Overall Rating Bronze
Overall Score 33.07
Liaison John Lerczak
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Lewis University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 John Lerczak
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities
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Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

The sustainability student club is comprised of 12 members from environmental science and business backgrounds. They meet bi-weekly and assist in planning, developing and implementing sustainability projects and events on campus/local neighborhoods. Every semester students are involved in various events that relate to environmental stewardship, environmental education and community involvement.


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
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Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

This past year Lewis University students were involved with a community garden in Fairmont(a local neighborhood). This community garden supplied food to the food pantry in the area as well as residents of Fairmont. They will continue to work on the garden this upcoming spring.

Also, students have networking opportunities through a regional network that Lewis University is part of that involves sustainable food systems and connecting farmers, government, community members, organizations and institutions.


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

Yes, this past fall the sustainability fund was passed and allows students to gain investment and financial skills through their project proposals that the sustainability fund will be supporting.
This year for the Come Clean Go Green Competition students will have an opportunity to think big and really make an impact on campus from support of the sustainability fund.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

Each year the University holds sustainability related events, America Recycles Day, Earth Day, Arbor Day and a Come Clean, Go Green Sustainability Contest. All of these events involve bringing students in as the main focus with different sustainability related topics and speakers. The Come Clean, Go Green Contest is one of the most unique sustainability related annual events that brings students to develop their own idea, present it, and hear feedback from Lewis University faculty and staff as well as well known environmental presenters. Other departmental groups on campus, such as University Ministry, also holds speaker series with sustainability related topics. Such as urban farms and social justice. America Recycles Day is an event that encourages student groups across campus to come together and create a carnival type environment and create a game surrounding the theme of recycling and reuse. Other events include educational documentary screenings, compost demonstrations and weigh the waste events.

This year the student sustainability summit will be hosted at Lewis where we will have multiple guest speakers present that will talk about sustainable food systems.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

Lewis University is apart of SMHEC, The South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium, each year the group hosts a Student Sustainability Summit that allows University students to present on topics relating to Sustainability. This year the Summit was focused on encouraging students to participate in the ECO leader project.
In the Fall of 2015, the University held a week long symposium titled "Sing a New Song!" that focused on Pope Francis' global letter urging dialogue and action to heel the earth and end poverty. This was an interdisciplinary symposium that brought students from all programs of study to learn about these issues and hear how Lewis University Faculty/Staff and outside speakers interpreted the Pope's message and what actions we can take to live that message.

The symposium was sponsored by the Office for Mission and Identity and the Center for Ministry & Spirituality. The Sustainability Council was one of the event co-sponsors.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

A major focus on natural areas has been placed on Lewis University, one such area is the Burnham Centennial Nature Trail. We focus on invasive specie removal, tree planting, community clean ups, prairie planting and much more that follow Leave No Trace Principles. We also coordinate hiking trips and tours that provide experiential learning opportunities.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Yes, we have themed weeks such as: recycle week, earth week and sustainability week.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Students are exposed to sustainability in many different ways at Lewis University. During Earth Day celebrations students are welcomed to learn more about ways to live a more sustainable life, through water conservation, energy savings, recycling, composting and more. Students are also exposed to sustainability initiatives through social media sites that will give out green tips and current sustainability related issues and topics.

A student group working with University Ministry has taken up social justice and environmental sustainability to their cause. They have planned a trip to the Eco-Justice Center in Racine, Wisconsin where they will learn about sustainable farming practices and living a more sustainable life. Over fall break, the same group of students also go on a faith based service and justice trip educating students about the connections between race, poverty and environmental degradation. This group participates in University Earth Week events and works to promote a sustainable lifestyle on campus.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

A student sustainability internship position is available for any interested student. The student hired for this position works closely with the Director of Sustainability on campus to develop and promote new sustainability programs on campus. The student will assist the sustainability coordinator in gathering sustainability related data and by the end of the internship gain a better understanding of how sustainability is incorporated into a University setting and be better prepared to enter the market for green jobs.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
Yes

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

Yes, we currently have a sustainability pledge. Students will have options to select on how they would like to pledge to live a more sustainable future. Then they will also have to provide a brief description creating their own narrative on how they would like to make an impact after they graduate.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Yes, a lot of our programs provide opportunities for others to participate. They have anywhere from environmental science students to sociology majors getting involved in our programs on campus.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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