Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 66.09
Liaison Elizabeth Drake
Submission Date March 3, 2023

STARS v2.2

Swarthmore College
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Clare Hyre
Associate Director of Sustainability
Office 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:
Campus Coalition Concerning Chester (C4), EAT, Garnet Go Green, Outsiders, The Good Food Project, Bird Club, Herbivore Club, and more


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:
Our Food Garden has been a vehicle for education about sustainable agriculture and our food system since 2016. Students in the associated Our Food course, which is co-hosted by the Environmental Studies program and the Biology department, use the gardens to grow annual crops of personal interest and to share their newfound knowledge with the community via garden signs and other special projects.

The Garden Collective is a small section designated within the fence used as a community area to increase student engagement and serve the campus community. This space currently includes three tables and six benches which can seat up to twelve students for garden events. The garden includes four small 4x4 plots, and there are plans for additional growing plots. This space is managed with coordination between the Office of Sustainability, the Scott Arboretum, the Women's Resource Center, and receives support from the Environmental Studies Program.

The Good Food Garden, located on the corner of Elm and Cedar, is home to a variety of plants. The Good Food Garden Garden is a student run space, managed with help from Scott Arboretum, volunteers, and other community members. Throughout the academic year and in the summer season you can find annual and perennial crops, as well as flowers. Moving forward, the Student Food Garden Coordinators hope to hold events in the space for students and the campus community.


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:
The Crumb Cafe is a student managed and operated cafe that provides a late-night dining option to students. The Café has been a great partner to sustainability, as student educators and other groups have regularly cohosted events with the cafe space. They also use compostable products utilizing campus infrastructure and purchasing pathways.

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:
The President’s Climate Commitment Fund Amplify Grant (or PCCF Amplify Grant) is designed to support our campus community in developing skills, knowledge, and opportunities that expand engagement around topics of climate action.

The PCCF Amplify Grant builds upon the President’s Climate Commitment Fund’s mission to foster greater responsibility and leadership in addressing the ongoing climate crisis. Through this program, students, faculty, and staff can apply for up to $5,000 of funding toward projects that seek to address climate change-related issues and inspire a larger culture shift in the campus community to actively engage in climate action within the College and beyond. Projects can be led by individuals or teams and focus on a wide range of climate-related topics, and should demonstrate an innovative approach and measurable impact.


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:
Over the past three springs, the College has hosted a Climate Essentials short course, which has attracted over 200 participants from the campus community. The course has featured more than a dozen speakers, including renowned figures such as Mustafa Santiago Ali, Evon Peter, Enei Begaye, Frances Moore Lappé, Matthew Lynch, and Sarah Jaquette Ray.

The College community has also celebrated Earth Day each year, with various groups participating in events. In Spring 2022, the Office of Sustainability coordinated an Earth Week that comprised over a dozen events, including nature walks, wellness activities, and several talks.

In Fall 2021, PSRF Chantel Reyes convened a Zero Waste Symposium, which united campus stakeholders in a discussion on the impact of Swarthmore's waste. The symposium drew attention to the injustices associated with incineration in the neighboring town of Chester, PA, and proposed solutions to address these issues.

Additionally, in Spring 2022, the Environmental Justice and Community Resilience Program organized the Looking Back, Moving Forward conference. The event comprised three workshop panels that explored the history and future of environmental activism in Swarthmore's neighboring city of Chester. The conference featured several community leaders, activists, and environmental lawyers, and received a substantial turnout from the college community.

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:
A Spring 2022 Dyani White Hawk exhibition touched on the preservation of Native languages and cultures and the List Gallery specifically commissioned a Lenape language video that celebrated the lands and communities that were stewarded by the Lenape for generations.

Many of Swarthmore's List Gallery exhibitions call attention to the precarity of our ecosystem (Rackstraw Downes) or threats to underserved or marginalized cultures (Barbara Bullock and Paul Briggs). Public talks and/or workshops were hosted alongside each show.

Last year, the List Gallery organized an exhibition, interactive website, and hosted a reception and panel discussion focusing on the interrelationships between climate change, the pandemic, and social unrest. A PDF of the press release is attached, telling you more. The virtual archive is here: https://ds-pages.swarthmore.edu/2020-in-perspective/home/.

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 "Outsiders" Outing Club is dedicated to giving Swarthmore students across all class years and experience levels the opportunity to explore the outdoors through a wide array of activities, including climbing, hiking and backpacking.

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:

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 student Green Advisors become experts in and teach community members about composting - as well as reduction/diversion methods more broadly. GAs host residential events like clothing swaps in which students bring in old clothes to donate or trade, in addition to workshops for sewing and mending clothes. We also have student workers hired through the campus arboretum who tend to onsite vegetable gardens year-round, which provides vegetables for weekly summer vegetable giveaways to community members and students living on campus. Fieldwork, gardening, and food management are also taught through courses under the Environmental Studies major such as Our Food and Our Waste.

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
There are many student positions with the Office of Sustainability including Green Advisors, President's Sustainability Research Fellows, Office Interns, Worthmore Move-Out Assistants, Summer Interns. Additional positions are available through Scott Arboretum including Garden Assistants and Good Food Interns.

GAs: https://www.swarthmore.edu/sustainability/green-advisors
PSRF: https://www.swarthmore.edu/sustainability/presidents-sustainability-research-fellowship
Scott Arboretum Interns: https://www.scottarboretum.org/learn/

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:
Annual Crum Woods Clean Up: for the past several years, the College sets aside a day to welcome staff, students, and community volunteers for a collective woods clean-up and meadow planting effort.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Participation: for the past several years, Swarthmore has sent a delegation usually consisting of about 4 students and 2 faculty (each year), to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) as observers, to learn about the negotiations. The students and faculty regularly update a public blog, post from which some faculty choose to incorporate into their lesson plans.
Website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/sustainability/un-conference-delegation

Hawai'i Summer Programming -internships have been organized for several students each summer at sites including Paepae o He’eia and Ma'o Organic Farm.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Data for this credit was reported by representatives from the Office of Sustainability and informed by publicly accessible materials on the College website.

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.