Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Paul Scanlon
Submission Date Feb. 29, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Slippery Rock University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Paul Scanlon
Special Assistant to the President
President's Office/Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

There are multiple sustainability-focused student groups at Slippery Rock University: The Geography, Geology & Environment student club, the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator (in which self-managing student intern groups work on sustainable business projects), the community-based Slow Foods club, and the Students for Sustainability club. Two proposals by the student interns from the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator were accepted by the Clinton Global Initiative in 2015: (1) an aquaponics demonstration/research project in which tilapia fish and swiss chard will be raised, with lessons learned shared with a village in Uganda where it is intended to be replicated as healthy sources of nutrition and as cash crops. The project uses a PV-powered water circulation pump, and is expected to produce twice the quantity of food using only 10% of the water required by conventional gardening practices (see http://www.seasru.com/#!aquaponics/ii996 for more details) and (2) the "Green Leaves" Departmental Sustainability Certification project being piloted in 2016.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Macoskey Center infrastructure includes market/demonstration gardens for students to gain experience in organic/permaculture gardening, as well as organic community gardens available to any community members to learn about and get involved in organic gardening systems (see http://www.sru.edu/news/073115a#sthash.MbTVCCbV.dpuf and/or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DOwHsIkDfU for additional details).

Gardening and composting workshops are offered by Macoskey Center staff in the spring, and students participate in a Farmers Market and the Slow Foods community club, as well as other CSA-related panel discussions, conferences, organizations and miscellaneous activities.

Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator (SEA) student interns are also conducting the aquaponics demonstration/research project at the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research (see http://www.sru.edu/news/071315a#sthash.mj92A9tO.dpuf for more information).
SEA projects such as the aquaponics research project are developed and managed by completely by student interns.

SEA has also partnered with the Penn State Agricultural extension to bring a series of local "FarmSense" agricultural workshops to SRU to which selected SEA interns may receive free enrollment (additional information available at http://www.sru.edu/news/102115d#sthash.DeCNhtV0.dpuf).


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

Rock Roast Coffee is a student-run nonprofit enterprise that plans to market/sell organic, fair-trade coffees grown sustainably in the Golden Valley Farm's plantations of Costa Rica. The coffee is sourced through an innovative sourcing program called Cultivation 2 Cup, or C2C. The purpose behind Cultivation 2 Cup is to provide fair trade, responsibly grown coffee to those who purchase the product, both on campus and in a local business. The proceeds from these purchases will support Slippery Rock students' sustainability service learning opportunities​ in Costa Rica, where the coffee is grown.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

Each semester, students may submit proposals for Green Fund Grants to implement sustainable projects on campus. The maximum grant per project is $20,000, and all proposals are reviewed by a Green Fund Advisory Board made up of 11 individuals, five of which can be SRU students. Originally a student-led and funded initiative, the Office of the President decided to provide the funding while using the students' guiding principles for the program.

Proposal requirements may be found by clicking on the "Green Fund Grant Process RFP" header on our sustainability website referenced below. Sample Green Fund Grant projects previously funded may also be found on the same page (scroll to the bottom and click on "Description of Previously-Funded Green Fund Projects").

The SEA "Rock Roast" is a student-run nonprofit enterprise that also provides an opportunity for the project team to learn about sustainable investments and running a business in the real world.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

SRU holds a series of campus-wide events every April to celebrate "Earth Days". Typically, twenty to thirty events/activities are held to increase environmental and sustainability awareness and appreciation on the part of our students. For additional information, go to www.sru.edu/sustainability and click on "Earth Day Calendar of Events" and "Earth Day Carnival on the Quad" headers at the bottom of the page.

The Office of Sustainability, the Student Enterprise Accelerator, and/or the Students for Sustainability Club host/co-sponsor a series of speakers on sustainability each year, including speakers from outside community groups such as Sustainable Slippery Rock. The featured speaker for the 2016 Earth Days celebration will be Prof. Richard Alley of PSU.

The Robert A. Macoskey Center also hosts speakers, class and public tours, gatherings, and panel discussions on topics such as organic gardening and community supported agriculture.


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

During Earth week each year, a recycled art exhibit and a Kaleidoscope Arts Festival "EarthFest" event is held at SRU's Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research Center.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The mission of SRU's Campus Recreation's Outdoor Adventures Program is to create and maintain opportunities for Slippery Rock University students, faculty, staff, and community to safely learn, enjoy and appreciate outdoor recreation while protecting our environment. SRU students are invited to participate in as many activities as they desire.

An informal SRU Trails committee of student and faculty volunteers work to develop and maintain natural hiking trails using Leave No Trace principles, and have used Green Fund Grants and funding from the Office of Sustainability to delineate wetlands along the main on-campus "Overlook Hiking/Biking Trail", to construct causeways protecting the wetlands, and to construct trail head kiosk signage that illustrates the trails' layout and highlights natural features of the area.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

"Small Steps, Big Payoff" is the theme of SRU's Energy Action Campaign that encourages students to pledge to change three small things in their life that can save energy. Students taking the pledge become eligible to win prizes such as reusable water bottles and bookstore coupons that can be used to purchase educational materials. The energy pledge can be accessed by anyone with an sru.edu email address by clicking on the "Energy Action Pledge" displayed prominently on the main sustainability web page.

In addition, the Office of Sustainability coordinates Earth Week activities that are promoted via posters, online event calendars and social media that use the Earth Days Network theme chosen for that year.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Students can learn sustainable life skills through a variety of internship and student worker programs at the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator, the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research, and the Office of Sustainability.

These life skills can also be learned through self-study of topics presented online on SRU's sustainability website that contains downloadable booklets and links to other websites promoting various aspects of sustainable life skills (including Energy Conservation, Alternative Transportation, Waste Minimization & Recycling, Climate Change & Global Warming, Alternative & Renewable Energy, Environmental Preservation, Sustainable Agriculture & Permaculture, and Green Careers).

A sustainability Facebook site and Twitter feed are also used to engage students and provide informative articles, blogs, and links to other sustainability sites.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

The Geography, Geology and the Environment department typically shares one or two GIS mapping students (paid student workers) with the Office of Sustainability; these students have created and maintain our Sustainable Features Campus Map, as well as documenting land use data used to complete sustainability surveys (acres of protected sanctuaries, acres of building footprint, permeable vs. non-permeable acreage, site contour maps for planning mow vs. no-mow acreage, etc.).

A copy of the sustainable features map can be downloaded from our sustainability landing page referenced below by clicking on the "Campus Sustainability Features Map" header at the bottom of the page.

The Office of Sustainability also employs one paid, full-time student worker year-round who acts as a public relations liaison with the President's Commission on Sustainability and manages our social media outreach efforts (see www.Facebook.com/SRUsustainability and @SRUsustain twitter account).

Both the Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research and the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator typically employ a full-time graduate assistant, as well as additional student workers (e.g., to work on the demonstration gardens, composting services, etc.) on an as-needed basis.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:

N/A.


The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
---

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Additional co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives include the development of a short, student-produced "Bioman" video which teaches the basics of energy conservation, as well as demonstrating how SRU recycles within the Residence Halls. This video is hosted on YouTube and is intended for use in Residence Hall floor meetings to introduce incoming students top these concepts.

Another student video production documented the history of the ALTER project, which eventually led to the creation of the current Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research. This video can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOU1kTkvKiI.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:

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.