Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 75.93
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 30, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Iowa State University
ER-T2-1: Student Group

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Merry Rankin
ISU Director of Sustainability
Facilities Planning & Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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

The name and a brief description of each student group:

Iowa State University has many active student groups focused on sustainability, and the following groups serve only as a highlight of the types of clubs on campus.

Iowa State has a group to bring together sustainability-related clubs on campus called The Green Umbrella (TGU). The Green Umbrella’s goals include making students more aware of the sustainability efforts around them, creating an open forum for discussing green initiatives at ISU, and acting as a voice to administration about student sustainability issues. http://sodb.stuorg.iastate.edu/view.php?id=1586

In terms of reaching out to particular residents, Iowa State has The GreenHouse group, which targets students in university residences, as well as Greeks Go Green, which targets members of the ISU Greek community. The GreenHouse Group is involved in educating students living in university housing about recycling and sustainability, involving residents in sustainability activities and events, and serving as the student voice to the ISU Department of Residence regarding sustainability issues (http://sodb.stuorg.iastate.edu/view.php?id=1603). Greeks Go Green works with the university to help the Greek community reach sustainability goals, they help promote Greek sustainability events and philanthropies, and they host their own sustainability-related events (http://sodb.stuorg.iastate.edu/view.php?id=1968).

Iowa State also has Closets Collide, which is a student group that organizes clothing swap events. The group promotes sustainable fashion and clothing retail not only on campus, but also within the Ames community, while educating students and community members about these issues at their events. Closets Collide also partners with Ames businesses and other student organizations, and membership is open to all majors and areas of interest (http://sodb.stuorg.iastate.edu/view.php?id=1648).

Finally, there are two student groups on campus focusing on renewable energy. ISU BioBus processes reclaimed vegetable oil into biodiesel to power city transit buses. The organization consists of students from various majors, and is a registered non-profit. In promoting collaboration on campus, BioBus receives their oil from ISU Dining facilities (http://www.stuorg.iastate.edu/biobus/index.html). Finally, Team PrISUm is an organization that builds and races a solar car every two years. The club raises funds, obtains materials and assembles the cars. Their efforts culminate in a countrywide competition, called the American Solar Challenge (http://solarcar.stuorg.iastate.edu/home.php).


List up to 4 notable recent activities or accomplishments of student group(s):

1. Student groups have created, organized, and managed university-wide sustainability events for students, faculty, staff, and the public. Some examples are National Campus Sustainability Day (NCSD, http://www.iowastatedaily.com/news/article_3dbbea5c-1e2c-11e2-9d36-0019bb2963f4.html), during which various student organizations and businesses who promote sustainable practices visit with students on campus and discuss their initiatives. NCSD is organized annually by The Green Umbrella (TGU), which also coordinated Sustainapalooza (http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/news-and-events/symposium-on-sustainability), an event in Spring 2012 to educate visitors about the university’s sustainability accomplishments and to provide resources for furthering sustainability on campus, as well as a tent for sustainable organizations to promote themselves to the community at VEISHEA, Iowa State’s annual university-wide celebration (http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/May2012.pdf).
Closets Collide also contributes to the many university-wide sustainability events that have been hosted on campus. Most notably, they organize an annual community clothing swap (http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/May2011.pdf).
2. Another major recent accomplishment is the implementation of a multi-commodity residential housing recycling program in partnership with the Department of Residence. This is available in all our residential communities, and to support the program the GreenHouse Group has established infrastructure consisting of sustainability coordinators and recycling chairs, along with other resources. The GreenHouse Group currently maintains the recycling program in place for residents of the Department of Residence (http://archive.inside.iastate.edu/2010/0225/greenawards.php).
3. A third activity is both university residence and Greek-focused initiatives and events related to sustainability. The GreenHouse Group is the main club focusing on mobilizing students living in university housing to live sustainably by organizing events such as RecycleMania and Earth Hour 2012 on campus. In 2011 and 2012 The GreenHouse Group coordinated Iowa State’s participation in RecycleMania by partnering with the ISU Department of Residence, with the main goal of increasing recycling within campus residential housing. (http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/May2011.pdf, http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/May2012.pdf). Earth Hour was another event coordinated by The GreenHouse Group. The goal was to raise awareness about sustainability and to show the need to minimize our negative impact on climate change. The GreenHouse Group encouraged all students to shut off their lights for one hour in 2012, and during Earth Hour 2011 they also planned other events to promote sustainability (http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/May2011.pdf).
Greeks Go Green has also coordinated events related to sustainability and helped raise awareness, but its main focus has been on Iowa State’s Greek community. In September 2012 they coordinated a cleanup of Lake Laverne on campus, bringing together students to collect garbage around the lake (http://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/sites/default/files/Oct2012.pdf).
4. Finally, ISU BioBus and Team PrISUm have had recent accomplishments in promoting renewable energy and alternative fuels. In the spring of 2011 CyRide, the city bus service in Ames, started using fuel that BioBus created from campus dining services’ used vegetable oil (http://www.inside.iastate.edu/article/2012/03/22/biobus).
Team PrISUm focuses on solar energy to power a vehicle. In June 2012 they raced a solar-powered car they designed and built across the country, and had their highest-ever finish in a national competition against ten other cars (http://www.inside.iastate.edu/article/2012/07/26/solar ).
In 2009 Iowa State was also one of twenty universities that participated in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, where a multi-disciplinary student team built a house featuring sustainable building practices and technologies. After the competition the house was purchased by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and is being used as an interpretive center at their Honey Creek State Park resort (http://www.solard.iastate.edu/,http://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/Iowa%20Outdoors%20News/2009/09oct27io.pdf),http://www.iastate.edu/stories/2012/11/sustain.

+ Date Revised: June 23, 2014

List other student groups that address sustainability:
AgArts, Slow Food-ISU, Lorax Troop, ActivUS, Sustainable Agricultural Student Association, Green Life Club, Ducks Unlimited, Engineers for a Sustainable World, ISU Habitat for Humanity, Ecological Society of America SEEDS, Students Helping Our Peers

The website URL where information about student group(s) is available:

The other student groups listed identify themselves as sustainability-related groups, and are able to post information and events on ISU's Live Green! website. However, Iowa State also has additional groups that address sustainability, which can be found in the Student Organization Database: http://sodb.stuorg.iastate.edu/

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.