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-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yumiko Jakobcic
Campus Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability Practices
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

GVSU has advocated for the improved public transportation via the Laker Line.

The Laker Line will:
1. Improve connectivity between downtown Grand Rapids and GVSU
2. Provide support for (re)development planning by the corridor communities
3. Mitigate the traffic, parking and other impacts from the growing amount of travel in the corridor
4. Capitalize on the potential environmental, community, and social benefits of increased transit usage.

The BRT line is expected to improve access to jobs and schools and have a significant economic impact on the West Michigan economy. It is also expected to serve as a catalyst to support plans for higher-density mixed-use and walkable development, including increased student and senior housing and fit with a growing regional emphasis on multimodal transit options. The Laker Line was one of only three projects to receive the highest rating given in the process for receiving the funds, specifically in terms of the project’s “cost-effectiveness” and “environmental benefits.”

https://mibiz.com/item/25562-the-rapid-secures-federal-funding-for-laker-line

https://www.grbj.com/articles/84488-gvsu-to-downtown-bus-line-picks-up-57m-from-feds


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

GVSU advocated for a partnership with Consumers Energy to create a Solar Garden with approval by Michigan Public Service Commission.

Officials from Grand Valley and Consumers Energy, along with local, state and federal officials celebrated the completion and commercial start of the state's largest community solar project June 10, 2016. The 17-acre, 11,200-solar-panel project, located on the Allendale Campus, is owned and operated by Consumers Energy through its Solar Gardens program. The site provides electricity produced by solar energy to enrolled customers across the state, including Grand Valley. The university subscribes to 500 kilowatts.

John Russell, CEO of Consumers Energy and a member of the Grand Valley Board of Trustees, said the solar gardens project is the first of its kind in the state and country.

"Utility-scale community solar power is the future of renewable energy," said Russell. "This is 100 percent clean, renewable energy - no emissions. This is what our customers want. It is cheaper and more effective and we are proud to partner with Grand Valley on this project."

President Thomas J. Haas said the project aligns with the university's mission. "It was our students who pushed for more action to protect our environment and reduce our carbon footprint," said Haas. "The solar gardens will provide educational and research opportunities for our students and faculty."
The solar gardens will serve as an extension of the classroom for faculty and students. Thanks to a $55,000 grant from Consumers Energy, students and faculty members will design and build two transportable, solar energy-producing modules this summer. Consumers Energy will provide a $20,000 grant each year for the next six years for proposed interdisciplinary projects and curriculum, including a new course and a first-responder training program.

https://www.gvsu.edu/gvnow/2016/celebration-held-for-completion-of-solar-gardens-9423.htm


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:

Since 2015, Grand Valley has been the only Michigan campus on the President’s Advisory Commission of Excelencia in Education, which advocates for increased support and advocacy for Hispanic/Latinx, undocumented and DACA students regarding access, affordability and success.

Grand Valley State University has a long-standing history of valuing diversity and inclusiveness. It is our practice to admit qualified students without regard to citizenship and to support all students in their pursuit of a Grand Valley degree. Since 2013, Grand Valley has provided in-state tuition and university aid to any student who graduates from a Michigan high school and meets aid criteria, regardless of immigration status. We do not maintain information on undocumented student status in our student records. We also ensure the privacy of student and employee records to the fullest extent allowed by law. Additional detail on these policies is found online at www.gvsu.edu/admissions/undocumented-students-67.htm.

President Thomas J. Haas & Members of the President's Cabinet shared the above position with the campus community.


Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level, including the issues, legislation, and ordinances for or against which the institution has advocated:
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A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):

GVSU also hosts Democracy 101: A Series of Critical Conversations
This series of co-curricular lectures, panel discussions and workshops focuses on the idea and practice of democracy. We welcome faculty, staff, students and community partners to present. Topics include student activism, how to run for office, the history of social movements, democratic values, the idea of commons, student civic development, the role of media in a democracy, how to organize for social change, and more!

https://www.gvsu.edu/service/democracy-101-a-series-of-critical-conversations-181.htm


A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):

This activity is forbidden by state and federal law.


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