Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 50.14
Liaison Jessa Gagne
Submission Date April 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Stonehill College
EN-9: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Jessa Gagne
Energy Manager
Operations & Finance
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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 Farm at Stonehill:
The Farm is a place for students to get their hands dirty. An initiative of the Mission Division, The Farm supplies local food banks, soup kitchens and other meal providers with organic, sustainably grown fruits and vegetables; helping to make nutritious, local food available to neighbors in need.

The Farm challenges the status quo and asks students to actively engage food justice issues in the surrounding community. Located on 1.5 acres of college-owned land directly adjacent to campus, The Farm is a living endorsement of Stonehill's commitment to the greater good.

During the growing season, the Farm distributes produce through four organizations including:
My Brother’s Keeper
The Easton Food Pantry
The Table at Father Bill’s and Main Spring
The Family Center at the Brockton YMCA

The Farm is an inviting place where the entire campus community assists with all levels of farming, from planting seeds in the spring to putting the fields to bed before the first frost (and lots of weed-pulling in between).

2012 Statistics:
149 student volunteers
702 volunteer hours
10,000 pounds of produce donated

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):

Community-Based Learning (CBL):
Community-Based Learning (CBL) links civic engagement (service, research, or action projects) with coursework, lectures and discussions to create deep and integrated learning experiences for students and meaningful community impacts for local partners.

CBL is a democratically constructed understanding of the world as it is, the production of a vision of the world that could be and the design of strategic actions that might bring such a world into fruition. At its best, CBL enhances teaching, learning and partnerships with the possibility of social justice.

An example of a recent CBL that focused on sustainability is Environmental Law. Other recent CBLs that incorporated sustainability include Topics in Education: Energy Playground-Teaching Children Science, Community Organizing: People, Power and Change, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Native New England: Tribal Nations, Public Policy and Politics of Sovereignty, among others.

The Farm at Stonehill is also an example of a collaborative sustainability partnership, combining sustainability and social justice under the umbrella of food justice.

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:

Camp Shriver at Stonehill College's mission is to use sports as a vehicle to bring children with and without disabilities together so that they have the opportunity to develop their motor as well as social skills, create positive peer relationships and make new friends. Campers receive instruction in a variety of sports (including soccer, basketball and swimming), as well as participate in creative experiences (including arts, crafts and games). Camp Shriver is run via a partnership between Stonehill College, the National Inclusion Project, and The Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts. Camp Shriver is free and open to boys and girls 8-12 years of age that live in our neighboring city (Brockton). 50% of the campers are children with a disability, and 50% are children without a disability. All elements of this camp are free including the food, transportation, instruction, and sports gear. This is possible due to contributions from local sponsors such as BC Tent & Awning, United Way of Plymouth County, Old Colony YMCA, Sodexo, and more.

+ Date Revised: May 24, 2016

A brief description of the institution’s sustainability partnerships with distant (i.e. non-local) communities:

Honoring our neighbor, Organizing for justice, Practicing peace, Encountering God Service Immersion Program (H.O.P.E.)

H.O.P.E. endeavors to challenge the Stonehill community to grow in love of God and neighbor by embodying the Congregation of Holy Cross’s commitment to a preferential option for the poor.

As a program housed and operated through the Campus Ministry Office, H.O.P.E. is grounded in the principles of Catholic social teaching. Rooted in that tradition, H.O.P.E. informs the moral, spiritual and social competencies of students, giving them the opportunity “to bring these competencies to bear on matters of social justice.”

Through direct experience of the often unjust social reality in domestic and international sites, H.O.P.E. seeks to carry out Fr. Basil Moreau’s educational philosophy that “forms people into agents of justice and engages the whole person – mind and heart.”

Justice and Social Change:
By providing direct service on-site, students are exposed to various methods of social change including:
Community development
Sustainable agriculture
Political advocacy

Living and serving in a community affected by social injustice, students are challenged in their current worldviews about the political and social reality of their host community and of their own home community.

Through these experiences, students learn that direct service does not always result in direct change, and that the impact of their service may not be felt during the week spent in the host community. Students often discover that the work they do with their hearts – engaging in acts of solidarity with those in host communities – is more important than any work done with their hands.

Encountering different cultures fosters the value of diversity. In encountering persons of different cultures, H.O.P.E. participants:
Recognize the inherent value and dignity of each person
Acknowledge and appreciate differences between communities
Gain an increased awareness of societies, cultures, worldviews and political beliefs
Develop relationships with people of diverse backgrounds and recognize the ways in which these relationships enrich our lives

By engaging in communal service and reflection, students are better able to identify their core spiritual beliefs, and will find a support system in which those beliefs may be developed, challenged and nurtured.

Through regular communal reflection, students recognize the value and importance of ongoing reflection in appropriating service experiences into their everyday lives. Students are exposed to Catholic Social Teaching and liberation theology as ‘systems’ that attempt to foster a faith that engages the world and seeks to transform unjust situations.

Personal Growth & Emotional Development:
H.O.P.E. participants explore the ways in which service and justice activities can aid an individual in recognizing and developing their own gifts to continue work for “…the creation of a more just and compassionate world.”

Students engage in continuous reflection on the ways in which the injustices they have seen move them to further service and advocacy on behalf of those marginalized in society. Through reflection on their collective experience, students often awaken a desire to commit themselves to the betterment of our society and world.

Stonehill also offers a post-graduate service program. The Stonehill Service Corps offers recent Stonehill graduates the opportunity to spend 11 months serving communities in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, India or Brockton, Massachusetts.
Service Corps volunteers are immersed in a cultural service experience, providing a unique occasion for personal growth and the discovery of a new sense of community and spirituality.

Volunteers engage in a simple lifestyle, drawing near to the poor as an expression of solidarity with those whom they serve. These experiences are strengthened and supported by other volunteers who gather regularly for shared reflection.

The website URL where information about sustainability partnerships is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.