Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.36
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 2, 2020

STARS v2.2

Smith College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Rachael Wein
Assistant Director of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:

The Smith Chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World was founded in 2005 and has since worked on projects both on campus, in the surrounding community, and in Haiti. ESW seeks to bring together students from different backgrounds and majors to work on projects that can make a positive difference and raise environmental awareness in the surrounding community and on Smith campus.

Divest Smith College (DSC) is a network of students and community members dedicated to continuing Smith College’s history of empowering women of all backgrounds to make a positive impact on the world by creating an environment that is both fiscally and morally responsible. DSC recognizes that funding the fossil fuel industry jeopardizes long term human health and environmental security. Divest Smith College asks that Smith College take concrete steps towards divesting from the fossil fuel industry.

The Food Recovery Network is made up of a dedicated group of students who collect uneaten food from dining halls, package it, and deliver it to a community kitchen to be served to community members in need. These students diverted 1,600 pounds of healthy uneaten food from the garbage in just one semester.

Students involved in the Animal Advocates group raise awareness about animal rights and welfare issues through advocacy, community building, and non-confrontational outreach. They also strive to educate students about the carbon implications of a meat-based diet.

The SGA Sustainability Committee is a subcommittee of the Student Government Association. Students on this committee work to engage the student body on sustainability issues, pursue zero waste events, and conduct educational workshops for students and faculty/staff.

The Bike Kitchen, run by Smith students, direct mission is to provide Smith College with bicycle rentals and bike maintenance education. More broadly, the Bicycle Kitchen as a forum for providing a form of environmentally friendly transportation and promoting bike love in all aspects.

Students who work on the Smith College Community Garden work a plot of land between Northrup-Gillett and Lamont Houses. The Smith College Community Garden seeks to provide opportunities to all students and Smith community members to engage with the land and with their food in order to address issues of environmental sustainability. Through a variety of events members can gain an understanding of the planting process, building various structures, harvest and food preservation.

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

The Smith College Organic Garden, known as the Community Garden, is run by a group of students. The mission of the garden is to be a practical academic tool, to engage the Smith community, and to serve as a model of sustainability. With this garden, the group revives the historical tradition of students growing victory gardens. The aim of the garden is to be an educational experiment that allows students to practice the college's standards of sustainability.

The garden is an educational tool for a variety of departments on campus, including Environmental Science and Policy, Landscape Studies, Studio Art, Biology, Engineering, Geology, Sociology, and History.

The garden provides an arena for Smith community engagement. A wide range of faculty, students, and staff are involved in the project. The garden is a space that celebrates nature, physical work, and healthy eating.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

Through Smith Cycle students can donate clothing, shoes, bedding, food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, electronics, lamps, storage bins, luggage, school supplies and more by placing their items in large marked bins in houses around campus. Donated items were picked up by several local partners, including the Salvation Army, Northampton Survival Center and Northampton ReCenter. Some items were stored on campus over the summer and made accessible to students arriving on campus early in the fall.

Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

A student club, supported by the Conway Center for Entrepreneurship, was given $100,000 in 2018 as part of the colleges divestment and investment strategy. The club manages the money and invests it according to environmentally responsible principles.

Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:

Smith College holds several major events related to sustainability each year. These events can be found on the Sustainable Smith website calendar.
In October 2019, Smith held a Climate Equity and Justice Conference to launch our Year on Climate Change. The conference explored climate equity: an approach to climate change-related decisions and actions that is participatory, transparent, and accountable, so that the communities most affected are poised to benefit substantially and equally from climate solutions. By recognizing the dynamic challenges surrounding climate change, the solutions explored will highlight the voices and visionaries underrepresented in mainstream climate conversations. The conference speakers expanded the scope of the discussion beyond the traditional disciplines to empower each individual to see the value of their own passion and perspective in the complex, urgent issue of climate change. Conference archive: https://scholarworks.smith.edu/yocc_events/cej_conference/

This year Smith has held a Climate 101 series aimed at reaching broader audiences with core issues of climate and sustainability.

The Landscape Studies department is holding a lecture series open to campus and public that is squarely focused on the intersection of sustainability issues and landscape.

The Museum of art had a major exhibition in 2018 on plastic and plastic pollution. Multiple artists were brought to engage the campus and numerous courses used the exhibition as an integral element of their curriculum. https://www.smith.edu/news/plastic-entanglements

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:

The Museum of art had a major exhibition in 2018 on plastic and plastic pollution. Multiple artists were brought to engage the campus and numerous courses used the exhibition as an integral element of their curriculum. https://www.smith.edu/news/plastic-entanglements

Outdoor and indoor performance in Spring 2019:
“I Sing Earth,” a play created by students in Hairston’s Choreopoem Acting Class this semester.

The piece—described as “a play with music about the environment and our place in it”—was written by guest artist, Pan Morigan, who incorporated ideas from essays, poems and other creative work students produced after spending time at the field station. From the role of science to the importance of imagination, the play explores the impact of human communities on the natural environment.

Students will give a reading of their work on Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. around a bonfire at MacLeish. (A van will leave from Chapin loading dock at 6 p.m. for those who would like to share a ride). A full production of “I Sing Earth” will be performed Wednesday, May 1, and Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre on campus. All performances are open to the public at no charge.

Art and Architecture course installation during Climate Equity conference about sea level rise.

Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Smith Outdoor Adventure Program's mission is to get outdoors, have fun, and learn valuable skills in the process. The program offers a wide range of outdoor recreation trips throughout the school year and maintains an open-gear room and climbing wall and keeps Boathouse hours convenient to all Smith students. The program also works closely with students, teaching outdoor skills clinics and training student outdoor leaders to run events. Smith Outdoor practices Leave No Trace principles and leads Leave No Trace workshops for the campus community.

Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

The Smith College 2019/2020 Year on Climate Change is a college-wide initiative to critically examine the complex and urgent issue of climate change. As a college of and for the world, this program is an invitation to the entire Smith community, no matter your background or passion, to engage in a manner that is uniquely liberal arts—through deep and authentic collaboration, critical thinking, listening and action. All students, staff, faculty and alumnae are encouraged and invited to create and attend events throughout the year.

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Bike Kitchen’s most direct mission is to provide the Smith community with bicycle rentals and bike maintenance education. More broadly, the Bike Kitchen serves as a forum for providing a form of environmentally friendly transportation and promoting bike love in all aspects. The Bike Kitchen also teaches bike mechanic classes, enabling students to learn how to maintain and fix their bikes.

Students who join the Community Garden also build sustainable life skills in terms of garden planning, planting, and harvesting. The Community Garden holds open work hours where any students can participate.

The Design Thinking Initiative regularly teaches classes on how building DIY and waste reduction skills such as how to repair clothing, make your own Halloween costume, DIY make-up, and how to sew bags for reuse.

The Eco-reps and House Residents teach how to select more healthy body care products, take shorter showers, and manage waste on campus.

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Eco-Rep student facilitators are hired by the Office of Campus Sustainability and work to facilitate the Eco-Rep program with the campus sustainability coordinator. They hold open hours to meet with students and help them plan actions and events on campus, facilitate general body meetings, and lead group bonding activities. These students develop leadership, communication, organizing, and advocacy skills.

CEEDS employs several research interns who pursue sustainability projects on campus. These projects include conducting life cycle analyses of products and providing recommendations, analyzing and reporting on meter data, and making improvements to our solid waste collection systems. These students gain experience communicating with various campus stakeholders—including faculty and facilities management staff—and learning project management skills.

Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Started by students at Smith College, The 5 College Scopes is a group for students of color in STEM and environmental justice. This group offers networking and social events, organizes discussions, and co-sponsors events for the 5 College community.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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