Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.69
Liaison Careen Arsenault
Submission Date March 8, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Cornell University
ER-1: Student Sustainability Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.34 / 5.00 Lisa James
Manager of Facilities Operations
Student & Academic Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of degree-seeking students enrolled at the institution:
21,131

Program name (1st program):
EcoRep Program

Number of students served by the program to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (1st program):
6,607

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (1st program):

The EcoRep Program is offered as a course each semester titled Sustainable Lifestyle Practices co-taught by Professor Brian Chabot, and staff members Daniel Roth (Campus Sustainability Office) and Susan Riley (Residential Programs). Any student can take the course for both semesters. The course description is as follows: Sustainable living practices will be fostered through readings, discussions, and implementing peer education projects. We cover several sustainability issues, the impact of personal behavior, and social marketing on creating a sustainable living environment. Students engage in experiential learning through developing peer education projects. The semester will focus on energy conservation, transportation, and sustainable purchasing decisions. Students will acquire strong project implementation and marketing skills by serving as role models to peers on a daily basis and implementing projects over the course of the semester.

Peer-to-peer activities in 2012 included recycled art making, trips to farmers markets, local foods tasting, carbon foot-printing a dining hall meal, purchasing of additional recycling bins, tabling about vegetarian eating, and much more.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (1st program):

The EcoRep program includes both returning and new students. Recruitment began with a variety of general-interest orientation events as well as events targeted for students interested in sustainability. At these events information was provided about the EcoRep program and explained how the application process worked. In addition to attending events, Residence Hall Directors and Resident Advisors encouraged their residents to apply. Interested students completed an online application where they provided an overview of their interest in sustainability as well as experiences with planning events and leadership.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (1st program):

The course meets twice a week throughout the semester and begins with a weekend long leadership training and sustainability orientation session. Class time each week is divided between introductions to 3 sustainability themes, introductions to social marketing strategies and behavior change strategies, and in-class project planning. Food, composting & recycling, and water are the themes in the Fall semester while energy, transportation, and purchasing are in the Spring semester.


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (1st program):

A faculty member from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences oversees the course. The Campus Sustainability Office and the Office of Residential Programs fund leadership development trainings and hire a student employee to be an EcoRep coordinator that supports the EcoReps taking the course.

The EcoReps program also provides EcoReps with access to a $1000/semester fund to purchase any supplies needed to run programs with students. Both offices also provide computer and print support to help advertise the programs run by the EcoReps.


The website URL for 1st Program:
Program name (2nd program):
Cornell Organization for Resource Efficiency (CORE)

Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (2nd program):
3,270

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

The Cornell Organization for Resource Efficiency (CORE) exists as a volunteer hub for students interested in helping with sustainability efforts on campus. Each year, CORE volunteers lead the effort to educate all incoming freshman about composting and recycling at orientation and other fall events such as Homecoming. The primary activity of the CORE volunteers is monitoring composting and recycling stations at events and educating their peers about recycling and composting at that site.


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

Student CORE members were recruited during the summer through email announcements and presentations to club leaders. Most CORE members were already involved in sustainability activities on campus and volunteered for this additional responsibility.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (2nd program):

A dozen CORE Team Captains received 3 hours of orientation to managing teams of CORE members and the waste reduction strategies that would be promoted through CORE. CORE members received 1 hour trainings on composting and recycling at events. CORE members served as composting and recycling educators at student events during the fall of 2012.


A brief description of the staff and/or other financial support the institution provides to the program (2nd program):

The CORE program was developed and managed by a paid student intern in the Campus Sustainability Office with resources provided for communication materials and website development. Composting and recycling bins were provided by R5 Operations.


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Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (3rd program):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (3rd program):
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Program name (All other programs):
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Number of students to whom peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education is offered (All other programs):
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A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (All other programs):
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A brief description of how the student educators are selected (All other programs):
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A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive (All other programs):
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The website URL for all other programs:
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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.