Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 63.76
Liaison Levi Rogers
Submission Date March 10, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Skidmore College
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.75 / 4.00 Levi Rogers
Sustainability Coordinator
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
2560

Total number of students enrolled for credit that are served (i.e. directly targeted) by a student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting to the extent feasible):
2400

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
93.75

Name of the student educators program:
Sustainability Reps (S-Reps)

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
2133

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

The Sustainability Representatives (S-Reps) are Skidmore’s peer-to-peer education team. The S-Reps develop and implement sustainability education campaigns, host campus activities, and organize annual events like Skidmore Unplugged, the Big Green Scream, Sustainable Service Day, and the Give+Go. The team consists of six students, each working about six hours per week during the entire academic year.

The S-Reps organize a variety of campus events including community dialogues, keynote lectures, film screenings, and community-building activities to expand our community's awareness, understanding, and engagement in sustainability. They also help Resident Assistants develop and implement sustainability-focused residence hall programming.

While students are the primary target audience, the S-Reps strive to offer programming that is accessible to the entire campus community, including faculty and staff. The S-Reps collaborate with many clubs and offices to develop unique and thought-provoking activities that illustrate the deep connections that exist within sustainability. These collaborative efforts allow the S-Reps to engage with a broader audience and develop lasting relationships.

Each fall, the S-Reps organize Skidmore Unplugged, our annual three-week electricity conservation competition designed to promote energy-conscious behavior through education. Throughout the competition, S-Reps speak with community members about energy use, renewable and fossil fuel-based electricity production, and engage in deep conversations about energy production and environmental justice challenges. Ultimately, the S-Reps aim to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and tools to reduce their personal energy consumption and adopt more sustainable habits.

Skidmore has also participated in a New York Six (NY6) Consortium energy competition between Colgate University, Hamilton College, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, St. Lawrence University, Union College, and Skidmore College. Each school compared overall energy savings to declare the NY6 winner.

Each Spring, the S-Reps create a semester-long education campaign of their choice. The team chooses a sustainability theme or topic that they believe is important and research the topic to become more well-informed. Then, the S-Reps design an education campaign to engage our community. Recently, the S-Reps focused on waste issues and set out to improve the College's diversion rate. During the S-Rep's outreach campaign, the institutional diversion rate increased about 10%.

In addition to the semester-long education campaign, S-Reps also plan activities for the Big Green Scream (Skidmore's annual sustainability-themed basketball doubleheader), Sustainable Service Day, and support the College's end of the year move-out program called Give+Go.

http://www.skidmore.edu/sustainability/reps/index.php


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

The Sustainability Office recruits students during the spring semester to fill positions for the following academic year. Emails are sent out through the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program departmental lists, and the Skidmore Sustainability Office actively promotes the positions through student announcements, class lectures, and the College website. We also ask faculty from various departments to nominate students. Each applicant is required to submit a cover letter and resume. Top candidates are interviewed by the Sustainability Office.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

S-Reps attend a day-long training session at the beginning of each academic year. The training includes a tour of campus sustainability infrastructure and student-led programs, a discussion on previously assigned readings, and a preliminary community organizer training. Students are given the opportunity to meet campus stakeholders, build relationships with other students in various departments or offices, and think more deeply about sustainability and the interconnections between the environment, society, and economy. The training serves as an introduction to campus sustainability and community organizing, and we continue to offer development opportunities throughout the year.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination):

The Skidmore Sustainability Office coordinates the S-Rep program. Sustainability Office staff spend 10-12 hours per week coordinating the program. The Sustainability Office supports the financial needs of the program through our annual operating budget, including costs for training, marketing materials, program and event materials, honorariums, and more. The total budget for the program, including labor costs, hourly pay, supplies, and marketing is around $15,000.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Skidmore Compost

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
836

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

The Skidmore Compost program is a student-run composting and waste education program that serves our Northwoods and Sussman Apartment Villages. Student managers coordinate food scrap collection in all 22 apartment buildings (using bicycles and trailers) and collect coffee grounds from our dining facilities. The material is composted on campus, and finished compost is used in the Skidmore Community Garden. The student managers also organize events to highlight the connection between food waste and global food insecurity issues, climate change, and more. Skidmore Compost has organized events such as film screenings, lectures, compost demonstrations, and even community dinners where chefs teach participants knife skills and proper food preparation and storage methods to minimize food waste.

Skidmore's compost program recently expanded to an off-campus site. This larger-scale site manages manure from our horse stables, groundskeeping debris, and coffee grounds. Student compost managers are responsible for maintaining this site, but they do receive support from the Sustainability Office and Facilities Services. The compost will be used on campus grounds and in landscaped beds.

http://www.skidmore.edu/sustainability/programs/compost.php


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):

The Sustainability Office recruits students during the spring semester to fill positions for the following academic year. Emails are sent out through the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program departmental lists, and the Skidmore Sustainability Office actively promotes the positions through student announcements, class lectures, and the College website. Current compost managers also promote the opportunity to students that consistently volunteer with the program. We also ask faculty from various departments to nominate students. Applicants are required to submit a cover letter and resume. Top candidates are interviewed by the Sustainability Office.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

Skidmore Compost managers complete a training that includes an overview of the composting process and covers specific information as it relates to the College's small-scale composting system (i.e. management of static compost piles). Student managers are provided outreach and education training to prepare them to engage apartment residents and recruit volunteers. Compost Managers are also invited to attend a broader community organizing training at the beginning of the academic year (organized by the Sustainability Office) to prepare the managers for a successful semester.

Student compost managers are required to attend a 2-day tractor safety training before the are allowed to operate and manage the larger-scale compost site. A certified instructor leads this weekend training.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

The Skidmore Sustainability Office coordinates the student-run compost program. Sustainability Office staff spend 8-10 hours per week coordinating the program. The Sustainability Office supports the financial needs of the program through our annual operating budget, including costs for training, marketing materials, program and event materials, and more. The total budget for the program, including labor costs, hourly pay, supplies for Compost program and training, and marketing is around $5,000.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
North Woods Stewards

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
2400

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):

The North Woods Steward program provides two students with experiential learning opportunities in conservation work and leadership opportunities as they coordinate peer and community education programs. The Stewards complete several projects that help maintain the health, diversity, and accessibility of the North Woods. Each student is responsible for removing invasive plant species, maintaining the trail system, leading educational tours, and completing an independent project. Summer projects have included proposals for new and improved trail signage, proposals to eradicate specific invasive species from the develop portions of campus, educational videos about the North Woods, proposals to build and improve trail infrastructure, and more. The Stewards also maintain the North Woods social media pages as a way to share their experience and encourage visitors to explore the area. One Steward continues working into the academic year to plan service days and maintain the trail system.

Over the years, the Stewards have proposed and completed several projects with lasting impacts for the College. For instance, in 2013, the College committed to removing all burning bush and Japanese barberry from the developed portions of campus, due in part to work completed by North Woods Stewards. The North Woods Stewards have also collaborated with Facilities Services, an Environmental Sociology class, and the Skidmore Student Conservation Corps to build boardwalks on the Red Trail and Blue Trail to minimize soil erosion and improve trail accessibility.

http://www.skidmore.edu/sustainability/programs/nwstewards.php


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):

The Sustainability Office recruits students during the spring semester to fill positions for the summer and following academic year. Emails are sent out through the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program Departmental lists, and the Skidmore Sustainability Office actively promotes the available positions through student announcements, class lectures, and the College website. Current North Woods Stewards also promote the opportunity to students that consistently volunteer with the program. We also ask faculty from various departments to provide nominations, and we reach out to those students individually. Applicants are required to submit a cover letter and resume. Top candidates are interviewed by the Sustainability Office.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):

Each summer, the North Woods Stewards receive training from local experts on invasive species eradication methods, plant and animal identification, and trail maintenance protocols, and they also spend time learning about the unique ecological and cultural history of the North Woods with College faculty. Stewards are also trained to lead educational tours for students and community groups.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (3rd program):

The Skidmore Sustainability Office coordinates the North Woods Stewards program. Sustainability Office staff spend 8-10 hours per week coordinating the program. The Sustainability Office supports the financial needs of the program through our annual operating budget, including costs for training, marketing materials, program and event materials, and so on. The total budget for the program, including labor costs, hourly pay, supplies for the North Woods Stewards program and training, and marketing is probably around $8,000.


A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of students served and how student educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:

Skidmore Community Garden- The Skidmore Community Garden is a student-run campus garden that grows and sells food, grown using organic practices, to Skidmore's dining hall. It facilitates a connection to, and appreciation for, the food that we eat, and offers hands-on learning opportunities to the Skidmore community. The program is open to the entire Skidmore community. The Sustainability Office recruits students through email lists, campus announcements, and during class presentations and tours. The Garden Manager salary is supported by the Sustainability Office, however, other expenses are covered by the funds that the garden receives from its fundraising events and sales.


Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
1000

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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