Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 46.21
Liaison Chris Gardner
Submission Date Aug. 23, 2022

STARS v2.2

Douglas College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 2.00
"---" 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:

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 Sustainability Outreach and Learning (Sol) garden was established at the Coquitlam campus in 2015. Since then, the Sol Garden has hosted numerous educational workshops for students and community members on urban sustainability. In 2021, the College expanded the Sol Garden and associated programs to increase indigenous interpretive content and plantings.

The College has established demonstration plantings at the Sol Garden where educational workshops are provided. Target groups for workshops include students, youth, homeowners, indigenous stakeholders, environmental organizations, municipal staff and members of the landscape and nursery trades. The objective is to increase the uptake of native plants in urban gardens on a regional scale through promotion of their benefits. Increased planting of species that provide ecosystem services like pollination and pest control has the potential to increase crop yields of food plant and reduce the need to use synthetic pesticides to manage pests.

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:

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 STEP UP Project aims to encourage and recognize students who work in teams to explore and research pervasive problems impacting urban areas and their communities. Through STEP UP, students practice teamwork skills and apply the knowledge they gain in class as they explore the unique challenges of urban environments. Students will gather data and create group projects about challenges such as traffic congestion, homelessness, affordability, sustainability, poverty, crime, social inclusion and/or inequality, among others. Students in the groups participate by presenting their findings to their class, members of the Douglas College community, and others. Group projects may also include the submission of a written document or alternative forms of conveying findings.

Students who are enrolled in a STEP UP course and who successfully complete a group project and the course will be eligible for STEP UP Recognition funding. Students who participate in the end-of-the-semester mini-symposium are eligible for an additional funding in the form of a STEP UP Studentship. Funding for STEP UP awards and scholarships is generously supported by the R. Howard Webster Foundation and the Douglas College Foundation.

The goals of the mini-symposium are to allow students to share ideas and network with each other, faculty members, and invited guests. Students who wish to participate may be asked to share their final projects in digital format (written paper, video presentation, poster, etc.) or to give an in-person presentation on their work. They will also have the opportunity to answer questions from guest panelists and other student participants about their projects. Student participants will receive between $500 to $1000 each, depending on the overall number of participants each semester.


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:

Through the Nurses Lens photo installation

Through the nurses lens is a photo installation focusing on health and wellness of Nurses and the public through the Covid-19 pandemic. "The current COVID-19 global pandemic has had a profound impact on the health care system and on the physical and psychological well-being of nurses. It is imperative that we hear the voices of nurses who experienced the pandemic on the frontlines, and use their voices and recommendations to strengthen the health care system. Through the Nurses' Lens is an ambitious community photovoice project where twelve nurses from BC submitted photos through the first year of the global pandemic to share their lived experiences that parallel the collective experiences and stresses that we have all lived through.

Five common themes emerged from the photos and discussions: The Work of Nursing, Miscommunication, Fatigue, Resilience, and Hope for the Future. Over 64 photos were received, and from these a story has emerged carrying impactful messages and a beautiful, emotional, and heartwarming collective experience."

Coquitlam Campus Welcome Figure

The welcome figure at the Coquitlam Campus, titled “Salmon Woman Welcomes Salmon Home,” was designed and carved by Coast Salish carver Gerry Sheena. The figure was commissioned in 2020 to commemorate Douglas’s 50th anniversary.

More information on the Welcome Figure can be found at: https://www.douglascollege.ca/about-douglas/campus-information/coquitlam-campus-welcome-figure

New Westminster Campus Mural

The mural at the New Westminster Campus, titled “Raven Figures,” was created in October 2020 to commemorate Douglas’s 50th anniversary. Located on the south wall of the concourse, the mural was designed and painted by Coast Salish artist Carrielynn Victor, who also designed Douglas College’s coat of arms.

More information on the Campus Mural can be found at: https://www.douglascollege.ca/about-douglas/campus-information/new-westminster-campus-mural

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:

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:

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:

SHIFT Conference - Tracing the Impacts of Covid-19

The SHIFT Conference - Tracing the Impacts of Covid-19 explores and uncovers the wide-ranging social impacts of COVID-19. Panels and community dialogue sessions will feature stories, lived experience, arts and culture. This event series will zero in on sexual and gender-based violence, mental health and well-being, anti-racism and decolonization, and what we as individuals and a society can – and should – do in these novel times.

More information can be found at: https://www.douglascollege.ca/programs-courses/explore-programs-courses/faculties/language-literature-and-performing-arts/arts-events

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

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

UNIBUG Program
Gaps often exist in the knowledge and understanding of the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services in members of the public. In the UNIBUG program, we facilitate community engagement by encouraging direct participation of community members as citizen scientists. Citizen science has been shown to increase community engagement in ecological issues while also collecting important ecological data.

As part of this program, a paid co-op student is in charge of running monitoring programs for species of risk.

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:

Douglas College offers free menstrual products in all it’s washrooms on every campus.

Douglas College Students Union Free Menstrual Products
The DSU offers free menstrual products (tampons and pads) in all the washrooms in our building at the New Westminster campus during building hours: 8:30am-6:30pm. Menstrual products (tampons and pads) are also available to pick up from the DSU kiosk at the Coquitlam campus during office hours: 9:30am-4:30pm.

DSU Socialist Alternative Youth Club
Socialist Alternative Youth (SAY) is a Marxist youth organization for young people to get involved in activism and labor movement struggles. SAY is an independent group associated with Socialist Alternative Canada. SAY holds regular political discussions on different current affairs such as climate change, indigenous struggles, housing crisis, and more with a socialist perspective. Our goal is to to help members politically develop and learn essential organizing skills. Members of SAY are actively building and joining movements to fight for a socialist transformation of society.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.