Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 73.16
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date July 29, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Green Mountain College
ER-3: Sustainability in New Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ryan Ihrke
Director of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution include sustainability prominently in new student orientation?:

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation:

GMC’s “green” orientation originated as a student project in 2008. The current orientation incorporates practices and activities that instill the message of sustainability in new students and introduces them to the values and mission of the college. These activities include:

Paperless communication & registration

Provision to all students moving into the dorms a list of energy saving tips and a "green guide" created by Eco-Reps.

Selection of convocation speakers who are environmental leaders. For example, in 2009 activist & author Lois Marie Gibbs who helped establish the Superfund site legislation of EPA, spoke about environmental justice and sustainability. All newly matriculated students are required to attend convocation.

Creation in 2009 of a carbon output map specifying the distance each new student traveled to attend GMC and the GHG emissions created by this travel. The map was displayed near the student mailboxes as an educational and informative tool.

Participation of all new students in a walking tour, led by GMC's sustainability coordinator, of new sustainability projects on campus. On the tour, the students are introduced to the history of student activism as well as the strategies used to create a more sustainable campus. Tour destinations include the new biomass facility and SAGE Hall (a LEED Gold certified residence hall) as well as the campus farm and past Student Campus Greening Fund projects.

Introduction on methods to reduce waste. New students receive a re-usable gift, such as coffee mugs, bamboo cutlery or water bottles, t-shirts made of 100% organic materials that display messages about campus sustainability, or biodegradable laundry totes made of 100% organic cotton, printed with the Campus Programming Board's Fall activities calendar.

Instead of balloons, streamers, or other decorations, new students receive fresh cut flowers from the campus farm in their dorm rooms.

Orientation leaders incorporate education about composting. Activities have included dressing up as fruit and educating new students about how to compost in the dining hall, or performing a trash audit of dining hall waste to show potential waste diversion.

Faculty-led discussions about sustainability through the Environmental Liberal Arts (ELA) curriculum and about the environmental mission of the institution through the core ELA "Images of Nature" course. Images classes meet with their instructors during Orientation to begin this process.

Participation in a scavenger hunt or skills workshop to acclimate students to campus and to teach them about various sustainable behaviors and practices (e.g. composting, recycling, and carbon footprint).

Invitation to all entering students to participate in an eight mile bike ride with the president of the institution to introduce them to the administration and encourage bike ridership in the local area.

Invitation to all entering students to participate in service learning activities in the community, e.g. work on local hiking trails for the conservation district to learn about the local ecosystem and sustainable practices.

The website URL where information about sustainability in new student orientation is available:
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