Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Julie Newman
Submission Date Oct. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EN-2: Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 MIT Office of Sustainability
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" 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 Yes
Entering graduate students Yes

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):
100

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

The MIT Energy Initiative and the Environmental Solutions Initiative, through MIT's Orientation Office offers all incoming undergraduate students the opportunity to participate in their sustainability related Discover Energy (DE FPOP) and Discover Environment and Sustainability Freshman Pre-Orientation Programs (DES FPOP). The DES FPOPs acquaint entering freshmen with the wide range of energy-related and sustainability-related activities at MIT, introduces them to important topics within the energy and sustainability arena, and helps them to get to know each other and current MIT students active in energy and sustainability. In addition, the Undergraduate Association, which is the undergraduate governing body, hosts incoming first year orientation events for all students to learn about campus sustainability activities, how to live sustainably on campus, and how to get involved. Graduate Student orientation programs offers sustainability-focused activities available to all. Details below.

Undergraduate Orientation Program Descriptions

DES: Discover Environment & Sustainability
Is capitalism bad for the environment? Have global environmental agreements worked? Can robots conserve tropical forests? Is Thoreau’s Walden relevant today?

Join Discover Environment & Sustainability (DES) FPOP and find out how to plug your MIT experience into action for people and the planet. Explore how:

- Environmental innovation takes off
- “The cloud” uses energy
- MIT is becoming greener
- We can accelerate these trends.

Connect to the wide array of research in environment and sustainability at MIT, discover how researchers are using the campus as a test bed, and learn how to get involved. Link to MIT’s vibrant network of faculty, students, and classes and preview the brand new Environment & Sustainability Minor. DES will set your foot on the pathway toward creating a sustainable future – whether you just want to dip your toe in or jump in with both feet!

Activities include:
- Lively conversation with local sustainability entrepreneurs
- Campus sustainability research adventure/scavenger hunt
- Field trip to Walden Pond in Concord
- Meeting environmental club leaders
- Q&A with faculty teaching in the new Minor
- Charles River excursion
- Dinner and conversation with students and alumni
- And more!

DE: Discover Energy
Have you ever wanted to explore…
- a wind turbine up close?
- the Greater Boston energy community?
- Boston and Cambridge with people who are also interested in energy?

Then come join the Discover Energy FPOP!

Discover Energy is sponsored by the MIT Energy Initiative, the Institute’s hub for energy research, education, and outreach. Through these three avenues, we develop the technologies and solutions that will deliver clean, affordable, and plentiful sources of energy. Our mission is to create low- and no-carbon solutions that will efficiently and sustainably meet global energy needs while minimizing environmental impacts, dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigating climate change.

Participating in DE FPOP will introduce you to some of the ways you can study energy here at MIT and build relationships with others who share your passion. Specifically, you will learn about the MITEI UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program) and the Energy Studies Minor, and meet students in the popular Energy Club.

What Will We Do?
Possible activities include:

- Plasma Science Fusion Center Tour
- Wind Testing Technology Facility Tour
- World Energy Game Simulation
- DC Motor Building Activity
- MIT Power Plant Tour
- Discussions with MIT faculty, staff, and students

Other Orientation Programs

In addition the Undergraduate Association, which is the undergraduate governing body, hosts incoming first year orientation events for all students to learn about campus sustainability activities, how to live sustainably on campus, and how to get involved.

On average there are approximately 1,035 new incoming undergraduate students and 1,695 graduate students. Of the 1,035 new incoming undergraduate students, approximately 905 are first year students from the United States, 110 are first year international students, and 20 are transfer students.

All new incoming undergraduates (~1,035) are required to attend a one-week orientation together. International and transfer students are offered more tailored orientation programming in addition to the required one-week session. There is no orientation requirement for Graduate students, but many choose to attend to learn more about the Institute and their cohort.

Graduate Student Orientation Programs

Graduate Student orientation programs offers sustainability-focused activities available to all. The Graduate Sustainability Committee (GSC) was actively involved in the following events at the graduate student orientation in the fall of 2017:

1) Graduate Resource & Activities Fair (purpose: education and recruitment) - recruited new members for the GSC Sustainability Subcommittee. The table included a poster outlining the group's interests and major initiatives, a waste-sorting game to encourage friendly competition and to promote the new Responsible Waste Disposal Practices course, various give-aways for those who played the waste sorting game (reusable utensil kits, reusable tumblers, reusable collapsible silicone containers), and a sign-up sheet.

2) Orientation Welcome Picnic (purpose: education) - The Sustainability Green Team went out in force as "Waste Watchers", making sure that waste generated at GSC Orientation Welcome Picnic was properly sorted between the compost/garbage/recycling bins. They fielded several questions and encouraged attendees to take the online Responsible Waste Disposal Practices course and to attend our meetings.

3) GSC Open House (purpose: recruitment) - ran a table at the GSC Open House to recruit new members for the committee. The table again included a poster outlining the group's major initiative, a waste-sorting game, a computer linked to our online course, reusable kits to give out for those who interacted with them at the table, and a sign-up sheet.


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