Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 70.85
Liaison Amy Butler
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Michigan State University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mara Spears
Sustainability Program Coordinator
Office of the EVP for Administration
"---" 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:

"ReNeu MSU: a combination of two clubs working towards the same goals; MSU Greenpeace and MSU Climate Action Network. ReNeu MSU advocates for sustainability through peaceful protest and creative communication, emphasizing activism, community involvement and environmentalism.
Sustainable Spartans: this group is the central hub of environmental activism on campus. The club meets weekly to work on sustainability projects and keep each other up to date on what's happening around the world.
Sustainable Business Association: This group is dedicated to learning sustainable entrepreneurship and business practices. The SBA hosts several panels of speakers every semester and works with faculty and staff to advocate for sustainable university practices, as well as petition the state government to adopt sustainability-based policies. 
Green Alliance: a group made up of selected representatives from many of the environmental student organization on campus. The purpose of Green Alliance is to bring together the various environmental organizations on campus to further strengthen the overarching environmental movement in our community and beyond.
Environmental Engineering Student Society: a club open to all undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing a degree in an environment-related field. They provide a unique atmosphere for meeting students with similar interests and different backgrounds, while educating members on environmental topics and working together to promote environmental awareness across campus.
MSU Solar Car Team: this group promotes sustainability and innovation by designing, building, testing and racing entirely solar-powered vehicles. The team fosters a collaborative working environment to develop successful projects and compete nationally with other universities.
Spartan Sierra Club: The Spartan Sierra Club advocates and educates the MSU community on the importance of exploring, enjoying and protecting the planet through nature outings, education about environmental issues and grassroots political activity. As a student branch of the Sierra Club, they strive to immerse themselves in the most pressing sustainability issues and drive student participation in such efforts.
Sustainable Spartans: a research-focused student organization that investigates opportunities for campus sustainability through education and projects that address issues like energy consumption and renewable energy. They work closely with university departments and other student groups to obtain support and resources that promote principles of sustainability and environmentalism.  
MSU USGBC: Committed to encouraging and developing sustainable building practices on and off MSU’s campus, USGBC Students MSU provides students with opportunities to get involved with sustainable building projects at the university and in the surrounding area. They offer Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) study sessions that help prepare members for LEED certification testing and work with campus partners on diverse projects.
Student Greenhouse Project: The Student Greenhouse Project strives to educate MSU and the surrounding areas on developing a campus community where people and the environment can better coexist. They sponsor a variety of campus events, including the Dome Roam 5K and Campus Center movies, but also attend numerous field trips and on-campus activities.
Other sustainability-based groups include:
Sunrise Movement
Engineers for a sustainable world
Fisheries and Wildlife Club
Forestry Club
Leadership in Environmental and Agriculture Fields (LEAF)
College of Veterinary Medicine and Bee Medicine
MSU Dairy Club"


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:

"The MSU Student Organic Farm: The Student Organic Farm is a space where students can go to learn, work, volunteer, and relax. The farm is 15 acres, with six currently in production. The produce output is primarily vegetables, which the farm can grow year round (outside and in hoop houses for the winter). The farm offers a 48-week Community Shared Agriculture Program and hosts a weekly farm stand on campus during the growing season. The farm stand provides organic, local food to community members, runs six months out of the year, and enables students working on the farm to cultivate knowledge in organic and sustainable food production in their peers and in other community members. The farm hosts paid interns and volunteer hours, and allows field trips and tours to frequent whenever possible.
Horticulture Gardens: 14 acres of diverse gardens, which are used for retreat and resources for gardeners, plant lovers and children of all ages. The plants are identified and serve as an inspirational and education space for mindfulness, exercise, and overall wellness. The mission of The Horticulture Gardens is to promote an understanding of plants and the role they play in our environment and daily lives and provide a place for education, enrichment and delight of all ages.
Additional resources at the farm include an edible forest garden, laying hens, bee hives and a small mushroom production area. In
addition, the Bailey Hoop house is an organic and student run green house which produces herbs and greens year round, supplying
several of the dining halls with products. The Bailey Hoop House and Urban Farm is run by students in the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE) program in Bailey Hall."


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:

The university’s Student Organic Farm provides students with educational opportunities in the fields and hoop houses, as well as in institutional contracting, marketing and business. Student’s who take courses and work at the farm learn about how to market their products and engage the community at their weekly farm stand, where produce and flowers from the student organic farm are sold. Each Thursday from May through October, students set up the farm stand on campus and utilize the opportunity to engage community members and generate revenue for the farm. On average students generate $700 dollars per week at the farm stand.
Along with opportunities for hands-on learning in marketing and business at the stand, students also have the opportunity to participate in institutional contracting between the university residence halls and the Student Organic Farm. The farm provides organic salad greens to the residence halls, demonstrating the importance of local business contracting and providing further business experience for students taking courses at the farm.
In addition, Land Grant Goods is MSU's first student-run business. The business sells tea, honey, and jam, which are all locally sourced from the Bailey Hall herb gardens and bee hives.
Land Grant Goods Mission Statement: Land Grand Goods Strives to be a leader and model in the realm of sustainable business. By intending to create products according to the core values listed below, we are supporting our local communities and helping generate the next generation of food activists.
- Ethically created
- Locally sourced
- Economically viable
- Environmentally conscious
""Not only do we intend on making sustainable, high-value products to the best of our abilities, but we aim at generating a sustainable business model with the ability to be adapted by other institutions. We hope to lay down the groundwork tat a business within a university can succeed, and students are willing to work for companies that uphold sustainable practices are not only profitable but essential for the future.


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?:
Yes

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

The Spartan Global Development Fund (SGDF) promotes sustainable economic development by enabling entrepreneurs in developing countries to help themselves. The project was launched on July 4, 2009, with four microloans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. To date, SGDF has made more than 500 loans in amounts ranging from $25 to $1,500, formed a nonprofit organization, and involved dozens of students each year from across campus – particularly business students and that number increases each month. This project includes important dimensions of business and service in the 21st century, including sustainability, entrepreneurship and international development. SGDF set and achieved goals for fundraising, outreach and portfolio management–in its first year, SGDF secured a corporate donor, raised over $4,000 and exceeded its goal of helping over 100 entrepreneurs while having a global presence. The fund helped 173 entrepreneurs and made loans in five continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia). The default rate on the portfolio was 0% and is diversified across 42 countries and 13 sectors of the economy.

The Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project (SMEP) serves as a catalyst and convener of interdisciplinary dialogue and research around existing and emerging sustainability topics. SMEP has invested considerable resources in exploring the implications of sustainability, and provides seed grants for sustainability research from a Michigan state-level perspective. Researchers (both students and faculty) must apply for grant money through the SMEP, and must outline how their projects properly exemplify emerging sustainability topics.

Additionally, Campus Sustainability a Be Spartan Green Student Project fund. This fund was provided to student groups who were eligible for the grant requirements and helped to install a variety of sustainability-related spaces on the MSU campus. Several project fund recipients included the Bailey Bee Project, a solar-powered bus stop light, a solar-power picnic table, and a green space installed by the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE).


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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:

"Several college and departments hold sustainability-related speaker series and forums, including the Kellogg Center, the LBGTQ Center, Eli Broad College of Business, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, and the College of Arts and Letters. Additionally, many of the student groups host panels and visiting speakers throughout the year.
- Heat Mapping, a QGIS exploration of the world's changing landscapes through heat maps, exploring changing soil, elevations, and temperatures during an era of changing climates
A Conversation with the President: President Lou Anna K. Simon hosted a panel with a publicly available livestream to discuss MSU's energy infrastructure and MSU's steps toward its energy goals. The Panel included faculty and staff from MSU as well as Michigan renewable energy business leaders.
Eat at State hosts monthly speakers series and panel discussions on food systems, sustainable food choices, farm to table practices, and impacts of industrial agriculture.
the 2016 established student group Sustainable Business Association hosts speakers monthly,
- Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance Director, a presentation on the director's work in policy, law, and government.
- 5Lakes Energy, the Director went over her position at 5Lakes Energy and introduced some job opportunities within the energy field. She also explained how the energy system works and about other committees she is involved in.
- Presentation on Biofuels/Sustainable Business
The presenter went over his research on biofuels and if they are cost-effective/sustainable. He also went over why sustainability is important in business and how trends in the business world are competing in this trend.
- DEQ on Pollution Prevention and Stewardship, presenter described his work in Pollution Prevention and Stewardship where he actively works with communities, businesses, and government to meet the triple bottom line of sustainability.
- Land Grant Goods, Student-Run Business/ Value-Added Agriculture, CEO of Land Grant Goods as our first speaker for SBA. Alex Marx presented on the formation of this value-added agriculture student-run business and what the future plans were at the time. "


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:

The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum host exhibits, events and film screenings, some each year which support and promote a
sustainability-related theme. During the Water Moves year at MSU, the university hosted a series of large photograph installations by artist Gideon Mendel along the banks of the Red Cedar River. Mendel's exhibition Gideon Mendel: Drowning World was on exhibit at the Broad Art Museum in fall, 2016. Past events at broad can be found here:
http://broadmuseum.msu.edu/exhibitions/exhibitions/exhibitions/past
The MSU Museum, Library, and Abrams Planetarium also host sustainability exbits, several of which include:
- Taking Back Detroit, a phtographic exploration of the environmental social justice movement in the city
- Ice Worlds exhibit, which explored the Earth's melting ice, climate change impact on the poles, and the beauty of the frozen landscape.
- When the Land Speaks, a film documenting the global travels of a plastic water bottle, ""Addressing current issues such as resource extraction, sustainability, land rights, and displacement and dispossession, the works in this video series approach language as a form that does not limit itself to verbal communication.


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?:
No

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

Alternative Spartan Breaks hosts break and weekend trips throughout the year. These trips are based on solving social issues and often involve forest and park cleanups, native plant cultivation, and wetland restoration.
The MSU Outdoors club focuses on exploring and enjoying the great outdoors. The club organizes several large trips each year including white water rafting in West Virginia and ice climbing in Canada and Munising. Other fun trips to look forward are rock climbing, skydiving, backpacking, mountain biking and more.
MSU Forestry Club and MSU Fisheries and Wildlife club both have mission statements and principles outlined on their Facebook pages, promoting environmental stewardship, preservation and conservation practices, and fun in the outdoors. http://www.msuoc.org/


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:

MSU hosted a Year of Water in 2016 called Water Moves. This was a one-year program with diverse activities including art, film, music, performances, lectures, events, and exhibits across campus. By inviting guest speakers on water to the MSU campus – including artists, scholars, authors, musicians, filmmakers, lawmakers and government officials – MSU aimed to educate to empower community action, inspire creativity, and instill a sense of urgency to respect and appreciate the most prevalent and precious resource on our planet. The initiative strengthened the university-wide focus on water and cut across multiple strategic imperatives under Bolder by Design: enriching the student experience, global inclusiveness, and engaging the community.


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:

"During academic summer orientation, MSU's Residential & Hospitality Services hosts a model room for new students and parents to tour.
Sustainable living concepts are incorporated into the room setup and supporting literature is distributed.
Through the Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment (RISE), first year students are immersed in an interdisciplinary living-learning program focused on sustainability and environmental stewardship. Beyond their first year, many RISE participants are engaged in undergraduate research, hands-on projects, and co-curricular initiatives in which they can explore their interests within a supportive community of students, faculty and staff with shared values. The RISE program hosts rooftop beehives (Bailey Bees), a composting initiative, and ongoing newsletters and social media. 
The Student Organic Farm hosts volunteering for students from any college and any major, and students learn sustainable farming techniques, social interaction and team building skills while volunteering at the farm.
Spartan Innovations has a program Called the Hatch, which is an idea-building space where MSU students can work to start up their own businesses. The Hatch offers a collaborative space that fosters brainstorming and creative thinking, and encourages students to create businesses that last. The Hatch offers start-up loans, digital and media resources, working spaces, and access to capital investment."


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:

Campus Sustainability is active in creating work and internship experiences for MSU undergraduate and graduate level students. The
employment opportunities include sustainability communications, student outreach and engagement, web and technical, sustainability
leadership, waste reduction, etc. Specific locations for such work include the Surplus Store and Recycling Center, Land Grant Goods, and the Student Organic Farm.
Additionally, MSU's student government Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU), a sustainability position has been installed to connect the organization with campus sustainability values. The position is titled ""Liaison for Sustainability Initiatives.""


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?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:

N/A


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:

"Worn and Wear Event: In 2017, MSU hosted it's first annual partnership event with the Post Landfill Action Network (PLAN) by hosting the ""Worn and Wear"" event. The event was hosted by the MSU Recycling Center, Patagonia, and PLAN, and was an all-day event consisting of booths, a recycling drop off, and learning sessions where Patagonia representatives taught local community members how to mend their clothes and footwear.
Clean Plates at State: Culinary Services hosts a fall dining hall audit called Clean Plates at State. Every Wednesday between September and November, student volunteers weigh every plate that passes through the Brody Dining Hall during lunch or dinner. Students who eat there get to see how much waste is accumulated from unfinished plates, and at the end of each session the food waste is composted.
Associated Students of MSU (ASMSU) is our student government, and the organization has created an environmental working group called Greener Together. This group tackles sustainability concerns from the student body and administers information on the university's efforts to address those issues. The group banned grocery bags from all Sparty locations on campus, and helps promote events at the Student Organic Farm. ASMSU has also provided ample funding to Registered Student Organizations for projects, events, and other sustainability activities at MSU.
Worn and Wear Tour: https://statenews.com/article/2017/04/patagonia-visits-msu-for-worn-wear-college-tour
Clean Plates at State: https://eatatstate.msu.edu/node/225285"


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:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.