Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.64
Liaison Kimberly Post
Submission Date Feb. 22, 2022

STARS v2.2

Saint Joseph's College - ME
EN-14: Participation in Public Policy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Kimberly Post
Community-Based Learning Director
Community-Based Learning
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the municipal/local level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the municipal/local level:
Through the Center for Sustainable Communities, faculty, staff, and students leverage interdisciplinary research and scholarship, community dialogue, human capacity, and innovation to support municipalities and government organizations to collaborate toward the pursuit of more sustainable communities. This work is based upon the idea that colleges and communities should work together to improve the health and vitality of their regions. The College supports our local municipalities, schools, and associations to engage in real-world problem solving aimed at increasing the level of sustainability in its broadest sense, from environmental action and economic viability to social integrity. Each semester, municipal partners work with SJC to identify relevant projects for community-based learning courses. Currently we are working with the town of Standish and GPCOG (Greater Portland Council of Governments) to provide more equitable broadband access for our rural communities. President Dlugos attends the meetings and is actively lobbying for better local access. As a MICA (Maine Independent Colleges Association) member, President Dlugos led the charge to co-sponsor and support the Dream Act of 2021 and to include Dreamer relief in the Budget Reconciliation Package. https://www.sjcme.edu/highlights/micaletter2021 In January of 2022, President Dlugos publicly pledged support of the Innovations in Aging Act, which will invest in the research, evaluation, and innovation necessary to identify best practices and evaluate the impact of the services provided by the aging services network on older adults’ health and independence. (The college is home to the Institute for Integrative Aging, which provides rural older adults access to a creative, age-friendly, learning environment.) https://www.sjcme.edu/centers/institute-for-integrative-aging/about/

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the state/provincial/regional level:
At the beginning of February, the College, led by President Dlugos, with Maine Campus Compact (he is chair of the BOD) and UMaine, brought together other higher education institutions in Maine to pledge support for Gov. Janet Mills' climate action plan, Maine Won't Wait. This groundbreaking collaboration will drive the intellectual capacity and resources of our institutions toward climate policy, research, and seeing the state's CAP to fruition. Each higher education institution is currently mapping sustainability assets and will be convening this summer to decide next steps to tackling each of the 8 areas of Maine's climate action plan. https://www.mainepublic.org/environment-and-outdoors/2022-02-02/maine-colleges-launch-joint-effort-to-address-climate-change Additionally, as a member of the Maine Independent College Association (MICA), President Dlugos regularly offers testimony to the Maine Legislature for or against bills that are connected to sustainability in a variety of ways, from equitable broadband access to solar and other green energy incentives.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the national level?:
Yes

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the national level:
At the national level, the College engages in advocacy through its membership in a variety of organizations, including Campus Compact, Second Nature, the Catholic Climate Covenant, and the Association of Catholic College and Universities. The College is a regular signatory of statements and letters on climate change and environmental policy. Additionally President Dlugos signed the We Are Still In declaration to voice the college's adamant stance that the US needs to remain a part of the Paris Agreement. The following year, as an addendum to We Are Still In, SJC committed to elevating the attention and resources directed towards building climate resilience and enhancing the economic and environmental sustainability of the supply chains that power the US economy. As an institution, we recognize that action toward meeting both the short and long term goals under the Paris Agreement must ensure the safety and prosperity of American communities and competitiveness.

Does the institution advocate for public policies that support campus sustainability or that otherwise advance sustainability at the international level?:
No

A brief description of how the institution engages in public policy advocacy for sustainability at the international level:
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A brief description of other political positions the institution has taken during the previous three years (if applicable):
As a Sisters of Mercy Institution, we are committed to the 5 Critical Concerns of the Earth, Racism, Immigration, Non-violence, and Women, through our institutional choices, education, advocacy with legislators and other government leaders, and corporate engagement. President Dlugos, President of the College, has testified to the state legislature regarding issues that would impact the sustainability of the College and communities.

A brief description of political donations the institution made during the previous three years (if applicable):
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability advocacy efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
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