Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date April 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dickinson College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Tyce Herrman
Projects Coordinator
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
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
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions Yes
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives No

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

There are over 13 sustainability-related clubs and organizations that are senate recognized for the 2014-15 academic year. These groups range from activism on campus to promoting innovation for sustainability projects to raising awareness of local foods and farms. Collectively, these groups promote sustainability awareness on campus, in the community, and around the world. Dickinson supports these groups financially through student senate, but all are student-governed.

The Sustainability Coalition, also student-governed, is a monthly forum where social, cultural, and environmental groups come together and collaborate. Current members of the sustainability coalition include (many more members participate, but are not listed here):

Idea Fund:
The Idea Fund empowers students to identify and solve problems in the community by equipping and connecting them with the skills, networks, and resources to effectively design and implement viable projects. We achieve these goals through our three main services: Project Consulting, Innovation Grants, and Revolving Loans.

Eco-Reps: 

The Eco-Reps program, coordinated by the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE), connect sustainability to the residential experience. Eco-Reps are volunteer peer-educators that coordinate outreach and education to a residence hall community about sustainable living, including energy efficiency and the current infrastructure for composting and recycling. Eco-Reps host events in their residence halls and work with residence life staff to make sustainable living options more prevalent in campus housing.

Athletic Eco-Reps:
The Athletic Eco-Reps program plays a strategic role by promoting greater interaction and communication between athletics and sustainability, two prominent stakeholder groups within Dickinson College's community. Dickinson, as well as 5 other schools, created a statewide consortium of colleges and universities to engage student athletes in sports greening and in leadership roles to promote sustainability in athletics and recreation.

The Handlebar Bicycle Co-Op: 

The Handlebar, operated and maintained by the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE), operates on co-op model that is 'for' students, faculty, and staff, 'by' students, faculty, and staff. Shop volunteers teach Handlebar users how to maintain their bikes, re-assemble parts, and make repairs when necessary. Volunteers are always welcomed and can be trained through our educational workshop program. The shop and its volunteers reuse bikes and bike parts to operate sustainably.

The Treehouse:

The Treehouse functions as both a Special Interest House and a student organization. Also known as the Center for Sustainable Living, the Treehouse promotes sustainable living practices and sharing of sustainability information through events such as soup and breads, open mic nights, and open houses.

Outing Club: 

The Outing Club is a great outlet for Dickinson students looking to try their hand at a wide range of outdoor activities. Activities range from camping to kayaking to rock climbing. The club provides the necessary gear and funding for trips and transportation. Dickinson students are welcome to attend the weekly meetings or to contact the club if an upcoming outing has sparked their curiosity and interest.



Roots: 

A student-run environmental advocacy group, Roots (formerly EarthNow! and Students Interested in Sustainable Agriculture -SISA) initiates sustainability-related projects and initiatives such as a campus-wide ban on the sale of plastic water bottles, an audit on paper use, and a Green Screen Film Series to view and discuss documentaries. They do event planning including the annual Local Foods Dinner and Earth Fest.

Students for Social Action (SSA): 

SSA addresses social justice issues at the campus, local, national, or international level. SSA hosts events to raise awareness about current problems and to urge a response from the college community. Past events include the Fair Trade craft fair in the HUB social hall and an organized campaign addressing workers’ rights and fair labor.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Dickinson College Organic Farm is a 50-acre working farm and educational resource that provides produce to the college’s dining hall, a local food bank, a local farmers' market, and 130 families who are members of the Farm’s Campus Supported Agriculture program. Located a short drive from campus in Boiling Springs, PA, the USDA-certified organic farm includes many sustainable operations practices, such as PV arrays, solar hot-water systems, and biodiesel-run tractors and trucks. Students work on the farm growing organic produce and caring for humanely raised livestock as volunteers and paid student farmers under the direction of the farm manager and assistant farm manager. The farm is also a site for numerous research projects, class visits, service learning projects, workshops, and tours.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

The Idea Fund is a "sustainable project incubator run by students".

The Idea Fund supports social entrepreneurship that empowers citizens to leverage their diverse skill sets, solving problems through innovation and creativity. Dickinson College provides students with a liberal arts education that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. The Idea Fund creates a forum through which students may exercise those skills in the Dickinson community. We envision a community that uses top quality academia to innovate and enact positive change.

The mission is to empower students to identify and solve problems in the community by equipping and connecting them with the skills, networks, and resources to effectively design and implement viable projects. These goals are achieved through three main services: Project Consulting, Innovation Grants, and Revolving Loans. All students are welcome to receive Project Consulting, designed to aid students in writing business proposals, applying for funds, building teams, and networking in the Dickinson community for sustainability and beyond.

Example Idea Fund supported project:

The Peddler is a bike-powered coffee convenience cart that sells organic, fair-trade coffee. The store is student-led, owned, and run and maintains the highest standards of sustainability, entrepreneurship, and social justice.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

Dickinson does not have a student-managed SRI Fund. However, the Idea Fund manages a revolving loan fund that supports campus projects that conserve energy and promote other sustainability goals. The college committed an initial contribution of $15,000. The fund will be supplemented by estimated cost savings that result from Idea Fund projects.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Dickinson annually awards the Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism. The prize was created to focus attention on the need to reduce the impact of human lives on the planet, particularly given the rising population predictions for this century. The $100,000 prize has now supported three winners who have all conducted 3-5 day campus residencies to interact with students in public lectures, small round table discussions, class visits, and leader lunches. Winners include:

Bill McKibben - 2012
Lisa Jackson - 2013
James Balog - 2014
Mark Ruffalo - 2015

The residencies were established to allow close interaction with students as the donors wanted to endow the prize at Dickinson because they fully support sustainability across curriculum, which promotes student awareness of the environment and training for professional careers in the sciences as well as responsible living for the protection of all life forms.

We themed the whole Fall 2014 semester around the Balog residency in a series entitled One College, One Community.
http://www.dickinson.edu/news/article/1218/one_college_one_community


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Sue Coe, the recipient of the 2013-2014 Dickinson Arts Award, had a week long residency to open her exhibition, The Ghosts of Our Meat. The exhibition explored important sustainability questions on food and agricultural production and ethical considerations of non-human entities.

Additionally, James Balog's exhibit Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers was hosted Sept. 20 through Dec. 5, 2014 in Dickinson's Waidner-Spahr Library. Visitors were invited to the exhibit featuring 15 color photographs, Extreme Ice Survey's time-lapse video loop, and informational panels that highlighted the effects of climate change on glaciers around the world.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Dickinson College Outing Club aims to foster a respect and love of nature within the student body, the faculty, and the staff by providing the leadership and resources needed to explore the outdoors. The club holds weekly meetings and leads a trip about once a week. Trips include day hikes, backpacking trips, top roping and bouldering rock climbing adventures, kayaking excursions, and camping trips. The club follows Leave No Trace principles and trains fellow students in the principles. Beginning in Fall 2014, Outing Club leads pre-orientation programs that introduce new students to outdoor resources in our region.

The Dickinson Outing Club has maintained a strong contingency of members trained in Leave No Trace policies. Their members seek to implement sustainable practices during their excursions. Additionally, many members are involved in various sustainability initiatives on campus and enhance their appreciation for the natural world through this club and other opportunities.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The theme for the Spring 2014 Clarke Forum speaker series was water. Concerns about a coming water crisis are gaining the attention of scholars, not just in countries where water is scarce, but globally. Water scarcity and water quality are interrelated problems that are both likely to deteriorate in the face of climate change. Speakers explored how water impacts all of us in ways we are often unaware. Topics ranged from the global to the local, from the impact of climate change on regional water scarcity, to the prevention of conflict about water resources, and the implications of drinking bottled water.

The semester theme in spring 2013 was Living in a World of Limits, which brought Bill McKibben, David Orr, Michael Mann, Michael Shellenberger, and other speakers to campus. In 2010-2011, Dickinson had a year-long theme, Food for Thought, which brought Eric Schlosser, Michael Abelman, Marion Nestle, Anna Lappe, Sandra Steingraber, Heidi Skolnik, Jenn Halpin, Sally McMurry, and other speakers to campus.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Students learn bike repair at The Handlebar Bicycle Co-Op. At The Handlebar, we operate with a 'Hands Off' policy, empowering our co-op users with the opportunity to challenge themselves while learning bike mechanics. “Hands Off” means that volunteers do not repair others’ bikes; they simply assist in bike repair and educate visitors on tips and tools of bike repair and maintenance. Volunteers are allowed to demonstrate how to do something or to offer an extra hand. Patrons may become frustrated when unable to perform a specific task, but sometimes it takes more than one try to use a tool successfully or to get something right. The slow and sometimes frustrating process of figuring out a task on one’s own proves far more educational than simply observing an experienced volunteer at work. Volunteers always relay their methods and tips when working with bikers and never underestimate another person’s abilities and desire to learn.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Center for Sustainability Education, The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring, and The Dickinson College Farm all hire students to run programming and operations. These three programs consistently employ over 30 paid student positions each semester. Additionally, paid, sustainability-focused student employment exists with sustainability summer camps offered by Dickinson, Dickinson Dining Services, and GIS projects.

The overarching goals of all these positions are to provide students the opportunity to create and/or improve sustainability programs and/or operations at Dickinson College in an effort to fulfill the objectives of our climate action plan and educate students on how to live more sustainably.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:

The Sustainability Graduation Pledge allows graduating students to commit to:

“I PLEDGE TO APPLY SUSTAINABILITY LEARNING AND VALUES FROM MY DICKINSON EXPERIENCE AS I EXPLORE AND IMPROVE THE SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF ANY ORGANIZATIONS FOR WHICH I WORK AND THE COMMUNITIES IN WHICH I LIVE."

The sustainability graduation pledge has been active since 2013.

Graduating seniors are also eligible to join Alumni for a Sustainable Dickinson, a group founded in 2003 that works to promote sustainability at Dickinson amongst our alumni community.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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