Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.98
Liaison Peter Barker
Submission Date March 14, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

St. John's University, New York
AC-6: Sustainability Literacy Assessment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.49 / 4.00 Joanna Shields
STARS Research Analyst
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) and for whom a follow-up assessment is conducted:

The percentage of students assessed for sustainability literacy (directly or by representative sample) without a follow-up assessment:

A copy of the questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s):
The questions included in the sustainability literacy assessment(s) :
STARS: Sustainable Student Follow-Up Survey Thank you for agreeing to continue helping our sustainability study. This form will assist in the accreditation of St John's in STARS (Sustainability Tracking And Rating System) and help rate the performance of sustainable initiatives and education on campus. * Required 1. What type of student are you? * Demographic Information ○ Commuter ○ Dorming ○ Online Classes only 2.What credit year are you currently working on? * Demographic Information ○ Freshman ○ Sophomore ○ Junior ○ Senior ○ Master's Program 3.Which College within St. John's University are you completing your studies? * Demographic Information ○ St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ○ The School of Education ○ The Peter J. Tobin College of Business ○ College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences ○ College of Professional Studies ○ School of Law 4.Are you "Male" or "Female"? * Demographic Information ○ Male ○ Female ○ Would prefer not to answer 5.Where have you lived for most of your life? * Demographic Information ○ North America ○ South America ○ Europe ○ Asia ○ Africa ○ Australia Directions: Please answer all questions to the best of your ability- you may choose more than one response. (Environment) 1. You have heard of the three R’s- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Why is recycling so important in sustainable living? Recycling uses less resources by reusing what is already in the environment and taking less raw materials. Recycling reduces waste by lessening what is put into landfills Recycling requires less energy than making products from scratch I do not know why recycling is important 2. Why is reducing and reusing so important to a sustainable future? Reducing and reusing prevents excess raw materials from being used Reducing and reusing helps prevent pollution and waste Reducing and reusing can help with environmental issues such as global warming and climate change I do not know why reducing and reusing is important 3. Which of the three R’s is most vital to sustainability? Reducing Reusing Recycling They are all dependent on one another 4. You have been taught what can be recycled on Campus, but it may be harder to get creative on how to reuse or reduce. From the list below, choose what are ways to “Reuse or Reduce”- please include any ideas of your own in the text box provided! Upcycling materials by using them for a different purpose Trading/borrowing books and other goods that have a temporary purpose to reduce what is being thrown away Donate clothes, food, and other belongings to help reduce waste Reusing bags to shop rather than using paper/plastic bags each trip (Text Box) 5. Global Warming is a major issue we face today. What causes Global warming?- please free to write your own response! Greenhouse Gases trap heat on the Earth making the temperature rise. Pollution from cars and factories sit in the atmosphere and do not let heat escape from the Earth. (Text Box) I do not know what causes Global Warming 6. Why is Global Warming and Climate change such a problem? The temperature rise causes the seas to rise due to melting ice The temperature change results in drought in some areas Biodiversity is threatened due to animals and plants not being able to evolve or cope with a quickly changing environment. Weather patterns are more extreme than in the past due to the Earth trying to stabilize (Text Box) 7. In 2012, Sandy hit New York City and left major devastation. Why was this such a powerful storm and how does it relate to sustainability? Sandy was made more extreme by the current issues facing the environment- Global Warming and Climate Change Sandy was an expected storm and has no major correlation to the current climate of the planet Sandy has spurred major changes in how the city responds to sustainable design and development Sandy had a major effect on safety regulations Sandy has brought coastal area protection to the forefront as a concern 8. New York City is called a “Concrete Jungle”. What are major issues that can occur because of all the paved areas? No major environmental issues can occur- paved roads are safer to travel on Paved roads can cause runoff of chemicals, such as snow salt, into bays and oceans- polluting waterways. Roads and sidewalks cause heat to be retained in the city- causing discomfort and more energy use Rainwater can not be naturally filtered into the ground Native species may die out due to habitat loss 9. Why are their hunting and fishing regulations in New York? Biodiversity can be decreased if there is over exploitation To regulate the quality of food They are Wildlife Conservation efforts Policy tries to restrict the rights of New Yorkers 10. Why is ecological and environmental conservation important? To make sure that the world doesn't change To ensure that future generations can survive To prevent the destruction of our planet 11. What is the main cause for the loss of biodiversity and extinction? Habitat loss Over-hunting Pollution Genetically Modified Organisms 12. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) can be helpful, but why are they dangerous? They can replace native species They can be harmful to animal/human health GMOs are not dangerous- they were made by science I don’t know what a GMO is 13. Which of the following is an example of environmental justice? NYC wins legislation to have wastes taken to upstate rural communities. Government dams a river, flooding Native American tribal lands, to create hydro-power for large cities. Native communities are involved in setting a quota for the amount of wood that they can take from a protected forest next to their village. Corporations build factories in developing countries where environmental laws are less strict. 14. The human population is growing exponentially. How can this be unsustainable? Large populations lead to mass amounts of needed resources Carrying Capacity can be over reached Potable water can become scarce Increase in global conflict Technology and spatial planning can help- so it would not be worse than it is now I don't know how this could be unsustainable 15. Using non-renewable resources, like fossil fuels, can create economic growth but future generations will be at a disadvantaged. Choose from the options below which actions could alleviate this: Renewable resources must be used at a rate which allows them to properly regenerate. Nonrenewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels must be used no faster than renewable substitutes can be created Pollution must be given the proper treatment and time to be naturally discarded or transformed. No action is suitable (Economic) 16. As a consumer what is the best way to support a local economy? Buy from large chain stores such as Target or Walmart Buy goods from small businesses and farmer’s markets Participate in locally-owned stores and restaurants Buy in bulk from Costco and BJs 17. What factors are used to calculate how much a product costs? Manufacturing Labor cost Raw Material cost Packaging cost Carbon emission or damage to the environment Transportation cost Cost to replenish raw materials 18. There are many companies and products that are still created using unsustainable materials and methods. Knowing that they are unsustainable, why do they continue? Some technologies are hard to implement Some businesses need time to transfer their methods/products in order to stay viable Some businesses do not care about sustainability, but only about economic growth and money I don’t know 19. From the following, choose reasons why a large company may turn toward sustainability? Because consumers want it Because they do not want to get in trouble or fined Because they have an ethical code to be sustainable Because of their image to the public I don’t know 20. Businesses/governments do not always have a proper sustainable code of conduct and commit many injustices. What are some ways to ensure that people are sustainable treated? support Businesses that allow labor unions buy fair trade certified products such as chocolate and coffee Only purchase goods online Buy goods only “Made in America” Request code of conduct information about how goods are made 21. Which of the following are examples of Fair Trade? Local farmers are contracted by Burger King to provide their produce for a living wage Starbucks outsources their coffee beans in a developing country to have the low cost A large business outsources their raw materials to help a developing country grow economically I don’t know 22. What reasons below show why the social side of sustainability is so important? By lifting up the weak, we lift all By having fair wages and contacts, the global community can help one another to survive With a reduction in poverty, education and future economic growth increases Establishing fair practices results in awareness If there are any aspects of Sustainability that you find are missing from this survey or have comments, please indicate them in the text box below: (Text Box) Thank you for your help! This will help the University better serve future generations of students!
+ Date Revised: May 3, 2016

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were developed:
A literacy assessment survey was developed based on current sustainable initiatives and practices to discern the competancy and awareness of the student body about sustainability.

A brief description of how the assessment(s) were administered:
A Google Form was used to conduct the survey and send to students on the St. John's Queens and Staten Island Campuses. Participation was optional. Only 10% of the total population responded to the form. A sample of students from different majors and degree levels was requested to answer this emailed survey. This survey was then analyzed to understand the student community's future needs and to discuss future Literary Assessment procedures.

A brief summary of results from the assessment(s):
The results of the first Literacy Assessment conducted on Campus showed that 80% of students always recycle, but that only 20% use their own reusable water bottle on campus (many used more that 16+ bottles of water a week). Of the Freshman surveyed, approximately 50% did not know of the new water bottle filling stations on campus. Of all students surveyed, 51% said that they "try to buy locally grown or organic" whenever possible, 55% did not know of the organic garden on campus (mostly Freshman/Sophomores), approximately 61% print both on and off campus, and find that their is a presence of sustainability on campus. What was interesting to find was that only 30% of all those surveyed recognized that there are three components to sustainability (economic, environmental, and social) with the other 70% only identifying the environmental aspect. Another interesting aspect of the assessment was the behaviors "rarely or never" performed. The top two behaviors not instrumented were biking for transportation and unplugging devices when not in use. Our findings opened areas for future improvement and ideas to engage students in areas that are lacking. We hope to use this survey to better inform our students and work on further sustainable practices on campus. Results of the Literacy Assessment sent shows great variety among dorming/commuter students, variation in type of school, but of those students who responded to the survey approximately 75% were female and only 25% were male. There was also a great number of students from the "North America" area, and few from places abroad. These results do not represent the great diversity on campus, but is a starting point for the Sustainability Department to evaluate their work on campus. A more in depth Literacy Assessment will be discussed for next year.

The website URL where information about the literacy assessment(s) is available:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
*A small sample size of the total campus population was analyzed due to the percent of students who responded to an optional survey.

*A small sample size of the total campus population was analyzed due to the percent of students who responded to an optional survey.

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.