Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 59.69
Liaison Susan Dorward
Submission Date July 31, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Raritan Valley Community College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Susan Dorward
Sustainability and Energy Coordinator
Facilities and Grounds
"---" 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:

The Environmental Club was founded to educate and positively affect the community, student body, faculty and staff on environmental policy, global environmental issues and environmentally responsible living. The members of the Environmental Club focus on making the campus more "green" and the community more aware of their affect on the environment and will establish an appropriate plan every semester to accomplish all of these goals. The club is open to everyone and anyone who is interested in local environmental issues, concerned about global environmental issues and politics, has compassion for society and the environment, and/or would just like to see the campus continuously move into the future of environmentally friendly practices and sustainable business procedures. We will research together, educate together, work together and stand together to make a difference, even if it is one seed at a time.

In 2013-14, students made and sold syrup from invasive maple trees and also made and sold lavender soap. They also sold shade-grown, fair trade, organic coffee. They raised $1000, which funded an Audubon Society internship. They ran a campus cleanup in the fall.

The Environmental Club is student-governed.


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:

Students recently created an organic vegetable garden as a green roof for the student center. The vegetables are available to the community, including patrons of the campus food pantry.

The RVCC Organic Garden, located behind the baseball field, is .4 acres in size. Previously it operated as a CSA, but it is in transition to an organic orchard now. The garden is run by the Environmental Club, which is student-governed.

Enactus has a My Neighbor's Garden project. They built a 40 plot, 22,000 square foot organic garden. In 2013-14, they provided food from this garden to 400 food insecure families. They also made donations of up to 50% of their produce to the Community Food Bank of NJ.


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 Environmental Club makes maple syrup from the sap of invasive Norway Maple trees and sells it as a fundraiser for a student internship. Enactus started Big Dan's Bike Shop, which addresses a social need, to improve the standard of living of the "at risk" youth that attend Middle Earth, a youth center for "at risk" youth. It addresses an environmental need, to promote a clean and alternate form of transportation. They sell bikes to the general public through various outlets such as pop-up shops at local events.


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:
---

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:

RVCC has a weekly Science Seminar, intended for students and faculty to gain exposure to current research, breaking science news, and historical backgrounds in
a variety of scientific fields. There is even a "Science Seminar - Honors" course (SCIE 128) in which students attend each seminar and present a short seminar on a topic of his or her choice. Many of the seminars are on sustainability-related topics. During the 2018-19 academic year, there were seminars on solar power with battery storage, geological carbon storage, climate change, and beekeeping.


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:

A student SGA rep organized a "Trashion Show" for clothing altered to include objects that may have otherwise been thrown away, and tied it in to a "What Were You Wearing" (rape awareness) theme. They donated the clothes.


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:

Environmental Club outings, class trips, and school trips such as the Clean Ocean Action beach sweeps, follow Leave No Trace principles.


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)?:
No

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

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?:
No

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

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:

The Facilities and Environmental Science departments offers internships with an operational and campus sustainability focus.


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:
---

The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
---

Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
Yes

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

RVCC has a service learning program, in which students spend 15 hours doing community service and this is noted on their transcript. Some student projects involve sustainability projects in the local community.

The College also has an annual essay contest called Nota Bene, and the winners are often sustainability-related. In 2019, the winners include "Ethics Found in Our Food Choices", "Settlers and Migration," "Differences in Social Justice", "Slave for Life", and "The Uprising of the Worlds Oppressed People in Literature and Pop Culture".


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

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.