|Submission Date||March 6, 2020|
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:
Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:
EcoPAX: the environmental peace club on campus, is an active and vibrant group of students interested in exploring the intersections between environmental issues and justice. The group has worked to make changes in campus policy and program in addition to raising awareness among students about ongoing initiatives on campus. This group is completely run by students. This group has helped implement and run a successful composting program in the cafeteria on campus. It has held many campus-wide events in the past three years, significantly, celebrating Earth Week every spring, with a variety of widely-attended events.
Compost Commandos: Students take turns emptying compost bins from Westlawn dining hall at the end of each day. Students also help maintain the campus compost bins and run the composting system. https://www.goshen.edu/news/2013/02/18/student-run-composting-program-simply-turns-waste-into-food-nothing-else-like-it/
Tree Campus Committee: This group combines work from students and staff. This committee helps gather information and plan events in order to maintain our Tree Campus USA designation. https://www.goshen.edu/news/2017/04/25/gc-maintains-tree-campus-usa-honors/
Bee Campus Committee: This group is made up of students, faculty and staff who have expressed an interest in keeping GC pollinator friendly. Students from the Bee Committee worked with AVI Fresh, the campus dining service, to create a Pollinator and Dandelion Day at the Westlawn Dining Hall on campus in April. The primary function of this committee is to maintain standards created by Bee Campus USA and to submit renewal application for Goshen College’s Bee Campus Certification. https://www.goshen.edu/news/2019/04/16/goshen-college-re-certified-as-bee-campus-usa/
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:
All of the food included in the CSA share is produced by Merry Lea Sustainable Farm. The farm is located at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center and includes an educational garden, a market garden, and multiple orchards of fruit and nut trees. A variety of animals have also been raised on the farm including chickens, cattle, goats, and more. Student interns work as farmhands throughout the summer and the students from the Agroecology Summer Intensive work on the farm in order to learn about sustainable agricultural practices. https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/sustainable-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:
Java Junction is a student-run coffee business on campus. The Business Department runs and manages the program and has successfully integrated sustainability practices within the program, such as recycling and eco-friendly materials. https://www.goshen.edu/campuslife/dining/java-junction/
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 Science Speaker Lecture Series are open to the public. While these speakers are not specifically required to talk about sustainability concepts, many do. In the 2018-2019 academic year, speaker presentations include, but are not limited to Global South Voices on Climate Change, Biological Invasions & Novel Species Interactions in Aquatic Ecosystems, Will We Conserve Before We Have To? Tales From Bhutan And Other Studies, Wind and Solar: Integrating Renewable Energy on the Electric Grid, and Trees for a Changing Climate. Learn more at https://www.goshen.edu/sciencespeakers/
On March 26th, Eco-PAX hosted a showing of Paris to Pittsburg, a National Geographic documentary focused on showing the work of American cities to demand and implement new solutions for climate change.
Annual Religion and Science Conference: The annual Goshen College Conference on Religion and Science is designed to provide maximum interaction with a principal thinker in the dialog between religion and science. A single invited speaker presents three lectures, two of which are open to the public. Small moderated discussion sessions provide conference participants an opportunity to address topics from the lectures in conversation with the speaker. This year’s theme was "Christians, Climate, and Culture: Relationships, Tensions, and Resolutions," and the speaker was science climatologist Dr. Katherine Hayhoe, whose lectures focused on the interplay between religion, culture, and climate change. https://www.goshen.edu/religionscience/archive/
In September 2019 we hosted the fourth annual Climate Leadership Summit bringing together mayors and other city and county officials from across Indiana to discuss resiliency in the face of climate change. https://www.goshen.edu/news/2019/09/06/fourth-annual-climate-leadership-summit-set-in-goshen/
Can we have our SST and Green It Too?: This event was one of many presentations given at our Campus Study Service Term (SST) Conference. SST is a required program that can be taken as a semester in another country or as individual classes on campus that focus on local service. This program provides students with opportunities to serve communities and become “global citizens”. This presentation focused on ways we can alter the SST program in order to incorporate sustainability concepts, including on-setting the carbon costs associated with air travel.
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:
Goshen Monologues: This event, inspired by the off-off broadway play called “The Vagina Monologues”, provides a way for female and non-binary staff, faculty, and students to share their experiences. The stories include topics such as mental health, racism, non-binary identities, womanhood, sexual violence, abuse, empowerment, love, family, immigration, identity, and a combination of appreciation and criticism for the Goshen community. This event specifically focuses on the wellbeing of women and non-binary people in our society. https://www.goshen.edu/photos/2019/goshen-monologues-2019/
A History Lesson: A GC Peace Play is the first Goshen College Peace Play to focus on environmental issues. The play was directed by a senior student and was heavily focused on bird conservation and the role of the National Audubon Society. It also discussed social justice in a broader sense.
GC Choirs Earthtones: This concert features songs from many cultures and provides a way for students and community audience members to experience cultural learning in a more interactive space. The music at the concert serves as a way to bring people closer together and inspire peace in the modern world.
Ted and Company: Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery: Ted Swartz-dramatic comic with connections to religion and social justice. https://www.goshen.edu/news/2017/09/19/ted-company-theaterworks-perform-discovery-comic-lament-oct-6-7/
C. Henry Smith Peace Lecture: Merrill Krabill, “A Visual Reflection on Fear and Connection.”: This exhibit explored how to live well in a world where fear can lead us to make counterproductive and short-sighted choices. It presented a case for connection with others and, less overtly stated, with the natural world as a way to overcome that fear.
GC Sculpture Class Open House: Students in Goshen College’s sculpture class use reused steel and other repurposed materials for their projects. Their projects frequently include topics related to social justice.
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:
Students participating in the Sustainability Leadership Semester at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center learn about watershed sustainability and forest ecology through a 10-day canoe journey following the Elkhart River from its headwaters within the Merry Lea center, to where it joins the St. Joseph River and eventually all the way to Lake Michigan. Along the way, students learn about area flora and fauna foraging for some of their meals along the way. https://www.goshen.edu/academics/sustainability-leadership-semester/#program-description
The Boundary Waters May-term Canoe trip takes students on a 2 week camping excursion.
SEED Excursions: Faculty of the Sustainability and Environmental Education Department often take students on day-trips to explore local ecosystems. In many cases, these excursions focus on foraging and the ethics involved in taking communal food.
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 Sustainability Leadership Semester: a themed semester at Merry Lea where interdisciplinary classes are offered on sustainability. Students live in intentional communities and work together. https://www.goshen.edu/academics/sustainability-leadership-semester/#program-description
The Agroecology Summer Intensive: a themed semester at Merry Lea where students receive hands-on experience as well as classroom knowledge about organic agriculture and sustainable food systems. https://www.goshen.edu/academics/agroecology-summer-intensive/
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:
Sust 200 Sustainable Living Skills is a one credit class that is taught over an extended weekend each year at Merry Lea Environmental Center with supplemental readings throughout the semester. This course serves as an introduction to basic skills and decision-making for more sustainable living.
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
Sustainability Committee regularly employs students as sustainability interns, especially through the Hickory Scholars program. These interns have worked at communication and STARS research and reporting. There are also opportunities available each summer and during some semesters at Merry Lea Environmental Center. https://www.goshen.edu/merrylea/land-and-research/field-research/summer-scholars/
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):
All seniors are invited to sign the graduation pledge of social and environmental responsibility:
“I pledge to take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organization for which I work.”
Students who sign the pledge receive a reminder card and a green ribbon to wear at commencement.
Learn more about the pledge at www.graduationpledge.org.
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:
More about the agroecology program can be found at
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.