Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.72
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date May 12, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

James Madison University
EN-2: Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.82 / 2.00 Lori Pyle
Associate Chair
The Madison Collaborative
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Are the following students provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability? :
Yes or No
First-year students Yes
Transfer students No
Entering graduate students No

Percentage of all entering (i.e. new) students (including transfers and graduate students) that are provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability (0-100):

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation (including how multiple dimensions of sustainability are addressed):

Ethical reasoning and environmental stewardship are embedded in Orientation programs.

JMU’s ethical reasoning program, which is introduced to students during a sequence of Orientation programs, aligns with many of the principles indicated in the Earth Charter as a means to a sustainable community. Students learn questions to ask of themselves and others in ethical decision-making to examine issues of fairness, duties and obligations, rights, liberty, empathy, outcomes, character, and legitimate authority.

The Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action aims to prepare students to be enlightened citizens who will apply ethical reasoning to personal, professional, and civic life. The campus-wide program helps students develop the knowledge and critical thinking skills to resolve ethical situations that they will encounter during the Madison experience, and beyond.

Incoming, first-year undergraduate students are introduced to "The Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action" via the One Book publication, detailed below, and then again during Summer Springboard, a one-day orientation in June or July. Finally, students experience the 75-minute “It's Complicated" ethical reasoning program during 1787 August Orientation, a week of welcome, where students are challenged to: think about the ethical considerations of a case scenario using the Eight Key Questions, discuss in small peer groups, and eventually arrive at a group decision. The process of ethical reasoning encourages us to challenge biases and critically examine situations before acting – skills for ethical and sustainable citizenship. https://www.jmu.edu/orientation/its-complicated/
see www.jmu.edu/mc/8-key-questions.shtml

As further examples of sustainability content included elsewhere in Orientation, environmental stewardship and sustainable transportation information are included in the One Book. The One Book is presented as students' one-stop-shop that contains all the important steps, details and information needed to begin the transition to JMU. The One Book, and the companion website, guide new students (there is a version for first-year students and one for transfer students) through steps to complete in preparation for Summer Springboard. https://www.jmu.edu/onebook/index.shtml

A letter is emailed to all incoming first-year students in May, and it includes, "Before you purchase any items, stop and think. We encourage you to be educated consumers and good stewards of the environment. Buy only what you need. Rather than buying new items, use things you may already own or can borrow from neighbors, friends, etc. Compare prices and quality with what you can find at your local retailer. Reduce, reuse and recycle!" This message was added to the annual letter over three years ago based at the recommendation of a residential learning community that reviewed certain Office of Residence Life practices.

Students living in the residence halls receive one bag per room to collect and carry their recycling to central collection stations in their residence hall. The bag has recycling guidelines and the campus environmental stewardship logo on it. Dining Services offers a mug to all meal plan holders (which include all students living in the residence halls) to reduce disposable cup use. Students can earn rewards for scanning bar codes at dining locations using the Cupanion app to track reusable mug usage. Rewards included prizes from a FitBit to free yogurt parfaits.

Beginning in August 2016, every student living on campus also received a sticker with the campus environmental stewardship logo to encourage students to learn more.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Responsible party for ethical reasoning: Dr. Lori Pyle, Associate Chair, The Madison Collaborative.

Data are for Fall 2016. 91% of incoming students were undergraduate students in Fall 2016. They were required to participate in "It's Complicated," but there were some absences. It is estimated that 95% or more of these students attended. Transfer students do not participate in the "It's Complicated" ethical reasoning program.

Responsible party for mug information: Charles Leventry, Sustainability Coordinator, Dining Services.

Responsible party for bag information: Holmes Brown, Assistant Director, Business Operations, Office of Residence Life. Data entered by Melissa Altman.

Responsible party for sticker: Melissa Altman, Grant Writer, Office of Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability.

Responsible party for orientation letter: Dr. James McConnel, AVP, Student Affairs and University Planning.

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.