Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.54
Liaison Michael Amadori
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mikayla Gullace
Sustainability Intern
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

1) Campus Greens: advocate sustainable practices on campus and encourage a healthy, environmentally conscious lifestyle within the HWS community
2) Environmental Representatives (EcoReps): Student volunteers that work with the Office of Sustainability to improve sustainability practices at HWS. These volunteers table during lunch hours to have students practice sorting their waste as well as work as BinMasters at events to ensure that compost, recycling, and trash is sorted properly.
3) Real Food Inventory: A student intern committed to the adoption of more healthy, affordable, local, and sustainable foods on and off campus through tracking HWS food purchases

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

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

Campus Garden: The Colleges consolidated two student-run organic gardens located on campus into one larger garden plot (45’ x 60’) that’s tended by the Eco-Reps and summer students. The garden was developed out of a senior environmental studies capstone project – managed as a permaculture garden with six raised beds, a spiral herb garden, six cold frames, apple trees(2018) and strawberry plants(2018). The HWS Campus Garden is supported by HWS Buildings and Grounds, Finger Lakes Institute, and the Office of Sustainability.

Roots and Shoots: HWS Professor of Geoscience Nan Crystal Arens coordinates the local Roots and Shoots program. Roots and Shoots is an international environmental education and service club for children and youth sponsored by the Jane Goodall Institute. The Seneca Roots and Shoots is an extracurricular program that meets weekly during the academic year with an average attendance of 15-20 children, ages 3-10. Every year, Arens recruits HWS students to volunteer weekly at the Roots and Shoots program.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:


Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

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

The Carver & DeLaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment supports student sustainability projects on the HWS campus and in local communities. The grants can be used toward sustainability initiatives, such as those related to energy management, water management, food/agriculture systems, biodiversity, community design, and outreach/education.


Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

In collaboration with the Year of Water, the Fisher Center for the Study of Gender and Justice has named 2019-2020 "The Drowned World: Water, Politics and the Future." They will host a series of speakers exploring this theme through a social justice lens.
Website: https://www2.hws.edu/fisher-center-2019-20-the-drowned-world/

Since the spring of 2019, The Green Lens Environmental and Social Justice film series was hosted by the Office of Sustainability. Four films are shown throughout each semester with a wide range of topics. After each film there is a discussion with either the filmmakers, professors, or experts in the field about the issues addressed by the film. The films pertain to all aspects of sustainability, ranging from environmental to social issues.
Website: https://www2.hws.edu/filmmakers-to-discuss-renewable-energy-sources/

Each year, the Colleges celebrate Earth Day welcoming guest speakers, and featuring a variety of films, activities, and programs for a full week! During Earth Week 2019 programming including a dinner on Fribolin Farm and documentary screenings. Other events included tabling for the Real Food Challenge, a seeding workshop and a waste audit.

Besides Earth Week we are always hosting sustainability-related events. For example, Hobart and William Smith hosted the third annual 24-hour Hackathon, addressing the issue of water quality around the world, on October, 30 2019. The program took place at the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship, which provides critical programming and operational support for the Colleges’ most popular minor and fastest growing program of study. Over the course of the competition, 7 teams proposed solutions to address the pressing issue of climate change on a local level. Teams tackled issues such as preventing algae blooms, cleaning beaches of micro-plastics and creating underwater data centers. They were tasked with creating a solution for water quality and present it in a four-minute pitch to a panel of experts in the field.

Annually, the Colleges offer the Sustainable Community Development Lecture Series, which connects students, faculty and the community with environmental issues of the region. It consists of three to five lectures each semester that are free and open to the public. ENV 101 students are required to attend. The lectures span a wide range of sustainability-focused and related topics, including, but not limited to, our built environment, agriculture and food systems, energy, water, materials management, community development and civic engagement. Speakers have included David Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and special assistant to the President of Oberlin College; and Douglas Farr, founder of Farr Associates, a sustainable architectural and planning firm. Orr is the visionary of the Oberlin Project, an all-encompassing joint venture between Oberlin College and its home community to create a thriving, sustainable, and environmentally friendly Oberlin.

Since fall 2013, HWS also has celebrated Food Day by hosting festivities throughout an entire week, including invited guest speakers, an on-campus farmers market, screenings of films/documentaries, and locally-focused meals offered at the campus dining hall, as well as other food-related events.

The Colleges also offer numerous and varied events throughout the year that are available to members of the HWS community and beyond. For example, more than a dozen experts converged on campus to discuss human-environment relations in Asia, spanning from Japan and China to Uzbekistan and Cambodia, during the fourth biennial “Half the World: Environment, Culture, and Sustainability in East Asia” Symposium funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. In addition, the Finger Lakes Institute also hosts seminars, “green bag” lunches, workshops and panel discussions.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

In fall 2019 there was a play, "The Breach" which was associated with Year of Water. It took place in New Orleans during the eye of hurricane Katrina and follows the stories of an African American family trapped on their roof and a bartender with multiple sclerosis. The play explored how the devastation that followed Katrina are possible through the lenses of institutional and structural racism, ableism, classism and the destructive power of climate change.
Website: https://www2.hws.edu/the-breach-opens-in-mcdonald-theatre/

In 2020 HWS Year of Water hosted the art installation Recurrent by Amanda Maciuba. Maciuba's work is focused on how development practices and environmental issues impact landscapes and communities throughout the United States. The work reflects and critiques humans interactions with the environment and how they try to alter it.
Website: https://www.hws.edu/academics/davisgallery/maciuba.aspx

In 2020, associated with HWS Year of Water, the Colleges' will host Areca Roe's art installation Drunken Forest. A photography and video experience from Fairbanks, Alaska that focuses on the discontinuous permafrost and a changing landscape associated with rising temperatures and climate change.
Website: https://www.hws.edu/academics/davisgallery/roe.aspx

In the spring of 2020 New Work by Sarita Zaleha is going to be hosted on campus and is associated with Year of Water. Zaleha's work explores human perception of natural resource and climate systems and displays the agency of the natural world. She does this through physical and abstract art. In this exhibit she focuses on the commodification of water and its relationship to health in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
Website: https://www.hws.edu/academics/davisgallery/zaleha.aspx

In the fall of 2019, the Worth of Water, organized by Nicholas Ruth and associated with HWS Year of Water was hosted at HWS. This compilation of work by artists who are concerned with and about water. Aspects of water that are explored are the formation of societies, beauty, protection and climate change.
Website: https://www.hws.edu/academics/davisgallery/worth_water.aspx

In early 2018, the HWS Abbe Center for Jewish Life hosted a special-themed version of its weekly dinner program, titled “Green Shabbat.” In collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and the HWS EcoReps, the dinner promoted Jewish culture and its commitment to caring for the environment.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

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

The Pre-Orientation Adventure Program (POAP) is an optional, five-day outdoor adventure offered in August to incoming first-year Hobart and William Smith students. The program provides a chance to experience hiking, kayaking, or participating in a community service program in the greater Geneva area. Students also get a chance to meet classmates, learn new skills, ease into the collegiate lifestyle, and have a bit of fun before formal Orientation and classes start. Backpacking and kayaking trip destinations include in the Adirondack Mountains and Finger Lakes Region.

The Outdoor Recreation Adventure Program (ORAP) funds and schedules outdoor excursions and activities, including weekend and day trips. In addition, a student-built climbing wall is available to interested members of the HWS community during specified hours.
ORAP maintains a rental center that offers an inventory of equipment. The rental center possesses resource material such as maps and trail guides to assist students in planning and conducting their own outdoor activities. Located in Bristol Field House, the rental center is open on a part-time basis Mondays through Fridays during the school year and employs students who are knowledgeable about outdoor equipment and experiences.

The Wilderness Conservation House was an on-campus house that 7 students lived in during the school year. The goal of all residents living in the house was to educate and promote awareness of protecting and respecting our world’s outdoor spaces, to provide a living space for those who are passionate about exploring and preserving the outdoors, and to allow members to easily come together to work towards their common goal of engaging with the community and bettering the natural spaces around us.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

Beginning in fall 2014, the Sustainable Living Learning Community launched with 56 first-year students. The two-semester long living learning community investigates the intersection of sustainability and consumption with a particular emphasis on the relationship between local actions and global effects. In the fall semester, approximately 56 students took one of four sections of the same First-Year Seminar (FSEM), “Sustainable Living and Learning,” with each section taught by a different faculty member. All four sections meet together once per week for a common experience (e.g. guest speaker, focused discussion, field trip, small project, etc.). As part of the FSEM, for example, first-year students toured the Ontario County Landfill and zero-sort recycling center, giving them the opportunity to find out what happens to garbage after it’s thrown out. The students not only learned about the significance of reducing waste, but also of the integral role the landfill plays in the local economy and community.

During the spring semesters, students remain in the sections, taking a linked course that extends learning throughout the year to create an integrated, interdisciplinary experience. For the entire year, all students of the Sustainable Living Learning Community live with one another in the same residence hall to improve co-curricular opportunities, build community, and better link the classroom to daily life.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Sustainability Office coordinates the EcoRep program to oversee the Green Room Certification program. The EcoReps will educate their fellow students how to live sustainably on campus and then certify their room if they make the necessary changes.

Additionally, the Sustainable Living Learning Community directly engages with 56 first-year students through curriculum and co-curricular programs. For the entire year, all students of the Sustainable Living Learning Community live with one another in the same residence hall to help improve co-curricular opportunities, build community, and better link the classroom to daily life.

Additionally HWS Center for Community Fragment and Service Learning (CCSEL) runs
an annual alternative spring break service trip to the Lyons NY Rural and Migrant Ministry. Students get the chance to stand with workers from South and Central American countries (including Mexico, Jamaica, and Haiti), and examine the various power and privilege dynamics between large agribusinesses and the rural workers.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

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

The Office of Sustainability hires interns throughout the academic year and during the summer. Additionally, the Office of Sustainability hires an EcoRep Coordinator annually and others on an as-needed basis.

The Finger Lakes Institute also offers continuous paid opportunities for students in the fields of environmental stewardship, food and agriculture systems, environmental education, sustainability research, and others. Under the Finger Lakes Institute Community Development Center, up to five student interns have been hired each summer for the past three summers to conduct several community development projects with local organizations and municipalities.
Since 1987, HWS has offered diverse student employment opportunities, including sustainability-focused, through the Undergraduate Research Program. This year’s opportunities include projects with faculty mentors on campus in environmental studies, biology, chemistry, geosciences, physics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, math education, and mathematics. A few recent examples of summer opportunities include:
- Integrating Sustainability Across the Curriculum
- Finger Lakes Sustainable Economic Development Internship
- Aquatic Invasive Species – Early Detection and Rapid Response
- Dispersal and Ecological Impacts of Invasive Species in the Finger Lakes
- Audubon Seabird Internship
- Ethics of Community Resilience

With the support of the Tree Campus Committee, the Finger Lakes Institute and Office of Sustainability, HWS has employed several Urban Forestry student interns during the past several years. Since 2012, HWS student interns conducted an inventory of nearly 800 trees on campus for the application of the US Forest Service iTree Streets software, an analysis tool created and used to calculate the monetary and environmental value of urban forests.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):


A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) is the home of co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives at HWS. The FLI is dedicated to the promotion of environmental research and education about the Finger Lakes and surrounding environments. In collaboration with regional environmental partners and state and local government offices, FLI fosters environmentally-sound development practices throughout the region, and disseminates accumulated knowledge to the public.

The goals of the FLI are to:
• Advance, coordinate and disseminate scientific understanding about the Finger Lakes environment;
• Provide interdisciplinary training for the next generation of environmental researchers, educators and policy makers;
• Serve as a clearinghouse for environmental information about the region;
• Enhance understanding of environmental issues by regional policy makers and the public;
• Promote models that integrate economic, environmental and social impacts of specific economic development strategies; and
• Create and disseminate educational resources and opportunities at all levels.

Research projects carried out by FLI faculty and collaborators are often interdisciplinary and primarily focused on water quality and other issues relevant to the Finger Lakes region. Research projects provide background information and insights about the local environment and systems.

Education is focused on developing curricular materials and resources that support and extend middle school and high school inquiry-based environmental education. The FLI creates, disseminates, and coordinates a variety of educational initiatives in the Finger Lakes region including the Science on Seneca and Stream Monitoring programs and the Finger Lakes Youth Climate Summit.

Community Outreach promotes knowledge, resources, and life experiences leading to stewardship of the Finger Lakes. Programming is targeted to a variety of learners and ages to inspire participants to become active and knowledgeable citizens of the Finger Lakes.

Economic Development and environmental quality are inextricably linked in the Finger Lakes region. Comprehensive land use planning, policy development, and sustainable enterprise can help to simultaneously support and promote economic vitality and environmental protection in the region.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

See additional event posters for many of the events on campus focusing on the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability.

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.