Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.79
Liaison Yumiko Jakobcic
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Grand Valley State University
AC-8: Campus as a Living Laboratory

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Yumiko Jakobcic
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Air & Climate?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Air & Climate:

Students in NRM 320 "Resource Systems" have modeled global climate change for their final projects. Additionally, we have a student representative on our Climate Action Committee and on our Campus Sustainability Advisory Council.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Buildings?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Buildings:

Students help maintain the composting programs in dining facilities and residence halls, and the Office of Sustainability Practices offers a "Green Campus Tour" which highlights sustainable efforts on campus.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Energy?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Energy:

The university recently partnered with Consumers Energy to host a 3MW solar garden on its property. As part of the partnership, Consumers Energy is providing funds to increase solar education on campus and in the community. Engineering students created a "Solar on Wheels" portable display unit, and environmental students provide interpretation of the information to their peers and community members.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Food & Dining?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Food & Dining:

A student developed and maintains an easy-to-use system that allows students to view what food is available at the different locations around campus as well as display the nutritional information in order to promote healthy choices. This system includes a website where each food service location (Connection, Fresh, etc.) can enter what food is available on a given day. This is tied to an Android app that students may use to filter foods by location, name, or nutritional information (fat, calories, carbohydrates, protein). The system is designed to show how apps can help students eat better.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Grounds?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Grounds:

Numerous classes use the ravines as a living laboratory. One student developed a field guide for the ravines on campus. As members of the Grand Valley State University community, we have a bountiful resource at our disposal in the ravines of the Allendale campus that is being under-utilized. This project was designed to cover many aspects of nature relating to the ravines, and result in a finished product consisting of an easy-to-use field guide that is readily accessible to GVSU students and staff. The book includes sections on the common deciduous trees of the ravines, edible plants, wildlife, bushcraft, and the trail system on campus. The edible plants section includes not only identifying information for some of the abundant wild edibles to be found, but also information for their preparation and consumption. Both the sections on trees and on wildlife include information for identification as well as fun facts, and the bushcraft section includes a wealth of information about how to survive in the wilderness. The trail map section consists of aerial photos displaying the GPS-mapped trails.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Purchasing?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Purchasing:

Procurement Services provided an internship to business students to help launch the university Surplus Store, and student workers assist with the store.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Transportation?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Transportation:

Students have created a viable business plan for a profit-driven bike shop that rents, sells and services bicycles for students. Additionally, we have students working to repair bikes that have been abandoned or damaged on campus. Students also participate on our Bike Advisory Board.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Waste?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Waste:

The Green Team student organization assists with Zero Waste events. They perform waste audits in dining halls and help to provide peer-to-peer education about waste reduction.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Water?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Water:

A student designed a rainwater harvesting system at GVSU's Sustainable Agriculture Project, and another student designed a solar-powered pump to move the water to the crops more efficiently.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Coordination & Planning?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Coordination & Planning:

Many students on Student Senate are engaged in sustainability-related efforts, and students are invited to join sustainability committees including the Campus Sustainability Advisory Council, the Sustainable Reinvestment Fund, the Sustainable Agriculture Project Advisory Council, and others.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Diversity & Affordability?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Diversity & Affordability:

GVSU hosted a Teach-in, entitled Power, Privilege and Difficult Dialogues. The idea of holding a Teach-in in 2014 was motivated by a number of campus indicators about improving equity and inclusion on our campus, including the 2011 Campus Climate Study and ongoing reports of bias incidents on campus. These incidents included hostile acts based on race, ethnicity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ability, and class. Students reported that such incidents also occur in the classroom, and they have emphasized the importance of faculty response to intentional or unintentional bias comments and actions. These reports underscore the urgent need for the faculty to take a strong stand to oppose discrimination, intimidation, and oppression in all its forms. Previous Teach-ins were so well-received that the University Academic Senate and Student Senate voted unanimously to sponsor another one this year, with the intention of making this a yearly event.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Investment & Finance?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Investment & Finance:

The Office of Sustainability Practices manages a "Sustainable Reinvestment Fund" which provides seed money to sustainable projects such as water bottle refill stations, bike repair stations, teleconferencing equipment, etc. There is always a student on the committee, and all students are welcome to apply.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Public Engagement?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Public Engagement:

A sustainability intern helps to organize and manage GVSU's on-campus Farmer's Market. The market hosts 15+ local vendors and runs June-October. The intern hosts a table at the market and focuses on awareness and engagement.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to Wellbeing & Work?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to Wellbeing & Work:

Students often present to and participate with the Health & Wellness Taskforce. This includes the organization and implementation of a Wellness Summit including educational sessions, poster presentations, flu shots, and resource tables.


Is the institution utilizing its campus as a living laboratory for multidisciplinary student learning and applied research in relation to other areas (e.g. arts & culture or technology)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student/faculty projects and how they contribute to understanding campus sustainability challenges or advancing sustainability on campus in relation to other areas:

The Sustainable Agriculture Project is a student-led space where faculty, staff, students, and community members can gather to learn about environmental and social impacts of sustainable agriculture.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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