Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 79.39
Liaison Yolanda Cieters
Submission Date March 5, 2021

STARS v2.2

Seattle University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Yolanda Cieters
Associate Director
"---" 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.Sustainable Student Action is an environmental justice group that engages in political education, student organizing, direct action, and solidarity efforts. SSA’s framework for understanding and addressing the complicated issue of climate change includes analyses of the science behind greenhouse gas emissions, the interplay of environmental racism and ecological degradation, economic systems that contribute to climate change, and is rooted in democratic rather than hierarchical leadership development. SSA led the campaign to divest the University's endowment from fossil fuels and finally succeeded at achieving divestment (Fall 2018).
See: https://seattleu.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/sustainable-student-action

2. Engineers for a Sustainable World offers engineering, science, and ALL interested students the opportunity to collaborate on sustainable design projects in the local community and abroad. In addition to working on student-initiated projects, we also have guest speakers and go to events as a group to learn more about sustainable initiatives in Seattle and all around the world.
See: http://www.seattleu-esw.org/

3. Environmental Law Society
ELS is an organization dedicated to promoting earth justice and environmental protection through the practice of law. The primary goal of the ELS is to promote environmental awareness and activism, with a focus on achieving sustainability and environmental justice at SU and in the greater legal community.

4. Green Team
The Seattle University Green Team is a peer-oriented sustainability education group created by students. Green Team focuses on waste management at university and athletic events and provides a space for new sustainability initiatives to receive support.

5. VASE (Vegans and Allies for Sustainable Eating)
VASE’s mission is to celebrate nature's abundance by creating awareness for the environmental and physical health benefits of living a vegan lifestyle free of all animal products. Each month, the club prepares creative and delicious dishes showcasing the flavors of different regions around the globe.

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:

Seattle University is an edible campus that is 100% organically maintained without the use of synthetic fertilizer or pesticides. All food-producing plants on campus are free for all to harvest, except for designated raised beds in the Community Gardens.
SU has two p patch- style gardens on campus with 31 raised beds available for students, staff and faculty. The Food For All plots are located within the two community gardens.

The Edible Campus Initiative (ECI) is a student-driven coalition that uses the lens of urban agriculture to promote food justice, community wellbeing, and environmental stewardship through four primary programs: the ECI Internship Program, the Food For All Stewardship Program, the Pea Patch Plotters, and the Food with Spirit student club. In collaboration with Grounds and Landscaping and CEJS, these programs seek to nourish the body with nutrient-rich, organic produce, the mind with educational resources, and the soul through a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere.

The student club “Food With Spirit” intends to foster an inclusive community of individuals passionate about urban agriculture and food justice. Food with Spirit aims to promote healthier and more sustainable consumer choices by reframing agriculture on a local scale to help students be more conscious of their purchasing power and empowering students to grow some of their own food. Food with Spirit grows and harvests seasonal food crops for local food banks; hosts garden parties to help maintain the Chardin, Broadway, and Yobi on-campus community gardens; and organizes environmentally focused events, including a bi-annual Plant Sale!
See: https://seattleu.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/food-with-spirit

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:

MotMot began in 2015 when a group of business and engineering students at Seattle University received a global grant focused on economic development. With the grant, the students and several faculty from the Albers School of Business and Economics traveled to Nicaragua to help install 8-15 filters on coffee farms to combat agro-chemical contaminated water runoff into coffee farms. While in Nicaragua, the group decided to purchase 400 pounds of coffee from the farms. After transporting it back to America, roasting the beans and packaging it, they sold all 400 pounds of coffee within one year. The students and faculty advisors realized that their investment in a small batch of coffee could revolutionize Seattle University's initiative to help and invest. With the help and funding of Albers, MotMot was established as a business at Seattle University with a team of students working together to create an identity in the coffee industry.
MotMot found its first partnership with Golden Coffee Sorting co-operative because the coffee was ethically and sustainably sourced by small farmers and employees who were respected in the company. Over the years, MotMot received the same global grant 4 years in a row and made progress in the coffee industry by partnering with coffee co-ops to foster ethically sourced product quality and community development. As a direct trade business, MotMot pays premiums significantly higher than Fair Trade and ensures a close personal connection with farmers and co-op management.
While advancing as a business, MotMot also built its team of executives while simultaneously integrating a student intern team. Starting as a small group of 5 people, MotMot now has a diverse team of over a dozen Seattle University students who come from different backgrounds and majors. Students on the MotMot team gain unparalleled business experience in international business and ethical company management. They develop skills through experiential learning and educates & encourages consumers on ethical coffee consumption.
MotMot Coffee: https://motmotcoffee.com/pages/about-us

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:

Seattle U’s Ramp-UP program:
Ramp-up partners students and coaches with local small businesses and microenterprises to help preserve the social, ethnic, and economic foundations of the Central District and surrounding neighborhoods. The program has helped support numerous minority proprietors in the Seattle community.
RAMP-up is part of Seattle U’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center. MBA students who work in the program are paired with businesses to help provide “long-term wrap around services” that combat displacement, including help with standardizing financial records, developing business and marketing plans, providing loan application support, and negotiating leases.

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:

1. (Jan 2018) Climate Resilience Summit: This summit, hosted by CEJS at Seattle University in partnership with Sustainable Seattle, included 20+ sessions/workshops with representatives from community and business organizations and government agencies addressing how they’re building climate resilience and how we can best support communities on the front lines of climate disruption. https://www.seattleu.edu/cejs/events/past-events/2017-2018/

2. (March 2018) Food Tank Summit-Growing Food Policy. Hosted by CEJS. 35+ standout speakers shared a stage at SU to participate in interactive panels on policy innovation and entrepreneurship in the food system. The summit welcomed speakers and panelists from the U.S. Congress; from major tech companies including Google and Microsoft; from the governments of Seattle, Portland, and King County; from NGOs including the Environmental Working Group and the American Farmland Trust; and from major foundations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Top food journalists from KUOW, The Seattle Times, The Stranger, and Seattle Weekly fostered creative and hopeful discussions. The event was free for Seattle University students, faculty, and staff and half price tickets to SU Alumni.

3. (June 2018) Care for the Earth, Care for the Poor. A summit organized for the 3rd anniversary of Laudato Si, to respond to Pope Francis’ call to Care for our Common Home. A day to come together in learning and action around the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si, which invites everyone to share the Journey in Care for the Earth and Care for the Poor. The summit was sponsored by SU’s CEJS, Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture (ICTC); the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center (IPJC); the Archdiocese of Seattle, Earth Ministry, Maryknoll, and St. James Cathedral. Keynotes included Dan Misleh (Executive Director, Catholic Climate Covenant) and Caroline Brennan (Global Humanitarian Response Team, Catholic Relief Services).

4. (July 2018) Innovation for Sustainability Conference, organized by Seattle U’s Albers school for Business and Economics. CEJS hosted two workshops:
"Incorporating Sustainability into Curriculum" facilitated by Seattle Business Consulting; and "A Case Study of Integrating Inclusion, Collaboration and Equity for a Sustainable Seattle Region", facilitated by the Duwamish Alive Coalition.

5. (Dec 2019) Environmental Leaders Summit. The YMCA Earth Service Corps invited local students and adults from around the Puget Sound to discuss the environmental issues facing our communities. The forum provided opportunities to share ideas, talk with environmental professionals, and connect with peers about environmental topics.

6. (April 2020) EARTH TALKS at SEATTLEU. Earth Talks at SU is a virtual event on Earth Day showcasing the environmental justice and sustainability research, service, and creative expressions by students, faculty, and community partners presenting 5-min TEDx-style talks.

7. (annual) The Albers Ethics Week: Albers Ethics Week (organized by the Albers School of Business and Economics) is a unique annual program that hosts dozens of guest speakers from the greater Seattle area business community for an intensive, week-long examination of ethical issues in business. Guests appear in classrooms across the Albers School curriculum, addressing ethical issues in areas such as accounting, finance, data analytics, marketing and human resource management.

8. (October 2020) Food Justice Week: Food Justice Week is an invitation to explore the complex relationship between food and justice through interactive, educational and thought-provoking events. Colleagues and students from across campus hosted events ranging from films, cooking demonstrations and panel discussions.

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:

1. (Fall 2019): Carol Rashawnna Williams two-part exhibition series: For the record. Carol Rashawnna Williams is a Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes work that engages audiences in conversations about social, environmental, and racial justice. While in residence at Seattle University, Williams created two dynamic art installations that included prints, paintings and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials. Her participatory installations seeks to engage the public and Seattle University community in dialogue around the connections between race and climate justice. Williams asks:What experiences have you experienced with racial tension and climate justice? What equitable solutions do you see to these challenges? How can you shift the paradigm for the common good?

2.In 2019 Lemieux Library acquired several art pieces by Seattle University student artist Emily LaRoche (Alumni, Class of 2019; BFA Photography, BA Environmental Studies; Seattle University) for the Library’s art collection. The displayed pieces are comprised of a sculpture and a woven tapestry utilizing found materials. The sculpture, entitled Lost & Found, and the unnamed tapestry are currently displayed on the library’s 1st floor. The artist describes her intention in creating these pieces of promoting awareness around sustainability, and the Library shares this intention in displaying the pieces.
Artist description of “Lost & Found”: "In order to promote sustainability and consciousness of waste disposed of or littered, I work with found materials that would otherwise be considered trash ending up in the landfill or the environment. I sculpted and wove the plastic into new items to replicate the energy spent on to manufacture goods and reflect on the carbon footprint. The sculpture's human form depicts the consumption of the 'modern skeleton' acting as both critique of consumerism and a plea toward a more sustainable future."

3. (Nov 2019) Up from the Table is an exhibition of new work by artists and cultural organizers working with Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration for young people in King County. The exhibition features photography, sculpture, textile, and sound created by the youth artists of Creative Justice in collaboration with program mentor artists Dan Paz, Le’Ecia Farmer, Ashley Tiedeman, and Olisa Enrico and program directors Aaron Counts, and Nikkita Oliver. The work explores the human cost of mass incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline.

4. In 2020 and 2021, The Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability organized and “Earth Month Logo Design competition” encouraging SU students to use digital art to express their relationship with the earth. The winning creation will be used to publicize SU’s Earth Month initiatives on social media, website, and flyers.
See https://www.seattleu.edu/cejs/events/earthmonth/earth-month-2020/

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 Outdoor Program offers intentional outdoor recreational opportunities to the students of Seattle University, while enhancing leadership, building community, and caring for the beautiful landscapes of the Northwest in the spirit of adventure.
The Outdoor program has been in existence since 2008. Offering two interwoven experiences: a comprehensive outdoor program for participants and a leadership development program for student leaders.
--Student leaders are extensively trained for their role in a year-long experiential leadership development series. These folks lead all the trips and program for six activity areas: Bike, Climb, Service, Snow, Trail, Water.
--Participants can enjoy an average of 31 trips per quarter, weekly informal climbing groups, outdoor skill workshops, certification courses and equipment rental.

OAR strives to:
• Develop responsible student leaders through experiential learning, emphasizing a commitment to healthful outdoor recreation as well as risk management and environmental stewardship.
• Promote an interest in outdoor recreation that encourages lifelong physical, emotional, social, intellectual and spiritual development of our students.
• Provide inclusive opportunities for participants of all experience levels to foster community, especially for personal not regularly represented in the outdoors.
• Develop a community of students, staff and faculty that desire an outdoor education in order to develop life skills such as consciousness, respect, positive impact and awareness of our surroundings.


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:

--Given the events of the past several months (2020), with the renewed calls for justice in the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many others, and the new challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Common Text team wanted to give SU’s incoming students a space to have deep and critical conversations about race, racism, and citizenship in the United States today. Throughout academic year 2020-2021, they hear from writers, artists, educators, and health professionals, in the form of articles, videos, and podcasts, chosen for their ability to frame these conversations and as voices which speak to this historic moment.
--These texts pick up where SU left off last spring, having read Ijeoma Oluo’s book So You Want to Talk About Race in Fall 2019, and help us to further understand this historic moment. They also anticipate another critical conversation about what U.S. citizenship means, to be continued in Fall 2021 when the Common Text will be Jose Antonio Vargas’s book, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.
--The 2018 Common text was “Tulalip, From My Heart”, An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community by Harriette Shelton Dover about her life on the Tulalip Reservation and the myriad problems tribes faced after resettlement.

As a way to bring relevant topics into the scholarship process, each year a theme and book is identified for the Sullivan Leadership Community to explore. In 2020-2021, the book is “On the Clock” by Emily Guendelsberger, about Low Wage Workers in America and Sullivan Scholarship applicants read the themed book as part of the process. https://www.seattleu.edu/sullivan/selection-process/

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:

In residence halls, “theme communities” allow students an opportunity to make immediate connections with their neighbors who are likely to have common interests. The residence hall staff work hard to provide fun and educational programs and activities based around the theme to assist students with connecting to the greater University community. Theme Communities are offered in all residential buildings. Students are not required to be in specific majors to participate in any community and have the ability to determine their own level of involvement. When students complete their housing application, they will be asked to preference at least five communities. One of the theme communities is called “Outdoor Exploration Theme Community”: This community is for students who are interested in exploring the outdoors in the greater Seattle area and deepening their understanding of our impact on our environment. Seattle is a city focused on sustainability. This floor would allow for students to focus on sustainability at SU and the community around it.
Examples of other communities are: “Mind, Body and Wellness; Social Change; Global Exploration” and others. See more at https://www.seattleu.edu/housing/theme-communities/

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

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

The Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability (CEJS) offers 9-12 student internships per year. Student interns work on a variety of sustainability projects. Interns are involved in: data collection and analysis for the university's STARS report and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory; event planning and marketing; development of the CEJS website; contribution to the CEJS newsletters and social media; implementation of sustainability projects on campus; and research projects that support the advancement of campus sustainability efforts.

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.