Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.51
Liaison Jennifer Lamy
Submission Date July 14, 2022

STARS v2.2

Emerson College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Jennifer Lamy
Campus Sustainability Manager
Campus Services
"---" 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:

Emerson Green Collective is an assemblage of small environmental groups on campus unified together. The four sub-groups include Earth Emerson (the student-run environmental action organization committed to thinking globally about the environment and acting locally to effect change at Emerson and in the community), Bee Enthusiasts at Emerson (BEE), Vegan Emerson Group (VEG), and Green Magazine. Their weekly meetings discuss environmental issues, green magazine, campus events, and club trips.

Members of EGC and its sub-groups often collaborate with the Campus Sustainability Manager on campus-specific projects. For example, Earth Emerson led a campaign in spring, 2022 to collect disposable masks for recycling via TerraCycle.

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:

At least twice per semester, students may participate in a Farm to Fork trip where Emerson's food service partner, Bon Appetit Management Company, takes students to local farms, ranches, and food processors to gain experience in the local food systems. For example, in Fall 2019, a group of students visited Horse Listener's Orchard to learn about produce production, pick apples, and begin to understand the business of farming. In between these Farm to Fork trips, Bon Appetit Management Company brings local farmers to campus for panel discussions, food demonstrations, and pop-up farmer's markets.

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:

The Green Gala is a student-led show that takes place in April in honor of Earth Day. The show, which is open to the public, showcases sustainable food, fashion, and entertainment by Emerson community members and alumni. These creatives highlight the importance of recycling and green living. Students are responsible for all production, fundraising, ticket sales, talent acquisition, and logistics. By participating in this effort, students learn business skills that directly relate to entertainment and creative careers.

Please note that this event was canceled in 2020, 2021, and 2022 due to the pandemic. Planning for spring, 2023 has begun.

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 Bright Lights Film Series is presented by the Department of Visual and Media Arts. The mission of the series is to create community through cinema and welcomes both Emerson faculty, students, and staff as well as the general public. Bright Lights seeks to create an environment where cinema is not only viewed and appreciated but where a dialogue is fostered and a community of media makers, academics, and aficionados are engaged and supported. The series is committed to screening at least 50 percent of films directed by women and crafting a diverse program including filmmakers of color, queer cinema, and films dealing with disability. In Spring 2022, examples of films related to sustainability themes included Inhabitants: An Indigenous Perspective and Rebel Dykes.

Screenings take place every Tuesday and Thursday evening during the semester with the exception of occasions when the College is closed (such as holidays, spring break, inclement weather). Sessions are always free and open to the public.

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:

ArtsEmerson engages all communities through stories that reveal and deepen our connection to each other. By cultivating diversity in the art and in the audience, they ignite public conversation around our most vexing societal challenges as a catalyst for overcoming them. ArtsEmerson often highlights sustainability through its events and performances. For example, Parable of the Sower, playing in April, 2022, "chronicles the spiritual awakening of Lauren Olamina amidst an America plagued by the products of unrelenting greed, systemic injustice and climate change denial. Parable of the Sower transforms the operatic form, fusing African-American spiritualism, deep insights into gender and race, and climate activism into a new musical experience that thrills and inspires." The Earth Day (April 22, 2022) performance featured a conversation with guest speakers Rev. Mariama White Hammond, Founding Pastor, New Roots AME Church and Toshi Reagon.

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:

Emerson Green Collective organizes outdoor trips each semester honoring the Leave No Trace principles. For instance, Emerson Green Collective frequently hosts local hiking series, where first and second year students explored local hiking areas with upperclassmen mentors.

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:

The Emerson College Honors Program is an intellectual and creative community that integrates a challenging liberal arts curriculum and specialized study in the student's chosen field. Students accepted to the program receive individual advising and take interdisciplinary seminars that fulfill the College's general education requirements. Starting in Fall 2019, the Honors Program used sustainability as a foundational theme for seminars, co-curricular activities, and the Honors thesis/project.

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:

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

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

Campus Services hires passionate student leaders to lead the charge on campus sustainability. Working alongside the Campus Sustainability Manager, Eco-Ambassadors create and manage projects, provide peer learning opportunities, and generate excitement about campus sustainability. While direct experience in sustainability is unnecessary, a demonstrated interest in environmental topics is required. The time commitment is up to eight hours per week while classes are in session.

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:

Emerson College’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program began as a student leadership initiative in 1998 when six students and two residence directors spent spring break working with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation sowing wildflower seed beds, installing fencing and performing beach clean-up in Westmoreland State Park in Montross, Virginia.

ASB helps Emersonians learn about and from communities as they learn about their own potential to contribute skills, knowledge, and energy to community work. The program emphasizes the school’s core values of moral courage, celebration of diversity of thought and people, and commitment to ethical engagement, collaboration, and meaningful interaction with local and national communities. All of these opportunities let Emersonians practice flexibility while adapting to the unfamiliar—a skill necessary for work and life in the ever-changing 21st century.

Many participants name ASB as one of the most transformative experiences not only of their Emerson careers, but also of their lives.

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.