Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.17
Liaison Toby Cain
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Luther College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Toby Cain
Sustainability Coordinator
Center for Sustainable Communities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Sustainability-related student groups include:
-Active Minds
-Black Student Union
-Educators for Social Justice
-Food Council
-Habitat for Humanity
-International Student & Allies Association
-Latines Unides
-Platform at Luther College
-PRIDE


The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
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:

College Farm:
Luther has a college farm where students work to grow and sell food to the college cafeteria. The farm consists of 1/2 acre of outdoor production and a 30x96 high tunnel, which allows for seasonal extension. Each year 15 students have the opportunity to work in the gardens and dozens more are engaged through volunteer opportunities and events. Students also help oversee the Luther Community Garden where students, staff and faculty have garden plots. Additionally, students coordinate the college's Cafeteria to Community Program where excess food from the cafeteria kitchen is packaged and donated to the local food pantry. Students are also supported through internships with Seed Savers Exchange and local farms.

Edible Landscapes:
Luther has two edible landscapes on central campus. The goals of these edible landscapes are to demonstrate the beauty of diverse vegetables and edible flowers, reconnect people with food plants and inspire visitors to consider including edibles in their own home landscapes. One garden is located between Valders Hall of Science and the Valders Greenhouse and the other can be found between Ylvisaker Hall and Miller/Dieseth Halls.

Community Gardens:
Luther has community garden plots available for faculty, staff, and students. Three sizes of community garden plots are available. The full plots are approximately 20'x20' ($30), half plots are 20'x10' ($20) and student plots are 10'x10' ($10).


The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Luther College's farm is run by students with faculty and staff assistance.

The farm consists of 1/2 acre of outdoor production and a 30x96 high tunnel, which allows for seasonal extension. Each year 15 students have the opportunity to work in the gardens and dozens more are engaged through volunteer opportunities and events. Students work with Luther College Dining Services to sell their produce to the college.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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?:
No

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

Luther brings at least three sustainability-related speakers to campus each year. Within the last year, speakers have included climate activist Ed Fallon, Erin Gruwell - Educator and Founder of Freedom Writers Foundation, journalist and author Jonathan Haidt, and, in May of 2019, our David J. Roslien Lecture will be presented by Professor James Hansen.

Recent events:
Monarch Banding event: September 16, 2018
The migration of the monarch butterflies to Mexico has begun, and the Luther College entomology class will host a monarch butterfly migration banding event in Anderson Prairie on the Luther College campus from 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, September 16.

Urban Biodiversity Expert: November 15, 2018
Mark Hostetler, professor of wildlife ecology and conservation at the University of Florida, will speak at Luther College as part of the Biology Colloquium series at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, in Valders Hall of Science Room 206. This event is open to the public with no charge for admission.

Thursday, December 13th
Emeriti Colloquium: Jim & Phil Iverson, "The Science and Measurement of Climate Change"

February 21, 2019
Ed Fallon: Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim
On an 8-month walk from LA to DC in 2014, dozens of marchers became a mobile village, sounding the alarm about the climate crisis. Through humor and candid introspection, Ed shares how the experience brought into focus his lifelong search for love and meaning, even as intense, interpersonal dramas threatened to tear the March community apart.

Oneota Film Festival: Annual event in March
Luther is a sponsor and host of the Oneota Film Festival, a festival that brings many sustainability-themed films to the community. Students can attend for free and have the opportunity to submit films. The theme of the 2019 festival is "Stories in Community." 2019 films include: 'Won't You Be My Neighbor,' 'All the time in the world: disconnecting to reconnect,' 'America First: The Legacy of a Raid,' 'Being the Change: A New Kind of Climate Documentary,' 'Downstream,' and many more films that are directly related to sustainability.

The Luther College Women's Club frequently brings sustainability-related speakers to campus for their monthly events. More information can be found here. https://www.luther.edu/womans-club/events/

Future events:
May 19, 2019
James Hansen’s testimony before congress in 1988 brought the issue of climate change to the world’s attention. He has spent his career at NASA and Columbia University warning the international community about the perils of failing to act. Come hear him reflect on his life-long quest to move world leaders to action.

Please let us know if you would like more examples of our sustainability-related events.


The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
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:

Luther College celebrates the cultures of the world when it hosts Ethnic Arts Festival. The festival, which began in the 1980s, features presentations, programs and displays by Luther's international students. Ethnic Arts Festival is designed as an educational and entertaining activity for all students, as well as community members. Participants can tour the world with their own "passport," getting it stamped while they visit with students who provide information about their home countries. This event helps to everyone in the community to further understand and appreciate the diversity of cultural backgrounds represented on campus.

In September 2018, Luther College hosted storyteller and activist David Gonzalez for an artist's residency. On September 28th and 29th, David Gonzalez, a nationally acclaimed storyteller, poet, and musician came to campus for an artist's residency: The Power of Your Own Story. David's stories, music and more was featured in a public performance on September 28th in Jewell Theatre in the Center for the Arts @ 7:30 pm, with storytelling workshops for students, faculty/staff and the general public that followed on Saturday morning and afternoon.

February 2019: The Welcome Project
Beginning with a digital humanities initiative focused on changing racial and economic demographics, The Welcome Project helps participants look at factors contributing to the de-urbanizing of communities in post-industrial America. Luther College is hosting The Art of the Story exhibit in the Wigley Fleming gallery in the Center for the Arts on the Luther College campus.This exhibit is available to the public from Feb. 7 to March 14 with no charge for admission.

The Welcome Project is housed at Valparaiso University and began in 2009 with the goal of bringing to light the complexity of living together in such a diverse world.It is orchestrated by Liz Wuerffel, professor of multi-media art, Allison Schuette, professor of creative nonfiction writing and JP Avila, graphic design professor at Pacific Lutheran University. The three work in collaboration with students from Valparaiso's Center for Civic Reflection. The group uses a facilitation practice to help participants forge relationships within their communities.

Their practice emphasizes the power of listening and the potential of art to help create a world in which people are curious about and actively seek to engage those who are different from themselves.

The exhibition will showcase stories from three Welcome Project initiatives, including The Invisible Project, which tackles stories of homelessness, and Flight Paths, which documents community changes that result from the deindustrialization of Gary, Indiana.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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:

Luther College Adventure Crew and Rec Sports offer spring break trips and wilderness experiences. Please see their website for a full list of outdoors and wilderness programs for the Fall of 2018. Luther hosted 11 outdoor rec events in the fall of 2018, including many canoe trips, a campout, and an apple orchard tour. Our Recreational Services office also offers robust information about canoeing, camping, hiking, fishing, caving, and other outdoor activities so that students can create their own adventures. https://www.luther.edu/recservices/outdoor-recreation/fallevents/

For middle school students: Discovery Camps are week-long environmental education programs providing hands-on learning experiences in the out-of-doors that are fun, engaging and full of discoveries. Participants learn about: woodland, wetland and prairie ecology, wilderness camping and survival, alternative energy, animal behavior, nature crafts, wilderness awareness and much, much more.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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:

The “Paideia Texts and Issues Lecture Series,” sponsored by the Paideia Endowment since 1983, encourages intellectual discussion across disciplinary lines. The Paideia Governing Board selects four to five presentation proposals each year from faculty across the campus to present to the college community on issues or texts that are central to the liberal arts. Paideia is a required class for first years at Luther College.

The theme for the 2017-18 Texts and Issues was "Be the Change." It included lectures such as: "The Paradox of Change: Using Migration to Consider the Disruptive and Constructive Power of Change," "What's to Be Done? Humanizing the Syrian Refugee Crisis," and "Turn and Face the Strange: Creative Activity as a Catalyst for Change."

The Center for Ethics and Public Engagement had a sustainability-related shared read in January and February of 2019. The campus and community met three times to discuss Ed Fallon's book Marcher, Walker, Pilgrim about his 2014 march across the country to raise awareness of climate activism. The schedule for the Center's future readings can be found here. https://www.luther.edu/ethics-public-engagement/about-us/join-book-group/

Luther College's Wellness Program has themed reading groups, too. Their 2018-2019 theme is "Connect More, Thrive More." Because connection is incredibly important to our well-being the Wellness Program's 2018-2019 theme is "Connect More, Thrive More". Connecting is at the heart of building relationships at home, at work, and in our community. We can also connect to our own selves inward more all the while disconnecting from technology. Reading is a great way to discover more about ourselves, our communities, and to simply connect with a good, just-for-fun book. Join us as we welcome a lunch-and-learn conversation with Luther's very own Emily Mineart encouraging just-for-fun reading.


The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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:

The Luther College Sustainability House is a co-ed, two-story home located in a residential neighborhood within walking distance of campus. This house offers a living-learning environment where students reside together that share a dedication to an environmentally, socially, and fiscally sustainable lifestyle. Members of the house take part in house meetings, book discussions, hold house leadership roles, develop an annual operating plan for the house, and also provide education and outreach to members of the Luther and surrounding communities.

Luther has community garden plots available for faculty, staff, and students. Three sizes of community garden plots are available. Student plots are 10'x10' and cost just $10 for the whole season.


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

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

At Luther we provide more than 40 students the opportunity work with the Center for Sustainable Communities. Students work in close collaboration with staff, faculty and students across campus, as well as community members. An additional 10-12 students work for the Facilities Office as Recycling and Compost crew members.

Positions include:
1. Cafeteria to Community Coordinators
2. Garden Crew members
3. Sustainability Educators
4. Recycling and Compost crew members


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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:

The Graduation Pledge is a pledge of social and environmental responsibility that graduating seniors are encouraged to sign saying that they will be socially and environmentally responsible throughout the rest of their life, specifically in their careers.

The pledge reads as follows:

"I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."


The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

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