers 6 paid student positions each year called Senior Sustainability Fellows. Each Senior Fellow oversees a team of other students focused on topics like Food Systems, Waste Minimization, Community Collaborations, and Campus Infrastructure. Senior Fellows are paid for up to 8 hours per week at a rate of $12.10/hr.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.