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
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yumiko Jakobcic
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Practices
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Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups 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.

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.

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.

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.

Cage Free - Cage Free's goal is to educate students at Grand Valley State University about the multitudes of benefits of eating a plant-based diet. These students advocate from environmental, ethical, and health related perspectives.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Sustainable Agriculture Project is a site where students can 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 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.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The Sustainable Agriculture Project is student-run. Produce is sold weekly at a farmer's market on campus, through CSA shares, and to campus dining. 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 enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have 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

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Seidman Investment Portfolio Organization is Grand Valley State University's student-run investment organization, which manages a real $85,000 portfolio. Members of the club participate in market research, investment selection, and host professional speakers throughout the year. We have annual trips (Chicago, and Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholder meeting) and also many social events that provide unparalleled investing insight and exclusive networking opportunities.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

A variety of sustainability events occur on GVSU's campuses including the Women & Environment Symposium and a variety of lectures and films throughout the year.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

Sustainability is often integrated in cultural arts events, installations and performances. Most recently, an exhibit was showcased at the Sustainable Agriculture Project: System Processing is accepting submissions from artists who investigate process as a means of interrogating both the natural and unnatural practices that shape our everyday landscapes. The exhibition will be held in partnership with the Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), an educational farm near Grand Valley State University’s Allendale Campus. The space is unique in its ability to provide an alternative context for submitted works. Preference will be given to pieces that are new media (video, sound, or performance) and sculptural works able to withstand changes in temperature.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) operates the Climbing Center and Bike Shop. 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 programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

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


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs 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. In addition, a Sustainability As A Lifestyle 1-credit courses is offered.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

Students can seek a wide range of sustainability-focused employment opportunities. Those positions include Graduate Assistantships with the Office of Sustainability Practices, the Sustainable Agriculture Project, and the Annis Water Research Institute. Additionally, Campus Dining employs the Campus Dining Green Team Intern who leads the Green Team volunteers. The GVSU Surplus Store also employs students, and its goal is to keep as much waste from the landfill as possible by upcycling old or no longer used items from the university.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

Students in the Natural Resource Management capstone class identified their goals for clean energy in 2030 and pledged one change that they would make in support of their goals. This was done in conjunction with Chevrolet’s Campus Clean Energy Efficiency Campaign.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

GVSU has a Peace Corps Campus Recruiter on campus. As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service—at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, Volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences—and a global outlook—that enriches the lives of those around them.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.