Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 47.43
Liaison Connie Norton
Submission Date May 3, 2011
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.0

Simon Fraser University
ER-3: Sustainability in New Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Candace Le Roy
Sustainability Coordinator
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution include sustainability prominently in new student orientation?:
Yes

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation:

SFU features sustainability prominently in new student orientation in the following ways:

1. SFU Surrey features sustainability prominently in new student orientation through it's reusable water bottle component of orientation.

Original Article - Reusable water bottles a hit at Surrey orientation September 23, 2010 / By Fiona Burrows /

Along with clipboards and pen, new students at the Surrey campus received a new item this year in their orientation kits: A stainless steel water bottle complete with a carabiner to easily fasten the container to their backpacks. The water bottle replaced the traditional t-shirt in the swag bag full of SFU-related items that hundreds of students received during orientation sessions this year. For Candy Ho, the Surrey campus student life coordinator, it was time for a change and she involved the entire campus community in the process. The end result is a variety of red, blue and silver water bottles bearing faculty logos. "The great thing about the Surrey campus is we’re very community- minded. We try to create a real sense of community, especially for our new students," says Ho. "And there’s always some competitiveness between the faculties so once one faculty approved the idea they all wanted to get on board with final designs that are unique and specific to each first-year cohort program." The bottles eliminate the need to purchase multiple flats of bottled water and individual juice boxes that end up overloading landfills. Instead, students can easily fill up their stylish new containers at any campus water fountain. Why water bottles? Ho says the idea surfaced last April during planning for fall orientation. "There were too many water bottles around, with plastic everywhere, and we were wondering how we could make the orientation kits more sustainable and meaningful. A reusable water bottle made sense." Another noticeable change at orientation this year: biodegradable foodware, including cups, plates and napkins, donated by Biodegradable Solutions.

Students learn about sustainability through the removal of plastic swag and free disposable water bottles and the discussion on why this has been done. Although this orientation is set at the Surrey campus, students can attend classes at any of the three campuses and therefore this orientation reaches Burnaby campus students.

2. Burnaby orientation includes the following sustainability components

a) They invite sustainability groups each year to attend their orientation fair so that the new students can interact with sustainability groups and learn about programs, volunteer opportunities and see that sustainability is important to the university

b) They give away a reusable gift each year instead of throwaway swag (one year this took the form of a compostable clipboard) to reduce waste

c) They refuse campus members when requested to include paper pamphlets in the orientation package in order to reduce paper use, clutter and overwhelming the students with too much information

d)New students are encouraged to bring their own reusable containers to orientation sessions (water bottles, coffee mugs etc)

e) The student development office has written a short guide to introducing sustainability to new students for orientation leaders


The website URL where information about sustainability in new student orientation is available:
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We are reporting for the Burnaby campus and this takes place on our Surrey campus but the work on the Surrey campus is bleeding over to our Burnaby campus and has had an impact on our Burnaby campus so we believe this should count.

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