Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 33.32
Liaison Laurie Kman
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Lewis University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 John Lerczak
Director of Sustainability
"---" 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 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.

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:
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.

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:
Yes, 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.

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:
Each year the University holds a variety sustainability related events such as: America Recycles Day, Earth Day, Arbor Day and a Come Clean Go Green Competition. All of these events involve bringing students in as the main focus with different sustainability related topics and speakers. Other departmental groups on campus, related topics such as topics of urban farming and social justice. We also hold a speaker series where various groups such as the Will County Forest Preserve will present on opportunities for students to get involved.
This year the student sustainability summit was hosted where we had multiple guest speakers present that talked about sustainable food systems.

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:
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.

In the Fall of 2020, the University hosted an event that was coordinated with the Dioceses of Joliet that revolved around Earth's creation. This included multiple musicians and speakers that lifted up the student's appreciation for the earth. Community members, students, faculty and staff were invited to this event.

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:
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.

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

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:
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.

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

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.

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):
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.

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:
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.

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.