Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 62.34
Liaison Christie-Joy Hartman
Submission Date Jan. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

James Madison University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Essa Paterson
Program Coordinator
"---" 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:

The most recent inventory of sustainability-focused student organizations was conducted by an ISNW Graduate Assistant in the fall of 2019. 18 student organizations were identified that had an environmental and/or sustainability focus. Two examples of organizations at the time of STARS submission were the Environment Management Club and the Geography Club (see below). Information about student organizations can be found at: https://beinvolved.jmu.edu/organizations?categories=2734.

Environmental Management Club
"The purpose of this organization is to foster thought and action toward environmental stewardship, community service, and individual sustainability among our members and the greater JMU and Harrisonburg community. This organization aims to promote environmental sustainability and unite like minded people to work together toward the greater goal of building
awareness and instilling a sense of efficacy and responsibility into all of our members." Information from July 31, 2019 Constitution under 'Purpose', https://beinvolved.jmu.edu/organization/emc.

Geography Club
"Geography Club is a student organization at James Madison University full of geography enthusiasts passionate about global and local communities who work to introduce and promote the knowledge of geographical issues. Members are united by the beliefs that we have the ability to alter the relationship between human societies and the environment in a positive way. Membership is not restricted to Geographic Science students." https://beinvolved.jmu.edu/organization/geographyclub.

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:

JMU planted an Edible Forest Garden (EFG) in 2021. The JMU EFG works to advance the mission of the university by offering unique and innovative educational and service-learning opportunities for students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community members. A central focus of the EFG is to enhance awareness of sustainable food production and whole food nutrition. Furthermore, the Forest Garden seeks to elevate the environmental sustainability of the institution by expanding pollinator habitat, restoring marginal soils, improving localized nutrient cycling, enhancing biodiversity, and providing local produce to the campus and community. https://sites.lib.jmu.edu/foodforest/

Although we have not identified a specific organic agriculture or sustainable food systems project to report from the JMU Farm, the Farm is available for student learning. Located in Port Republic, the Farm consists of 12 hectares of second growth forest, 300 meters of frontage on the North River (just upstream of the formation of the Shenandoah River), and an historic brick house. This facility is intended to:
-provide an ideal space in which to disseminate environmental information to school students and community groups,
-support on-going JMU student projects involving air quality, surface and ground water quality, and alternative energy systems, and
-provide an inviting off-campus venue for workshops, meetings and symposia.
Multiple students complete projects involving the farm annually.

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:

Madison Sustainability Fund. The Madison Sustainability Fund was created in 2017 in order to promote James Madison University’s vision of environmental stewardship, as well as to allow analysts to explore the ever-growing field of sustainable investing. It has been established as a separate portfolio which was initially funded by PepsiCo, Inc. It operates under the same umbrella as the Madison Investment Fund but is unique, as a sector-agnostic fund, with performance tracked separately from the rest of the MIF portfolio.

The Sustainability Portfolio follows the same investment criteria as that of the general fund, but with the added stipulation that the potential investment must meet the established sustainability criteria. Any potential holding must be within at least one established Environmental, Social, & Governance (ESG) related index, ETF, or mutual fund. Additionally, an added emphasis will be placed on a company with a strong history of environmental stewardship, as the fund was created with that in mind. Faculty advisor: Dr. Elias Semaan.

See: https://www.breezejmu.org/news/jmu-cob-trailblazer-gives-program-international-prestige/article_f4d59278-6a75-11e9-b5d2-6f0e4ae6a7d8.html.

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:

Environmental stewardship is a shared responsibility at JMU, and units across the campus organize many events annually as part of their series and similar events. The following are series or similar events:

1. As a first step toward JMU's commitment to the University Global Coalition, on March 29, 2021, for 90 minutes, 29 faculty members, 16 students, and 3 community partners participated in five simultaneous dialogues. Guided by students in a graduate Communication & Advocacy course, the participants discussed how their work supported one of the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
Goal 10 – Reduced Inequalities
Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 15 – Life on Land
Goal 16 – Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Then, using a collaboration platform, participants shared their thoughts about the potential of the framework to organize JMU student engagement and action on the world’s most pressing challenges. Recordings and accompanying briefs by JMU Civic Democracy Fellows are available on the website. Organized by the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World. https://www.jmu.edu/stewardship/dialogues.shtml

2. Global Climate Change Week (October 12–21, 2020) aimed to encourage academic communities – including academics, students, and non-academic staff at universities in all disciplines and countries – to engage with each other, their communities, and policy makers on climate change action and solutions. An on-line event due to COVID19, the week’s activities included film screenings and discussions, workshops, and a podcast. Organized by Justice Studies Assistant Professor Dr. Case Watkins and students in his Fall 2020 Environmental Justice course. https://www.jmu.edu/civic/climate-justice.shtml.

3. "TALL (Taking Action at the Local Level) Talks on Climate Change " occurred in 2020. As an example of one of the events, Mr. Charles Hendricks, Architect with the Gains Group Architects spoke about building design, sustainability and climate change. February, 5, 2020. Organized by Students in the GEOG 327: Climatology class, JMU's Geographic Science Program, School of Integrated Science. No website; emailed flyer from organizers.

Additional, sustainability events that were part of larger programs include:
1. The Environmental Dimension of Health Wellness Passport Program at JMU, Feb 16, April 6 & 7, 2021. This synchronous virtual program provided real examples of ways students can become more informed about environmental sustainability challenges and engaged in solutions to help build sustainable future during their JMU experience. From exploring where food comes from in the Shenandoah Valley to maintaining trails in Redwood National Park, the program demonstrated how JMU students and professors are engaging with environmental issues locally to globally, both inside and outside the classroom. Organized by the Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World. Event does not have dedicated website. Partner information can be found at https://wellness.cisat.jmu.edu/partners.html.

2. MLK Celebration Week Keynote Speaker: Michelle Montgomery, January 18, 2021. Dr. Montgomery, activist, author, and professor, joined JMU online from University of Washington Tacoma. Her work focuses on Indigenizing and decolonizing the climate justice narrative, environmental ethics connected to Indigenous Peoples’ place-based identities and eco-critical race theory to eliminate racial and environmental oppression.

3. Dr. Sacoby Wilson, Bending the Arc to Environmental, Climate,
and Racial Justice: The Role of Community. October 5, 2021. As a presenter with the Academic Affairs Visiting Scholar Series, Dr. Wilson addressed the social determinants of health, equity, the built environment, and
the importance of community-university partnership. Dr. Wilson is Associate Professor and Director of the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) Initiative with the Maryland Institute for Applied
Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland-College Park. https://www.jmu.edu/news/diversity/2021/09-21-beacon.shtml

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:

Examples of cultural activities include:

1. "Uncomplicit" exhibition at ArtWorks Gallery, November 4 - December 4, 2020. A social and environmental justice exhibition featuring artwork of various students. https://artworksgallery.wixsite.com/artworksgallery/11-4-20.

2. "Unearthing Strata and Changing Waters" by Mallory Burrell, Aug 31-Sept 19, 2020. Burrell, a self-described “archivist of scrap,” creates works out of debris she finds while exploring local streams and water-ways. In documenting and reimagining her findings, she brings focus to local environmental challenges and problems of waste within our watersheds. Her work offers a conversation between the wild spaces she traverses and the cultural detritus that ends up there. Burrell likens her process of creation to that of weeding, as she cultivates the place where wilderness meets culture. https://www.jmu.edu/dukehallgallery/exhibitions-past-2020-2021/mfa2020.shtml.

3. "In Search of Earth's Secrets: A Pop-up Science Encounter" September 26 &27, 2019. This interactive, traveling museum exhibit demonstrated the most important geologic discoveries of the last to 50 years. Topics covered included plate tectonics, past climate changes, and life deep below the seafloor. The learning experience was designed for students in grades 2-6 but could be enjoyed by learners of all ages. Supported by NSF and the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP). Organized by Dr. Shelley Whitmeyer, Asst. Professor Geology and Environmental Science. https://www.jmu.edu/stemcenter/geopopup2.shtml.

4. "A Lens on National Parks: Bringing Conservation and Climate Change into Collective Focus" Megan Phillips's honors capstone photography exhibit featuring Joshua Tree, Glacier, Assateague Island National Seashore, and Shenandoah National Parks. April 8-13, 2019. Duke Hall Gallery of Fine Art. Source of information for this exhibit is Phillip's thesis at https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/honors201019/707/.

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:

1. University Recreation's (UREC's) Adventure Program plans an assortment of trips that teach and follow "Leave No Trace" principles, including hiking, kayaking, skiing, canoeing, and other outings. https://www.jmu.edu/recreation/activities/adventure/urec-adventure-trips.shtml.

2. The Step Wilderness Therapy Program Retreats are a collaborative effort between the Counseling Center and UREC.

A three day, two night therapeutic adventure program in the George Washington National Forest was held in the Fall 2019. Participants included two to three counseling center clinicians, one to two certified guide(s) from UREC, and 8-10 students. Over the course of this trip, students backpacked through the wilderness and experienced outdoor education sessions and therapy process groups. Activities included learning proper shelter and camp building techniques, Leave No Trace Education, proper water filtration techniques as well as process groups, intra- and inter-personal skill building, natural interventions, and self-reflection. The purpose of this program was to use adventure as a platform to improve relational skills, build self-confidence and self-efficacy, and increase healthy coping skills. https://www.jmu.edu/counselingctr/services/wilderness-therapy.shtml

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:

The University Recreation Center (UREC) offers one hour, no cost programs. https://urecregister.jmu.edu/Program/GetProducts.

(1) Examples of Nutrition and Wellness sustainability-related programs offered in Fall 2021 include:

Vegan Around the World: Explore different flavors around the world and learn the benefits of a vegan diet. Each class will highlight the cuisine of a different country.

Vegan Baking Made Easy: Explore ways to create tasty treats with plant based ingredients.

Easy Plant Based Cooking: Learn new ways to incorporate more fruits, veggies and whole grains into your favorite recipes.

Passionate about the Planet: The environment is one of the most overlooked public health concerns and an issue that affects us all. Learn more about ways we can all protect and preserve our cosmological home.

The Race to Zero Waste: Approximately one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is wasted. Learn easy tips on how to save, plan, and store your food to make sure there is zero waste at every meal.

The programs are designed and facilitated by UREC student staff members. The goal is to have these students apply what they have learned in the classroom to positively impact the health and well-being of the JMU community. Students determine all program names, descriptions, learning outcomes, general outlines, and final presentations with the assistance of the Assistant Director for Fitness & Wellness, University Recreation and Wellness Student Managers. These are also counted under peer-to-peer education programs EN-1.

(2) UREC also offered bicycling programs in Fall 2021 including:

Bike Care: Fix-a-flat: Learn and practice the basics of bike care! You will experience a hands-on workshop including topics like how to oil your chain, how to change your flat tire, and more. This workshop will also give you some tips and tricks to keep your bike going while traveling through town. Bring any questions you have about bikes and bring your bike if you have one. No bike? No problem! Use one of the UREC commuter or mountain bikes as a demo to practice your skills. Come and learn the basics before you decide to invest in your own.

Two Wheels, Two Scoops: 2 Wheels & 2 Scoops is a bike ride that starts and ends at UREC and includes a stop at Kline's Dairy Bar in downtown Harrisonburg for some tasty treats! UREC will provide some basic cycling information at the beginning and you are welcome to use one of our bikes and helmets at no additional cost. Please bring cash or card for the stop at Kline's!

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

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

The Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World annually employs undergraduate and/or graduate students. Facilities Management's sustainability team also offers employment to students. Some examples of projects to which student employees contributed include waste bins and recycling station message updates, graphic and web design, and a campus sustainability map and tour development.

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:

Each year James Madison University offers student-led and developed service breaks to locations in the United States and abroad. Some service breaks are sustainability focused. Each service team typically consists of 12 student participants, two student co-leaders and a faculty or staff learning partner. Most breaks take place during the spring break period, but breaks are offered at all of the JMU academic breaks. While working with national and international communities, the James Madison University Alternative Break Program trains and immerses students in a purposeful service experience designed to connect students and community members while enhancing personal growth, mutual awareness and life-long learning. https://www.jmu.edu/abp/. This is counted in EN-1.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Student groups were dentified from https://beinvolved.jmu.edu/organizations?categories=2734.

Responsible party for Sustainable investment and finance category: Michael Sevila, Director of sustainability, manager of the Madison Sustainability Fund. Email correspondence February 2020.

Responsible party for University Recreation's (UREC's) Adventure Program: Daniel Bavis, Graduate Assistant, UREC Adventure and TEAM Programs. Email correspondence February 2020.

Responsible party for "STEP Wilderness Therapy Retreat": Leslie Gerrard, Coordinator: Wilderness Therapy Program, Counseling Center. Email correspondence November 2021.

Programs for Sustainable Life Skills category from UREC website as indicated.

Responsible party for student employment opportunities: Christie-Joy Hartman, Executive Director, Institute for Stewardship of the Natural World

Alternative Break Program information from: https://www.jmu.edu/abp/

Event examples obtained from the JMU master events calendar https://ems.jmu.edu/MasterCalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx?_ga=2.243786309.1188352371.1629294510-1214292832.1627655833

Entered by Essa Paterson, ISNW, November 11, 2021.

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.