Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.74
Liaison Kristyn Achilich
Submission Date May 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Saint Michael's College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Karen Talentino
Professor of Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

1) Green Up - the student environmental club on campus. The mission of Green Up is to educate the Saint Michael's College community about pressing environmental issues and affect change through local engagement and on-campus sustainability efforts within a global context.

2) Peace & Justice Club - The Peace and Justice Club promotes the dignity of every human person, seeks to develop a justice network with other groups on campus and provides the community with events and programs about issues of peace, nonviolence, justice and equality for all people.

3) SLAM - Student Labor Action Movement. A group of students working together with a goal to work for better worker's rights, an economy that values human beings and the environment and dignity for all.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

We have a 1.78 acre diversified vegetable and berry farm on the grounds of the campus. Along with four field plots, and orchard, and a number of berry lanes, we also have two high tunnels worth of growing space as well as a CAPS-certified wash and pack station. The Farm's primary function is to serve as a interdisciplinary classroom and living laboratory, but also provides produce for 25 CSA members, a daily self-serve farm stand, campus dining facilities, and donates excess produce to community partners.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

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

It is the mission of the Fix It With Five organization to promote
systemic change through its annual donation to a local, national, or international community based organization with the goal of permanent sustainable change. Following the Saint Michael's College mission of social justice this student led and student funded organization will provide education and awareness to the college and surrounding community. In partnership with the chosen organization, the Fix It With Five committee will aim to alleviate a condition leading to the degradation of human dignity.

Fix it With Five is composed of an appointed student committee consisting of eight student members, two faculty members and one faculty adviser. Saint Michael’s community members are encouraged to submit nominations for non-profit groups who can benefit from the funds, and will help choose the final group which the funds will be allocated to.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

Lecture/Speaker Series: Green Up Earth Week Speaker Series, Sutherland Lecture
Series, and other Academic Department speaker series.

The college hosts numerous speaker series and events related to sustainability with students as the intended audience (but also welcome faculty and staff to attend as well). One of the major events in which a speaker comes to campus to discuss various sustainability related topics occurs during the spring Earth Week Keynote Address event. Past speakers have included Maude Barlow, Bill McKibben, Grace Gershuny, Tom Goldtooth, Jim Merkel and many others.

As part of the Sutherland Lecture Series, topics of social justice and sustainability are covered. For the Fall 2016 speaker, Jane Davidson gave a talk titled "Dream Green: Creating the Next Generation of Doers and Change Makers." In 2017, GreenUp sponsored Terry Tempest Williams (novelist, naturalist, environmentalist) as a speaker. In Spring 2021: Jewish Environmentalism was the topic of our Rabbi Wall Memorial Lecture Series.
Each year on Earth Day (or Earth Week), GreenUp and the EcoReps coordinate a series of events, speakers and activities to promote sustainability on campus and in the community.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

Art projects and installations from Prof. Collier's class (AR 332: Eco & Environmental Arts) are intended to model the myriad ways art can be used to raise awareness about environmental issues, model alternative ways to manage outdoor spaces, utilize resources in more sustainable ways and create some long lasting functional sites that have small scale ecological benefits. The student projects are displayed throughout campus for all community members to learn from and enjoy.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

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

The SMC Adventure Sports Center (formerly known as the Wilderness Program) focuses on creating opportunities for students (As well as faculty and staff) to challenge themselves in new ways while exploring and respecting the natural world. Leave No Trace principles are explained and emphasized at all Adventure Sports outdoor activities. The Center has professional staff and student leaders who are trained in the LNT principles. Integral to the ASC programming is the 4 year leadership training and certification opportunities for students, in various types of outdoor activities - ice climbing, kayaking, skiing, rock climbing and hiking. They also offer a certificate in Adventure Sports Coaching.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

Our First Year Experience Program selects a book each year that is read by all first-year students and faculty. It is incorporated into Student Orientation and the First Year Seminars. In the last 10 years, 8 of the selected texts have dealt with issues of environmentalism/sustainability, race and racism, poverty, gender equality, and vulnerable populations (border migration, genocides). As examples: Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals, Elizabeth Kolbert's Field Notes from a Catastrophe, and Michelle Kuo's Reading with Patrick.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

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

The annual Electricity Competition in the residence halls is designed to educate students about energy conservation and making wise choices about using electricity. The competition was run by our Continuous Energy Improvement intern who worked with the College's Facilities Team to identify energy inefficiencies, isolate inefficiencies that would serve as as reasonable educational tools for campus behavior change. The first year dorm was targeted and the residence life team was leveraged to achieve the desired results. 300+ students were engaged, reduced energy consumption in 1 of 2 dorms; monitoring hardware and software systems were set up to maintain efforts in coming years.
Other workshops/programs aimed at teaching students sustainable life skills are put on my the student environmental Club Green Up and the Farm Program. Such workshops have included: fermentation, how to build a raised garden bed, various garden-related workshops, maple sugaring, self-sufficiency workshops, etc.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

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

Students may apply for a variety of paid sustainability-related positions, all managed through the Center for the Environment. This allows for professional development opportunities as well as the experience of collaboration with peers and mentors. Students are part of the advisory group for the Center. Our student employment model involves tiered responsibilities and leadership opportunities, as well as effective carryover of expertise and skills.
- EcoReps - primary responsibility is campus sustainability education; Eco-Rep Change Agents help increase student, staff, and faculty awareness, engagement and involvement in important environmental issues through Residence Hall programming, social activities, public events, and various educational programs.
- Other Center for the Environment student employees, whose responsibilities may include sustainability, Bee Campus management, social media marketing, education, zero-waste, and work on the Farm, Natural Area and Teaching Garden.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about 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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.