Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 50.14
Liaison Don Forster
Submission Date March 30, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Seneca College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.50 / 2.00 Paula Echeveste
Sustainability Supervisor
Facilities
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Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

- Seneca Environmental Association
The club aims to bring people together who are passionate about environmental challenges and provide a platform for networking, collaboration and innovation regarding the role engineering plays in addressing these challenges. The students also aim to improve student life for students in the Environmental Technician/Technology and Project Management Environment programs by hosting educational and social activities.


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:

- Since July 2017, Seneca has an innovative aquaponics system on its main campus, Newnham, where 60 Tilapias are located in 2 tanks inside an upcycled shipping containers, which function as the bio-engine of the system to fertilize the 500 plus leafy greens that are located on the second section of the farm which is the Greenhouse. Each week, the plants that are harvested from the farm are distributed to the cafeteria or other departments of the College, to be eaten locally. The advantage of this closed-loop system is a running example of a sustainable farming unit, producing hyper-local fresh greens all year long- regardless of the external weather conditions, collecting rainwater and eliminating considerately the waste produced on the supply chain. The farm has several class visits, participated in high school recruitment tours, and other community visits all year round.

-Each summer First Peoples @ Seneca offers a traditional medicine garden at Newnham campus whereby students are engaged in planting, tending to and harvesting traditional foods such as strawberries and tomatoes and seed their own traditional indigenous medicines, such as sage, tobacco, and sweetgrass.Students are provided teaching as well in making jams, cedar tea, and other native receipes.

- Quinn Design Associates has been working with Seneca College since early 2018 to explore sustainable landscape strategies at the Newnham Campus with the goal of drawing inspiration from the indigenous ecology of the site and providing opportunities to connect the curriculum to the College’s natural environment. On May 2019 Students from the Sustainable Business Management and Environmental Technology programs helped plants pollinating and native plants around the college to support biodiversity as the first stage of the plan mention above.http://www.quinndesign.ca/

- Since the summer of 2018 Seneca hosts once a month a Farmer's market with local farmers and vendors that focuses on community engagement and educating the community on the importance of consuming locally and high quality products.


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)?:
No

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
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The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
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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:
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The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
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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:

- Green Citizen Conference, hosted annually The Green Citizen Conference has run every year beginning in 2011 with the exception of 2017 when it was canceled due to the Faculty Strike. This is hosted during Reading Week in the fall, which is generally the last week of October. Over the years, it has gradually increased from one day to three days, and from two sessions to six as was the case in 2018 for the Deep Resilience conference.

- Additionally, a Sustainable workshop was delivered at a Leadership extra-curricular conference during the Reading week in the fall as well. Typically 150 students attend events and are encouraged to think of ways they can develop leadership skills as it relates to stewardship with the environment.

- In March 2019 Seneca hosted its first symposium on sustainable fashion, three-day series that highlighted Sustainable Development Goals. Seneca’s School of Fashion recently joined the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Canada. Events included a symposium, an exhibition showcasing student, alumni and faculty works, and the school’s fourth annual clothing swap that is part of its textile diversion initiative.

- Seneca College hosts an Annual Sustainability Fair that started in March 2018 and was followed by its second fair in November 2019. The Fair showcased a number of initiatives happening at Seneca, including the energy dashboard, the Green Citizen program, the urban farm, Seneca's beehives, the textile diversion program First Peoples@Seneca initiatives, sustainable transportation initiatives, waste management information and more.

-The Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) champions Waste Reduction Week(WRW) to bring awareness to individuals and organizations about the importance of the three Rs when it comes to waste. Since 2018, Seneca had organized Waste Reduction on campus during a week of October to engage, educate and showcase reduction initiatives that are in place at the College. For the 2019 waste reduction week, activities where plan daily accordingly to the WRW themes. The list of activities was the following:

o A sustainability-related scavenger hunt with door prices was organized in partnership with Seneca’s student federation(SSF). All the clues were related to the sustainable initiatives at Newnham campus. The prices were gift cards from a local package-free store, called bare market.
o A mending workshop was organized in partnership with the non-for profit, the Repair Café and SSF to teach the community basic clothing repairing technics to incentives the reduce the purchasing of new items. Also, a mending kit and refreshments were given as part of the event.
o Promoting Seneca’s Environmental Association student club and the WWF program Living Planet @Campus, which main objective is to incentivize sustainable initiatives on campus.
o Awareness of the textile diversion program, battery bins, and e-waste bins


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:

- First Peoples @ Seneca provides cultural events regarding many environmental issues. Examples include medicine garden and the full moon teachings; indigenous blessings for the honey hives, and the lake at King Campus.

- LGBTQ+ Pride Month
Seneca prides itself on the diversity of our students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Seneca hosted a series of events in June in support of the LGBT community. On June 7, 2019, Seneca College held a Flag Raising event.


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?:
No

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
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The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
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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:
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The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
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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:

Milk bag Unlimited/
Through our Seneca Leadership program, milk bags are recycled and weaved into mats that are then mailed to locations worldwide during an environmental disaster. Events have run since March 2017, typically three times a year. roughly 20 students and 3 staff/faculty at each event. During each event, students are taught how to make a mat. And collectively, they complete around 8 full-sized mats. Each one is around 600-700 milk bags, which means around 5000 milk bags are reused every time we do the event. In total, this means over 100 students have participated in reusing over 25,000 milk bags from the landfill and also learn this skill while participating.
Black Creek Farms
Students attend a community farm program to volunteer time and labor as well as learn skills around farming and harvesting food. Students attend this approximately 3 times a year, with close to 20 students and staff each time.
Habitat for Humanity Build sites
Students participate in construction projects throughout the city. During a day, students work to build social housing for families in need as well as learn building 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:

Student Ambassador Waste Reduction Program
Co-Op students
Urban Farm manager
Student employee, that support sustainability initiatives


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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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:
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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?:
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A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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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:
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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.