Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.32
Liaison Merry Rankin
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2022

STARS v2.2

Iowa State University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 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?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:
More than 200 of Iowa State's 800+ student organizations have missions connected to sustainability. The Office of Sustainability website maintains a list of these active "green" student organizations based on which of the three facets of sustainability most closely aligns with their group's mission.

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:
Agriculture Education and Studies 450 Farm
The Ag 450 Farm strives to be a practical educational resource for Iowa State University and the Department of Agricultural Education and Studies demonstrating quality and sustainable production agriculture in the midwest. To achieve this mission, the following objectives have been articulated for the farm and class: to be a self-supporting agricultural production entity, to be engaged in practical and economical midwestern production agriculture, to develop an agricultural farming system (crops and livestock) that uses farming, resources (land, labor, and capital) efficiently and effectively, to efficiently and competitively produce and market quality agricultural products to implement agricultural production technologies that maintain economic efficiency, agricultural sustainability, and complement cropping and livestock production activities on the farm, to provide exposure of production agriculture to the public, to function as a farm management laboratory for students enrolled in AGEDS 450.

The Good Earth Student Farm
The ISU Good Earth Student Farm is a student-run Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that markets to the Iowa State Community. This model intends to create a relationship between the farm and the customer. Rather than simply purchasing food, customers become “shareholders” of the farm. Shareholders invest in the farm before the start of the season and, in return, receive weekly dividends in boxes of produce. The farm operates on half an acre at the Iowa State Horticulture Research Station.

Sustainable Agriculture Student Association
Sustainable Agriculture Student Association (SASA) activities include volunteering with the Food at First community food market, both in the community garden as well as providing volunteer support during market days. Activities are designed and planned as ways for the community of students in the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture program as well as friends of the program to build community and learn more about sustainable agriculture outside of the classroom.

Reiman Gardens
Iowa State University's Reiman Gardens provides a variety of sustainability-based workshops for students, faculty and staff, as well as community members, in areas including plant propagation and pruning, therapeutic horticulture, sustainable crafting, and gardening.

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:
Innovate 1858 is best described as part lifestyle boutique, part museum shop. Located in the Student Innovation Center, the store’s goal is to spur students in their creative endeavors through hands-on retail experience and entrepreneurial innovation. Numerous products designed or created by Iowa State University students are for sale, with students also managing the shop.

SPARKS is a student fully-managed café in the Student Innovation Center. Students are fully responsible for all daily business decisions about factors such as inventory, food safety, hiring and salaries, product pricing, marketing, and defining sales strategies - and engage customers through surveys on product preferences.

The Iowa State University Creamery is among the few university dairy food science programs in the country that produces and sells dairy food products. Experiential learning, at the Creamery, fully prepares dairy food science students for the most skilled positions in the fast-paced and competitive dairy processing industry.

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:
Student Government Green Initiatives Fund
Iowa State’s Student Government encourages students to make a sustainable impact through the Green Initiatives Fund (GIF). The GIF supports student organization-initiated projects that promote environmental, economic and social sustainability. Eligible projects or initiatives support both a sustainable future and the Cyclone student experience. Funding supports projects that align with one or more sustainability-focused goals: a) reducing energy consumption, waste production and the carbon footprint on campus, b) encouraging sustainable development and encouraging ISU to become a greener campus, c) providing educational opportunities for students to learn more about sustainable lifestyles, choices, and options available to them, and d) benefiting a large part of the ISU campus or connecting the university to the Ames community. Applications are reviewed by the student-led Sustainability Committee of Student Government, and feedback sought from campus administrative liaisons.

The Live Green! Revolving Loan Fund
The Live Green! Revolving Loan Fund provides interest-free loans for campus projects that promote energy conservation and sustainability and provide a return on the investment through increased efficiencies including (but not limited to): resource use, financial savings, and emissions reductions. Loan recipients repay their loans through savings derived from the implementation of their project. As the loan fund is replenished, through loan repayments, the loan “revolves” to fund additional sustainability or energy conservation projects on campus. After the loan has been repaid, the ongoing savings is retained by the loan recipient to use in whatever manner will most benefit their goals and priority initiatives. Students, faculty and staff make up the membership of the Live Green! Loan Revolving Loan Fund Advisory Committee.

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:
Symposium on Sustainability
In conjunction with Sustainapalooza, Iowa State University organizes an annual Symposium on Sustainability to provide sustainability training professional development to the entire university community. Coordinated by Iowa State University's Live Green! Initiative, the Symposium calls all students, faculty, and staff to action to be fully committed to and engaged in ensuring a sustainable future through their actions and decisions regarding the campus, its operations, and initiatives. Leading up to the event, members of the Sustainapalooza Planning Committee engage in a fun and informative sustainability awareness campaign (both in person and via social media) through catching campus community members in the act of being sustainable or catching them "green-handed".

Sustainapalooza is a companion event to Iowa State's Symposium on Sustainability. A different green theme is explored every year, including 2022's “Taking Small Steps Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow”. Highlighted, as a part of each year’s event are GIY, "Green-It-Yourself", Centers that provide immersive opportunities to add sustainability habits and considerations into daily decisions and living - including green cleaning, upcycling and healthy, shelf-stable meals and snack creations. Attendees can also take part in a clothing swap and view student sustainability artwork and research posters, engage with campus and community sustainability organizations, and enjoy refreshments made with local ingredients.

Campus Sustainability Month Celebration
Campus Sustainability Month Celebration (CSMC) is the Office of Sustainability’s fall semester sustainability feature engagement event. The event brings together student clubs, university departments, campus and community organizations and businesses that support sustainable goals, practices, initiatives and engagement - toward connecting sustainability interests with opportunities on campus and in the community.

Local Food Festival
The annual Local Food Festival event, brings together campus and community groups and organizations toward connecting students, faculty and staff to the diversified bounty of local food, local food producers and resources related to health and well being. The event features educational displays, food samples, recipes using local, in-season foods, and locally grown and produced products for sale by vendors and ISU clubs.

Earth Day
Earth Day is the Office of Sustainability’s final campus sustainability engagement event of the spring semester. Similar to the Campus Sustainability Monthly Celebration, Earth Day features interactive displays from student clubs, university departments, campus and community organizations and businesses that support sustainable goals, practices, initiatives and engagement - toward connecting sustainability interests with opportunities on campus and in the community.

Ignite Innovation Showcase
The eight-day Ignite Innovation Showcase, offered Spring 2022, highlighted student innovation across campus, and culminated in an all-campus pitch competition. Sessions included Feed the World, Move the World, Make to Innovate, and Change the World.

Paul Errington Lecture
Dr. Paul L. Errington, quoted by Animal Ecology Today as one of the "four great pioneers of animal ecology," was a professor of wildlife biology at Iowa State University from July, 1932 until his retirement. Dr. Errington's love and understanding of nature is shown in four popular books: Of Men and Marshes, The Red Gods Call, Of Predation and Life, and A Question of Values. A Question of Values is a collection of essays published posthumously in 1987. Paul L. Errington passed along a priceless heritage of conservation wisdom and insight to those who have the opportunity to read what he wrote, who benefit from his skills, and who must continue to question and enlarge upon his findings. On the occasion of the annual Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture, ISU recognizes and pays tribute to his special qualities as a person and as a scientist.

World Food Prize Lecture
The annual Norman Borlaug lecture at Iowa State is named for the Cresco native and agronomist whose discoveries sparked the Green Revolution. Borlaug received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his international work in wheat research and production, which has saved millions of lives. He is the founder of the World Food Prize, which annually recognizes the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

Conference on Civility and Deliberative Democracy
The Carrie Chapman Catt Center hosted the first dual Conference on Civility and Deliberative Democracy in October 2021 focused on increasing awareness and discussing alternative energy sources through the lens of civility, and toward inspiring greater civility. Energy policy was selected as the topic for the conference because the Catt Center felt that it was timely and of interest to the Iowa State and Ames community. The overarching goals of the conference were twofold: for students to practice deliberative democracy skills, where they bring their personal experiences and formal knowledge of an issue and thoughtfully discuss the issue with others who may or may not share the same experiences, knowledge and perspectives, as well as providing NIFI and the North American Association for Environmental Education with feedback that can be used to inform public policy and education on environmental issues. Approximately 50 campus and community members attended a lecture event, and 31 students participated in a small group workshop, following the lecture. Student attendees worked in small groups to consider three options for America's energy future, then shared their decision and rationale with the larger group. The groups were moderated by undergraduate students enrolled in Speech Communication 322: Argumentation, Debate, and Critical Thinking. In addition, graduate students enrolled in Political Science 543X: Energy Policy, were present to answer any participant questions about U.S. energy policy.

Retail Ready Summit: Reinvention for a Sustainable Future
Hosted by the Student Innovation Center, the Retail Read Summit focused on the following sustainability information and awareness areas: Access to renowned industry innovators sharing retail success stories and strategies; a sneak peek into the latest, greatest approaches to customer insights and experiences–products, services, engagement; and tested platforms and models for business sustainability.

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:
World Cuisine Night
World Cuisine Night is an annual celebration of culture and food, hosted by the International Student Council. Attendees purchase “food tickets” to spend on food and beverage options offered by a number of student organizations, representing countries around the world. The event also features educational information and signage toward enhancing cultural awareness along with enjoying new foods. The event is a fundraiser for the International Student Council Scholarships Program.

Global Gala
Global Gala is an annual celebration of the many countries and cultures that comprise the Iowa State University community. During the Gala, through food, music, dancing, and a fashion show, a variety of student organizations promote their culture and heritage.

First Amendment Days
Each year, Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication hosts a weeklong celebration of First Amendment freedoms – religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. The event includes speakers, activities, discussions and dialogue exercises.

Women's Week Conference
The annual Women’s Week Conference is a celebration of all women everywhere! The event, held during Women’s History Month, is focused on the goal of empowering and highlighting strong women. Throughout the week, keynote speakers and panels discussing many different topics pertaining to women are offered.

Indigenous Heritage Month Exhibit
The online exhibit for the 2021 Indigenous Heritage Month was created by the ISU Library's DEI Committee, with contributions from the United Native American Student Association, to share resources and provide a platform for Native people in the United States of America to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance, and ways and concepts of life. The exhibit included selected books, streaming media, and even TikToks.

Climate Change Theatre Action 2021
ISU Theatre's "Climate Change Theatre Action 2021" focused on inspiring the community to get involved in local climate action during their third time competing in the international Climate Change Theatre Action (CCTA) initiative, a biennial, worldwide series of short plays and performances that coincides with the United Nations Climate Change Conference, performed, showcased local artwork, facilitated community engagement activities and shared local climate action resources at community events.

Threshold: A Portal to Engaged Participation
“Threshold: A Portal to Engaged Participation” is a project developed to explore more innovative strategies for creating greater awareness and participation in the community design process. Constructed of dark blue milk crates, an inexpensive, simple module that is highly versatile and flexible, the sculptural installation was a student-driven effort from conception to implementation. First designed for Calamus, Iowa, as a landmark for the thousands of riders along the RAGBRAI route this past summer, “Threshold” was then installed in Princeton, Iowa’s riverfront park to attract participants to a Community Visioning design charrette during the town’s SummerFest.

Iowa Maker Series
The Iowa Maker Series, in conjunction with the Brunnier Gallery’s Collecting Craft: Studio and Contemporary Makers from the Permanent Collection exhibition offered interactive opportunities for contemporary Iowa artists to discuss their craft and artistic processes - with focus on honoring the materials.

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:
Outdoor Recreation
Iowa State Outdoor Recreation Services offers several workshops, weekend trips, and extended trips to students and employees of all skill levels. Workshops include topics such as rock climbing, wilderness first response, outdoor cooking and Leave No Trace. Trips also place precedent in abiding by Leave No Trace principles.

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:

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:
Peer Wellness Educators
Peer Wellness Educators (PWE) are highly-trained student employees who work with their fellow peers at Iowa State University (ISU) to promote wellness through evidence-informed educational and social marketing strategies designed to enhance knowledge around the eight dimensions of wellness and increase access to wellness information and resources on campus. PWE roles include presentations to student groups, planning and implementing wellness events and programs, and the creation and promotion of wellness messages/campaigns to other students, among other responsibilities.

Cyclone CashCourse Peer Financial Educators
Cyclone CashCourse Peer Financial Educators are students assisting students navigating financial aid and money management.

Office of Student Financial Aid
The Office of Student Financial Aid offers a number of presentations and one-on-one advising throughout the year for students to learn the ins and outs of paying for their college tuition. Topics include but are not limited to: budgeting, spending, credit cards, credit score, student loans, loan repayment, managing debt, and basic personal finance.

Biofeedback Center
At the Student Counseling Services Biofeedback Center, students can see, hear, and become more aware of their body’s stress response and learn to turn on the relaxation response. Through Biofeedback, students can reduce chronic stress and anxiety, improve general well-being, increase emotional regulation, and develop better coping responses.

Travel Assistance Project
In fall 2021, the Director of International Student Experience for Student Government, with the help of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee, spearheaded the Travel Assistance Project, an initiative to aid international students in travel-related problems. Many students can not go home for the summer and may find themselves without a place to stay due to the transition period between move-ins in many apartment complexes. According to a volunteer-based survey, 60 percent of international students need to stay over the summer and have nowhere to stay during this time. It also states that 52 percent of students rely on Uber and friends for transportation to the Des Moines International Airport. There were 50 tickets allocated for the pilot phase of this project, and all 50 were claimed. This was a pilot project but there are hopes to expand the program: this year, it was free, but the project team is considering adding a small fee ($5-$10 to serve more students and prevent no-shows. The project was run through a private company, Executive Express, but the project team is comparing different companies as they look toward scaling the project. This project was started after hearing concerns from international students, but one long-term goal is to expand the program to include students from international and domestic locations. Mass transit is also more energy-efficient and lowers the emissions of the trip for each additional student utilizing this service.

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
Live Green! Internships and Assistantships
The Live Green! initiative within the Office of Sustainability offers undergraduate interns and graduate assistants each academic year. https://www.livegreen.iastate.edu/about-us/live-green-team

Sustainability Officers
Within campus residence halls, there are students who are responsible for overseeing the ‘green’ efforts within the halls. They educate their peers on best practices related to recycling and waste reduction as well as promote sustainability-focused events happening on campus.

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:
Community and Economic Development
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development (CED) program empowers communities to shape their own futures through research, education, community engagement, economic development, community planning and design. This program serves as an essential conduit between Iowa’s communities and the resources of Iowa State University through synergistic partnerships with private and public sectors for the betterment of Iowans.

University Community Design Lab
The Community Design Lab (CDL) is a collaboration between the College of Design and ISU Extension. It works with community leaders, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies throughout the state of Iowa, using design knowledge and research expertise to help shape vibrant and empowered communities. The team works across scales, connecting regional issues to local solutions and finding synergy between urban and rural issues.

Community Food Systems
The Community Food Systems program provides three different areas of practice: technical assistance, research, and certifications. The program began as a multi-phased, multi-year process that works in partnership with communities to develop and design their local and regional food systems.

PLACE (Partnering Learning And Community Engagement) aims to enhance and promote the quality and character of Iowa's communities. The College of Design engages with communities in collaborative efforts to understand, envision and promote a fundamental enhancement of their physical environment.

Iowa's Living Roadways Community Visioning Program
The Community Visioning Program integrates landscape planning and design with sustainable action to empower community leaders and volunteers in making sound, meaningful decisions about the local landscape. Communities work closely with technical experts from Trees Forever, a private-sector landscape architect, and the Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture to create a transportation enhancement plan reflecting the values and identity of the community. Successful completion of the visioning process results in a transportation enhancement plan and implementation strategies that empower communities to build meaningful townscapes, step by step, as resources become available.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.