|Submission Date||Feb. 29, 2016|
Slippery Rock University
EN-9: Community Partnerships
Special Assistant to the President
Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “supportive”?:
A brief description of the institution’s supportive sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:
The Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research offers garden plots and organic gardening lessons for local Slippery Rock residents to rent (very affordably - $40/summer, with a $20 rent rebate to those who follow strict organic gardening principles) during the summer. This allows members of the community that have limited land to grow fresh, nutritional food. It also fosters community relationships and a feeling of accomplishment and unity.
SRU also partners with the local community in the annual Fall leaf collection program, with the leaves disposed of at the Macoskey Center composting windrows; the compost is then used for campus landscaping. A very successful free, two-day community E-Waste collection program sponsored by SRU's EH&S Department is also held during Spring semester (as part of our Earth Week activities) each year. SRU provides staffing resources, shared property resources, and free e-waste recycling by a certified vendor to support the above activities.
Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “collaborative”?:
A brief description of the institution's collaborative sustainability partnership(s):
SRU student interns from the Slippery Rock Student Energy Accelerator (SEA) partner with the local community and employ the Triple Bottom Line sustainability principles in helping local businesses, nonprofits, and SRU departments become more sustainable and energy efficient, with mentoring provided by faculty and/or Office of Sustainability staff. One (of many) examples is a student group that worked with the North Country Brewery (a microbrewery pub and restaurant) in Slippery Rock to conduct an energy audit and identify ways to decrease energy costs, and to assist the Owner in applying for energy conservation tax credits. Proposals for a photovoltaic alternative energy system for the restaurant were also coordinated and evaluated for the Owner. These projects typically transpire over fairly long (one, two, or more semesters) time frames, with SRU providing staff support and sharing of facilities resources for meetings, workshops, etc.
Does the institution have at least one formal sustainability partnership with the local community that meets the criteria as “transformative”?:
A brief description of the institution's transformative sustainability partnership(s) with the local community:
The SRU President's Commission on Sustainability includes representative members of the entire university community as well as the community at large. This commission is an ongoing entity that functions as an advisory board that initiates or reviews sustainability initiatives and recommends actions to the president. Students, faculty, staff, local businesses, and local nonprofit organizations are all represented in the commission and the Triple Bottom Line principles are employed in decision-making.
The SRU Sustainability Office also currently works alongside the Sustainable Enterprise Accelerator(SEA) and Sustainable Slippery Rock (SSR), who is represented on the President's Commission and is a community-based nonprofit organization focused on helping local residents become more aware of sustainable practices and helping individuals in the community put these ideas into action by educating them on current recycling policies, local food markets, community resiliency, and other environmental and sustainable issues. Slippery Rock University helps SSR reach out to both students on campus and individuals in the community by providing a place to hold educational speaker events as well as by spreading awareness of upcoming programs and events through social media. Both SRU and SSR are a part of the Slippery Rock Community Farmers Market and collaborate on supporting a wide range of activities like community-supported agriculture, local food conferences, and educational panel discussions. The SSR website URL is http://sustainablesr.org/ .
A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:
The SEA has also partnered with the Penn State Agricultural Extension to host Beginning Farmers Workshops taught by the Ag extension educators and open to the public.
The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships 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.