Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Neil Leary
Director
Center for Sustainability Education
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Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Dickinson College advocates for local policies that advance sustainability in the Greater Carlisle area in multiple ways. Dickinson's president, as well as many students and employees, spoke at a Carlisle Borough Council meeting in fall 2016 in favor of a human rights ordinance to extend discrimination protections to previously unprotected classes of citizens; the ordinance passed. In spring 2017 Dickinson students, with support of Dickinson's Baird Sustainability Fellows program and Center for Sustainability Education, proposed a climate change resolution to the Carlisle Borough Council calling for a federal carbon fee and dividend policy; the resolution was approved by the Council in March 2017. The college participates actively in community meetings on urban and brownfield redevelopment, and has supported the Borough in applying successfully for federal and state development grants for these projects by writing endorsement letters. Dickinson funded an engineering study of measures to calm traffic and make Carlisle more pedestrian and bicycle friendly and advocated for the recommendations produced by the study. These efforts contributed to approval of the Carlisle Road Diet by Carlisle Borough Council and helped secure funding for several of the recommendations by PennDOT. Working in collaboration with the Greater Carlisle Project (GCP), Dickinson convenes community forums to explore and advocate solutions to problems of food access, poverty, homelessness, affordable housing and air pollution. Dickinson students conducted research on community resilience in collaboration with the GCP in fall 2016 and spring 2017; drawing on this work, Dickinson is advocating for Carlisle Borough to incorporate community resilience in its comprehensive plan. As a member of the South Mountain Partnership and the Cumberland Conservation Collaborative, Dickinson advocates for conservation of natural resources, landscapes and heritage in Cumberland County and the South Mountain region.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Dickinson has advocated for action on climate change and other sustainability issues through its membership and leadership of the Pennsylvania Environmental Resources Consortium (PERC), a consortium of nearly 70 colleges and universities that work to advance sustainability across the state of Pennsylvania. Dickinson helps lead PERC’s initiatives with our CSE Director serving on the PERC executive committee and as a past-president of the organization. In 2016, Dickinson led the organization of the PA Power Dialog, a PERC conference that brought together over 200 students from 15 PA colleges and universities to advocate for the state to develop a state implementation plan for the federal Clean Power Plan. In 2017, Dickinson helped organize Safe Climate PA, a PERC conference that brought together 80 students, faculty and community members from across the state to advocate for carbon pricing at state and federal levels.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

In 2017, Dickinson's president joined with the presidents of Swarthmore, Pitzer, Vassar and Wesleyan as leaders of Our Climate’s Higher Education Initiative, writing to their peers at colleges and universities across the nation to sign a letter endorsing enactment of a federal carbon fee. Presidents of thirty institutions have joined them as members of the Leadership Circle for the campaign. In 2018, Dickinson is working with Second Nature and Swarthmore to continue the campaign, seeking to catalyze conversations about climate change and carbon pricing at more campuses to win over additional signatories. This national initiative connects to Dickinson’s state and local level advocacy for carbon pricing.

Dickinson's president has also signed letters advocating the following positions on issues of national importance:

Opposition to extremism and hate in political discourse and a call build a diverse and tolerant country.

We are still in – the Paris Agreement.

Calling for President Trump to take a more forceful stand against harassment, hate, and acts of violence.

Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students.

Calling for President Trump and the U.S. Congress to support the Paris Agreement and take action on climate change.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Dickinson is a registered observer organization of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has sent delegations to COPS 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22 and 23 that have advocated for international action on climate change. At COP 21 in Paris, Dickinson organized an event titled “Climate Action - Engaging the Next Generation” that featured Bill McKibben, James Balog, John Adams, Mark Jacobson and several Dickinson students as speakers. Dickinson College has advocated for sustainability as a signatory of the United Nations Higher Education Sustainability Initiative and the Talloires Declaration.


A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
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A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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