Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.05
Liaison Yumiko Jakobcic
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Grand Valley State University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Amanda Rodgers
Graduate Assistant
Sustainable Community Development Initiative
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives ---

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

Alternative Breaks - Alternative Breaks (AB) offers students the opportunity to spend a Saturday, winter break, or spring break volunteering, learning about social and environmental issues, and meeting new people. AB strives to make each trip diverse by placing people from different backgrounds and organizations on each trip. This allows everyone to learn from other members of their group. AB is not religiously affiliated and welcomes people of all faiths and beliefs. All AB trips are drug and alcohol free. Alternative Breaks is also a great way to gain leadership experience. Past participants can become site leaders for the following year.
Alternative Energy Club - The purpose of the AEC is to incorporate alternative sources of energy into practical engineering applications and projects.
Association of Student Geographers and Planners - The Grand Valley Association of Student Geographers and Planners is an organization that will increase student involvement in the Department of Geography and Planning and provide advice for those interested in furthering their geographic studies or initially engaging the field of geography. ASGeog will increase recognition and camaraderie amongst geography and planning undergraduates and enhance as well as highlight the unique geographical and planning experiences at GVSU.
Bachelor of Social Work Student Organization - their mission is to encourage awareness of the various social issues that impact the profession and our communities.
Backpacking Club - Backpacking Club is a student organization created to organize fun, low-cost trips that get students away from campus and the grind of college life. The Club provides a venue for education on wilderness survival, outdoor recreation, low-impact camping, and doing our part to help the environment so that everyone can enjoy it. Essentially, we are here to make CONNECTIONS with each other and the world around us while having a great time.
Biology Club - meant to provide students with excellent opportunities to build relationships with faculty and fellow students who have a similar interest in biology. Members can interact with the community through various events and gain awareness of career and research opportunities in biology related fields.
Biology Graduate Club - The Graduate Biology Club is dedicated to the professional development of Biology students who are completing masters degrees at Grand Valley State University. Our mission is to provide members with enriched opportunities to network with peers, GVSU faculty, and other science professionals.
Campus Lions Club - Campus Lions Club is a part of Lions Club International. The goals of this club are to serve others in our community and abroad. Such projects sponsored by Lions Club are combating vision loss, providing skills to at risk youth, responding to catastrophes, and more.
Circle K International - We focus on three main tenets: service, fellowship, leadership. Our main focus is service. We help out around the Allendale and Grand Rapids area, doing various activities at Blandford Nature Center, Allendale Nursing Home, Ronald McDonald House, Feeding America, Love INC., Therapeutic Horsemanship of West Michigan, and more.
Economics Club - The Economics Club, is dedicated to creating an atmosphere which fosters learning and interaction between students with an interest in economics, GVSU economics faculty, and the community.
Farm Club - We aim to establish an environment of hands on learning, where students on campus and surrounding communities, will be educated on the importance and principles of organic farming
Food & Nutrition Club - At our bi-weekly meetings, we will usually have a discussion on something related to nutrition (types of diets, cooking skills, diet-related diseases, food system, and lifestyle topics such as how to save money while shopping healthy), movie screenings, food demos, and guests such as nutritionists, chefs, etc. We will also organize outside events such as volunteering at local food banks, take field trips to restaurants/farmer's markets, attend conferences, and aid in spreading info about nutrition to our peers on campus.
Geology Club - The Geology Club exists to offer a friendly environment to all students interested in geology, rocks, minerals, environmental studies, or those who just like being outside.
Habitat for Humanity - Our organization falls under the umbrella of Service and Advocacy and should work closely with GVSU and "Habitat for Humanity" to promote, advocate, and serve in and outside of the university community.
Humane Society - Humane Society of Grand Valley is a student run organization at Grand Valley State University that is dedicated to bettering the lives of animals and the environment we all live in. We do this by volunteering with local shelters, fundraising for causes that combat animal cruelty and help homeless animals, lobbying at the state and national levels, and educating the public about animal-related issues and how to be more humane.
Hunger & Homelessness - We do a volunteer event every weekend at a food bank or homeless shelter around the Grand Rapids area. We aim to build more awareness of hunger and homelessness issues within our community while also providing opportunities to serve and give back.
International City Managers Association - The goals of the ICMA Student Chapter are to introduce and integrate students into local government and the management profession and familiarize students with ICMA members, resources, and policies. Through the chapter, we will also establish connections between ICMA, schools, students, state associations, and managers.
Kids in Motion - Kids In Motion is a service and advocacy organization that promotes physical activity among underprivileged youth through volunteering in the community, as well as fundraising activities to benefit local at risk kids.
Minorities in Business -
NAACP - The purpose and aims of the GVSU College Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People shall be to improve the political, educational, social and economic status of minority groups; to eliminate racial prejudice; to keep the public aware of the adverse effects of racial discrimination; and to take all lawful action to secure its elimination, consistent with the efforts of the national organization and in conformity with the Articles of Incorporation of the Association, its Constitution and By-Laws and as directed by the National Board of Directors.
Native American Student Association - We are dedicated to promoting American Indian cultural awareness across the Grand Valley campus and surrounding community as well as bringing attention to important Native American social issues.
Net Impact - Net Impact is the leading nonprofit that inspires a new generation to use their careers to tackle the world’s toughest social and environmental problems. We empower student and professional leaders to act locally through our vibrant chapter network and connect globally online and through our flagship conference. By 2020, we will mobilize a million new leaders to drive positive change in the workplace and the world.
Nonprofit Professionals Graduate Student Association - The purpose of the Nonprofit Professionals Graduate Student Organization shall be to provide networking opportunities for graduate students while collaborating with industry experts to learn about the emerging trends in the nonprofit sector.
Seidman Investment Portfolio Organization - Seidman IPO is Grand Valley State University's student-run investment organization, which manages a real $60,000 portfolio. Members of the club participate in market research and investment selection, and host many professional speakers throughout the year. We have several annual trips (Chicago Board of Trade, University of Dayton, Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting) and social events that provide unparalleled investing insight and exclusive networking opportunities.
Soil & Water Conservation Society - SWCS participates in local conservation projects, including environmental clean-ups, habitat restorations, and similar community service activities.
Student Environmental Coalition - The Student Environmental Coalition (SEC) is a service and advocacy organization intended to promote student interest in local, regional, and global environmental concerns. We organize educational events, campus cleanups, and community outreach programs within the Grand Valley student body and greater Grand Rapids area. Our mission is: “Helping to engage students at Grand Valley's campus' to be conscious citizens by promotion of environmental awareness.” We are dedicated to sustainability related issues in hopes that our fellow students may learn to conserve natural resources and care more about their local environment.
United Students Against Sweatshops - he purpose of the United Students against Sweatshops of Grand Valley State University is to educate the populous about corporations taking advantage of workers. We achieve this through multiple acts of nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience; which purpose is to fundamentally challenge the oppressive power structures that exploit the majority of the worlds population.
Urban Planning Association - The Urban Planning Association at Grand Valley State University is concerned with promoting academic and professional enrichment, building leadership experience, building relationships with future community leaders, advocating for the advancement and visibility of urban planning, and serving the campus and local community.
West Michigan Anglers Conservation Club - Student anglers promoting the protection of native and anadromous freshwater fish species through conservation and restoration of freshwater ecosystems throughout West Michigan. A recreational club focusing on the education and service of sport fishing watershed conservation.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Sustainable Agriculture Project is, of course, a physical place, a scientific station, where students can go to research plants, the environment, human-environmental interaction, systems thinking, and community. It is also a laboratory in that it is a space where students can (literally) get their hands dirty while learning quantitative and critical thinking skills relating to soil, water, plant life, climate change, and the environment. It is also a working studio space and gallery for artists, a field site with a ready-made community of people on a small working farm perfect for sociological study. It is also a business that produces and sells food to support the activities of the farm.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

The SAP is run by students through the Farm Club. Produce is sold weekly at a farmer's market on campus and CSA shares are available as well. Students are also involved in our Outdoor Adventure Center which rents recreation gear, including bikes, to other students.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

The Seidman Investment Portfolio Organization is Grand Valley State University's student-run investment organization, which manages a real $60,000 portfolio. Members of the club participate in market research and investment selection, and host many professional speakers throughout the year. We have several annual trips (Chicago Board of Trade, University of Dayton, Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting) and social events that provide unparalleled investing insight and exclusive networking opportunities.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

A variety of annual and one-time sustainability events happen on GVSU's campus, including the Women & Environment Symposium every winter, a variety of lectures and films throughout the year.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Many departments in the Brooks College of Interdiscplinary Studies highlight sustainability through lectures, speaker series, and art performances.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) is the GVSU student, faculty, and staff resource for outdoor adventure activities. It is located inside and operated through the Climbing Center in room B 170 of the Fieldhouse. The OAC maintains a variety of camping, backpacking, kayaking, and snowshoeing equipment. The OAC is dedicated to providing GVSU students, faculty, and staff with educational and recreational opportunities related to outdoor adventure activities. From day hikes on local trails and kayak excursions on nearby lakes and rivers, to week long rock climbing trips in the back country, we have trips suitable for everyone from the most inexperienced and curious to veteran adventure junkies.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

GVSU requires students to take a sampling of issues and themes courses, many of which center around sustainability.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

A model sustainability room is located in South Living Center Apartment complex, which prospective and current students can tour. Many living centers are also LEED certified and include energy-efficient appliances and features for students to explore on a daily basis.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

Students can seek a wide range of sustainability-focused employment opportunities. Those positions include Graduate Assistantships with the Office of Sustainability Practices and the Annis Water Research Institute, as well as positions at the Michigan Alternative Renewable Energy Center, in various science labs, maintaining the grounds and the Sustainable Agriculture Project, and working with the City of Grand Rapids on their Transformation Research & Analysis Team which focuses on neighborhood revitalization.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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