Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.02
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date June 22, 2021

STARS v2.2

Furman University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Laura Bain
Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment
David E. Shi Center for Sustainability
"---" 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:

EAG (Environmental Action Group) aims to educate the campus about how to live an eco-friendly life while completing service projects and activities that support this philosophy through the governance of students. EAG organizes campus sustainability campaigns, hosts campus speakers and films, and plans annual events for Earth Week such as a bottled water vs. tap water taste test, wildlife education, and Furman Farm fest.

The Bartram Society is a student-led group that brings together individuals who share an interest in Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences. The club hosts a number of campus events including speakers, film series, and local outdoor outings. The club promotes the enjoyment and conservation of the Earth and its precious resources.

Furman hosts a student chapter of the U.N. Millennium Fellowship, that launched in 2018. The students selected complete projects that are advancing the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals on our campus and locally. There were 14 fellows for the 2020-2021 school year. There were 9 fellows in the 2019-2020 cohort.

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:

Furman has a 1/4 acre garden where 35 varieties of produce are grown throughout the year using sustainable agricultural practices such as crop rotations, composting, natural fertilizers, and integrated pest management. There are 20+ student workers on the farm and many classes volunteer at and visit the farm.


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 Furman Farm sells produce to the university Dining Hall and supports a Furman Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that allows for students and community members to receive freshly picked produce each week for a monthly fee. The student Farm Manager and student volunteers help run this program.

In an effort to foster a biking campus culture, reduce our carbon footprint, encourage student health and wellness, and provide access and needed infrastructure for supporting a vibrant biking community, a student run campus bike shop was established in 2020. The shop provides students, staff, and faculty with convenient and inexpensive basic bike repair and tune up services, sells second hand bikes at an affordable price to campus stakeholders, and offers a bike rental program in which students can rent a bike for the semester or academic year.

Furman University Student Media organizations focus on sustainability outreach and inclusivity. The Paladin newspaper this year launched its newest section, "Diversity Matters," focusing on diversity at Furman. The Furman University News Channel, founded in 2018, has also created videos encouraging sustainable practices like recycling and composting, and mitigates paper waste on campus by providing a YouTube and mobile app alternative to posting event fliers.

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:

The University maintains a green fund for financing student-proposed sustainability initiatives on campus. The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities oversees a pool of money that provides loans to students for green initiatives, such as the new campus bike shop.

The Furman Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship runs a campus wide innovation idea pitch, where students can pitch ideas and receive a grant to start a business. The Shi Institute helped coach the past year's winner who received $10,000 for a sustainable tiny home community for Autistic adults.

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 Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities hosts an annual sustainability film series that features five different full feature films focused on a particular theme. Biodiversity, Climate Change, Social Justice, and Food Systems have been the themes from the past few years. The films are screened in the campus theater. Each screening includes a speaker and debrief. Attendance is typically 200 - 250 students.

The Shi Institute also hosts various speakers each year covering wide-range and holistically-conceived sustainability topics. Some events are co-hosted with other departments and organizations; most speakers engage with relevant classes and small groups in addition to their keynote address, which is open and promoted to the campus and 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:

There is a rotating student art exhibit in the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities that focuses on a sustainability topic. Examples of exhibits include the sustainable slow-food movement, air quality in China and local advocates and activists in our community.

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:

Furman University Outdoor Club (FUOC) is a student-governed organization that helps people learn, enjoy, and maintain the outdoors through activities such as backpacking, kayaking, and rock climbing and follows 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:

During the 2017-18 academic year, the theme was Climate Change. The Riley Institute, the Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities, and the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health partnered together to host a national conference, convene a faculty and alumni panel, and brought speakers to campus.
The 2018-2019 theme for a 5 part Sustainability film series was biodiversity.
The 2019-2020 theme for the film series was Sustainability and Social Justice.


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:

The Greenbelt Community is a residential learning and living community that provides eco-friendly housing for students interested in reducing their environmental footprint and leading others to a more sustainable feature. This one-year program is designed to cultivate emerging student leaders who are interested in exploring and living a sustainable lifestyle. Students live in one of two eco-friendly cabins, take a one-credit seminar each semester to discuss sustainable living, and explore their passions by practicing sustainability in a close-knit community. Students are also inspired to develop and implement sustainability-friendly initiatives that will improve our community for future generations.


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

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

The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities employs student sustainability fellowships both during the summer and academic year. All fellows work with the Shi Institute staff, and affiliate faculty as appropriate, to advance sustainability on campus and in the community, and to conduct applied research related to sustainability. Students from all majors are encouraged to apply. A few examples of these jobs include Sustainability Outreach and Engagement Fellow, Student Assistant Farm Manager, Alternative Transportation Fellow, and Greenville County Parks and Recreation Fellow.


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:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.