|Submission Date||March 5, 2021|
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
PRE-2: Points of Distinction
Office of Sustainability
Name of the institution’s featured sustainability program, initiative, or accomplishment:
A brief description of the institution’s featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Our campus is in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of NY that is renowned for orchards, vineyards, and agriculture. It is important to our students, faculty, and staff that we have a campus that supports our local community and farms by providing habitat to pollinators and protecting our natural resources. The past two years we have pushed forward with initiatives, programming, and outreach to achieve this goal.
During a series of events titled "Pollination, Pollution and Your Plate", HWS worked with the Geneva community to raise awareness of pollinator habitats and the need to sustain pollinators. This rolled into the development of twelve grow zones and two pollinator patches on the HWS campus, totaling 1,350 square feet. The grow zones were placed in areas that were difficult to mow or maintain and are designated as areas that will untreated by pesticides and maintenance. The pollinator patches were developed as a student-led initiative revolving around a sustainability grant that served as a service-learning project for a group of students.
With alumni support, Hobart and William Smith Colleges took possession of approximately 27 acres of forested land adjacent to our campus. The land contains a diverse mix of evergreens, hardwoods, and grasslands that provide many vital ecosystem services. For example, food and habitat to native animals including pollinators, protecting the Seneca Lake watershed from runoff and pollutants, and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. This land was at a major risk for development and the destruction of this forest and the loss of the ecosystem services it provides would have been devastating. We remain committed to being a sustainable institution and reaching carbon neutrality by 2025. The stewardship of this land to protect and preserve it for future generations is just one example of this commitment.
Which of the following impact areas does the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the featured program, initiative, or accomplishment:
Name of a second highlighted sustainability program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
At Hobart and William Smith Colleges we strive to create a just and inclusive environment where all students, faculty and staff are valued and respected. We believe that diversity in identity and perspective enriches our community and prepares us all to lead lives of consequence. We recognize that historical practices and policies have privileged certain groups while excluding others from institutions of higher education, and thus the work of diversity at HWS seeks to account for those inequities by promoting college access and working to ensure that every member of the HWS community has an equal opportunity to thrive.
To aid in these efforts this past year we created the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) which is led by a newly created position the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. As an integral part of our campus they work to address disparities in recruitment and retention and increase student and employee diversity to better reflect national demographics. Their mission also involves cultivating an environment where all students, faculty, and staff feel respected and have a sense of belonging, review the HWS curriculum to ensure diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice are fully addressed, and collaborate with various offices to ensure opportunities for diversity education and cultural competency training are available and accessed. The ODEI also launched new initiatives such as the Community Empowerment Microgrant and the HWS STEM Scholars Program to support opportunity programs and resources for underrepresented groups. The efforts from the ODEI augment other HWS programs such as the First Generation Initiative, the Intercultural Affairs Center, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center, and Posse Scholars Program. Together, our programs and collaborative initiatives aim to broaden cross-cultural understanding by fostering an appreciation of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.
Which impact areas does the second program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Diversity & Affordability
Website URL where more information about the second program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the second program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the second program/initiative/accomplishment:
Name of a third highlighted program/initiative/accomplishment:
A brief description of the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
The Year of Water celebrates the Finger Lakes Institute at 15 years, recognizing its interdisciplinary work on water and community. Throughout the year, through a significant series of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary events, HWS will recognize one of HWS’ assets – the lake and the watershed, and all the academic work that is built on and contributes to the survival of those assets. The effort is reflective of the liberal arts mission of the Colleges and reinforces the strong, sustaining ties between HWS and the communities surrounding the lake.
Organized by Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Beth Kinne and the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) staff, a series of collaborative programs and regional partnerships will focus on a range of water-related themes throughout the 2019-20 academic year: from water quality and watershed management, to water’s importance in the local economy and culture, to the recreational value of water and its spiritual significance.
The Year of Water’s goal is multifold, marking 15 years of FLI programming and the Institute’s expansion from hard science to broader, increasingly interdisciplinary perspectives. The program also showcases some of the Colleges’ major assets — the lake, watershed and abundance of academic work that is built on and contributes to the survival of those assets. Finally, the program emphasizes engagement with the broader community in the region to discuss the value of and threats to the watershed and develop partnerships to address them.
The Year of Water will highlight those already conducting water-themed research, education and outreach at HWS and in the Seneca Lake watershed, while engaging those at the HWS and in the larger Geneva community undertaking activities that could readily integrate watershed education. The programming is also designed to promote collaborations between and among people from different disciplines or social spheres who are willing to work together on water issues but might not connect otherwise.
In advance of the Year of Water, the Wyckoff Family Foundation awarded the Colleges a $4,380 grant to support a collaboration between the Geneva High School science department and the FLI. The grant will fund the implementation of hands-on science opportunities for GHS students, from water sampling and classroom laboratory investigations, to a series of water exploration activities for Geneva elementary school students in honor of World Water Day in March
Which impact areas does the third program/initiative/accomplishment most closely relate to?:
Website URL where more information about the third program/initiative/accomplishment may be found:
STARS credit in which the third program/initiative/accomplishment is reported (if applicable):
A photograph or document associated with the third program/initiative/accomplishment:
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.