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

STARS v2.2

Connecticut College
PRE-2: Points of Distinction

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

Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Student/Alumni Sustainability Collaborations

A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:

Starting with an independent study course offered in Spring 2020, a group of students has been working with Professor Chad Jones and alumnus Rocky Ackroyd '83 to design and install a solar array on our Service Building. Students led all aspects of this project from the design of the solar array, to working with the city Building Department on permits, to actually installing the solar panels on the roof. This experience provided the students with practical skills in solar energy and two students have gone on to work for solar companies after graduation. Rocky Ackroyd, the owner of a solar company, mentored the students during the course and continued to work on implementing the project after the course had ended. He provided the panels and other supplies to the College at cost and donated his labor and expertise to the project. This allowed us to fully fund the project through our Sustainability Revolving Fund and the sale of the ZRECs. The solar array was installed on April 30 and May 1, 2021 students, alumni, faculty and staff. The project will provide approximately 2/3 of the electricity needed for the Service Building and has a financial payback of 10 years. We hope to repeat this model of student/faculty/alumni collaboration for future projects.

We also engaged alumni working in the field of sustainability through our SUS293: Applied Sustainability seminar. In this course, students worked in groups of three or four, each with one of four alumni mentors, to research, develop and then pitch project ideas for the Office of Sustainability to take on in the upcoming academic year. Working with the Hale Center for Career Development we identified four alumni working in diverse areas of sustainability - higher education, architecture, finance and local government - to work with our groups. The four groups in Spring 2021 proposed the following projects: 1. Developing a three pronged education and outreach plan that included orientation videos, a year-long speaker series focused on a single topic each year, and the adoption of a new sustainability course requirement; 2. A campus reuse store that would accept donations of clothing, household goods and athletic equipment which would then be available to any student under a "pay as you can" system; 3. A reusable takeout container program for Campus Dining (we have not had any takeout program in the past prior to Covid); 4. Compost collection for our campus garden from student apartments and an education campaign on its benefits.

Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Public Engagement
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
Innovation C, AC-5 Immersive Experience

A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
Anti-Racist Education and Action

A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

We took many steps over the past two years to offer more education about social justice and systemic racism to our campus community. First, a Social Difference and Power course requirement was adopted by the Faculty in May 2019. Starting with the class of 2024, students will be required to take at least two courses related to questions of social difference and power during their course of study at Connecticut College. In Social Difference and Power courses, students will develop: a more informed understanding of systemic forms of inequality and underlying structures of power and their disproportionate impact on underrepresented and/or marginalized peoples and communities; deeper analyses of social identity and difference.

"Conversations on Race" is a series of events launched in 2019 in collaboration with The Day (a local newspaper) and the US Coast Guard Academy. The first event in the series was an interview of Chief Justice Richard Robinson, Connecticut's first Black chief justice. Other events included a talk from Ibram X. Kendi, the author of How to be Antiracist, and a discussion called "Conversations on Race: Policing in the U.S. and New London."

In November 2020, Connecticut College became an inaugural member of the Racial Equity Alliance, led by the University of Southern California’s Racial Equity Center. This group of 51 institutions will have access to resources and trainings, including monthly workshops called “e-convenings.” The president’s of alliance institutions have also been holding quarterly meetings to share advice and work collaboratively to decide on action and communications to their campuses and the media during times of crisis. https://www.conncoll.edu/news/news-archive/2020/racial-equity-alliance/

The inaugural Elevate Conference was held from January 25-26, 2021. This conference, which was open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, sought to elevate consciousness about equity and justice and uplift members of marginalized communities. More information can be found at: http://elevate.conncoll.edu/

In 2021, all students, faculty and staff were required to complete an online training about diversity, equity and inclusion. The training program was offered through EverFi.

Throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, a group of white faculty and staff called White Colleagues Committed to Dismantling Racism at Connecticut College (WCCDR@Conn) met to educate themselves about how to be better allies (accomplices) and anti-racists. The group worked through “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad, held discussion sessions, and compiled resources in a google document available to our campus community.

Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Public Engagement
Diversity & Affordability

Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
Innovation A, PA-5 Diversity and Equity Coordination and PA-6 Assessing Diversity and Equity

A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:

Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
Student Driven Sustainability Projects

A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

One of the key features of sustainability at Connecticut College is our focus on student-driven projects. Sustainability Fellows in the Office of Sustainability work in teams to brainstorm, develop and implement projects on campus. These projects often involve working closely with other departments like Dining Services, Procurement Services and Facilities, giving students real-world experience in navigating the campus bureaucracy and collaborating with staff and faculty. Some of the projects fully developed and implemented by our student teams in the past few years include: a reusable menstrual cup initiative, collecting coffee grounds for compost from our four campus coffee shops, bi-annual clothing swap events, reusable order slips for our campus cafe and swapping out halogen for LED lightbulbs in our main art gallery.

One way that these student projects are possible is through the Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF). A $25 charge for the SPF has been included in our comprehensive fee since 2004. The SPF is managed by the Student Government Association (SGA) and any student is able to request funding for a sustainability project. Students requesting funds work with the Chair of Sustainabilty to develop their idea, talk with stakeholders, and submit a project proposal. They then present their idea and answer questions at an SGA meeting. At the following meeting, a formal resolution requesting that SGA allocate funds to the project is voted on by the SGA members. After receiving funding, students work with the Office of Sustainability to implement their idea. Projects that were funded in the 2020-2021 academic year include: water bottle fillers for four residence halls, a new hoop house (greenhouse) for the campus Sprout Garden, new water bottle filling stations for our Athletic Center and funding to purchase 1,000 reusable menstrual cups. The projects funded by the SPF are all generated by, proposed by and approved by students. The $25 fee for the SPF is renewed every three years through a student referendum, giving each student at least one chance to vote on continuing this key sustainability program. https://www.conncoll.edu/sustainability/resources-for-students/funding-opportunities/

Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Campus Engagement
Coordination & Planning

Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
EN-1 Student Educators Program, IN-40 Sustainability Projects Fund

A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:

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