|Submission Date||Dec. 19, 2019|
Texas A&M University
EN-3: Student Life
|2.00 / 2.00||
Sustainability Assistant Manager
Office of Sustainability
Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:
As a representative of Texas A&M, the Environmental Issues Committee (EIC) actively strives to provide and support: programs which enhance environmental education and awareness, programs which reduce the community's impact on the environment, and promote sound environmental legislation on and off campus, in order to improve quality of life.
Engineers for a Sustainable World: The purpose of this organization is to create a world of environmental, social and economic prosperity through implementing engineering principles in philanthropic efforts to design, educate, and build for the community. Engineers for a Sustainable World, or ESW, is a national nonprofit organization with 40+ student chapters at universities across the country and a handful of professional chapters. The ESW Texas A&M Chapter was founded in 2016, and as a new organization, we aim to educate the next generation of engineers/scientists about sustainability through hands-on projects and community outreach programs. ESW will accomplish its three pillars "design, educate and build" through devoting the application of engineering principles to the betterment of society. Once per year, the local chapters of ESW gather at a national convention to discuss ideas, collaborate, and work together to bring their vision of a sustainable world closer to a reality. https://maroonlink.tamu.edu/organization/ESW
The 12th Can: A student-run food pantry located at Texas A&M built to serve all students, faculty, and staff in need of assistance. We opened our doors in November 2013 and have been privileged enough to serve this community ever since! Please check out more about our organization, our mission, and how to use our pantry. https://www.the12thcan.org/
One Love (onelove.tamu.edu) is a student group dedicated to environmental and social sustainability.
One Love's Mission Statement:
"We are a group of like-minded individuals dedicated to finding and showing others the beauty in life every day through loving others, yourself, and the world around you. We put on events and programs that enhance the overall wellness and satisfaction of life as well as help people learn to care for and respect the world we live in. We want to help people weave a common thread of love throughout all aspects of their life." A few of One Love’s sustainability successes include: One Love's Environmental Committee helped to pass the Green Fund Initiative on Texas A&M's campus as a contributing member of Texas A&M's Sustainability Council. This initiative provides funding to all students, faculty, and staff who wish to start a program on campus that will help the environment; One Love's Community Outreach Committee has helped to raise awareness of social injustice and has helped to mitigate these issues by volunteering in the community.
The Sustainable Agriculture Student Association's (SASA) (studentfarm.tamu.edu) mission is to create a means for Texas A&M students to experience, explore, share, and learn about issues relating to sustainable agriculture. The purpose of the organization is to help develop a student farm program to supply cafeterias on campus. SASA will serve as a vibrant network of individuals interested in sustainable agriculture. We want to attract talented and bright individuals to pursue careers in sustainable agriculture. Students involved with SASA will have the opportunity to volunteer at the A&M Student Farm.
The website URL where information about the student groups is available (optional):
Does the institution have gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects 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 student‐run farm project, the Howdy! Farm, began in 2009 by students motivated to create a student run facility for organic agriculture, and ultimately a more sustainable campus. The farm offers volunteer hours, internship credits, and student organization officer positions to the students. The produce grown at the farm is sold to the community at farmers markets, to local restaurants, and to the dining services on campus.
The website URL where information about the gardens, farms or agriculture projects is available (optional):
Does the institution have student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes (e.g. cafés through which students gain sustainable business skills)?:
A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
Students initiated the Texas A&M Student Organic Farm (SOF) in the fall of 2009 as an experiential education facility open to the campus and local communities. The SOF is a student and volunteer driven initiative that has created a venue where many students and community members have actively participated in their first agricultural experience. Student volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and educational concentrations, which very few agriculturally focused.
The educational opportunities of the SOF go far and above exposure. For students wanting to develop a deeper understanding of organic food production, and small farm management, the SOF has the ability to give them the opportunity to experience real situations in small farm operations. The SOF has the ability to offer experiences forging skills in marketing, organization, distribution, accounting, critical thinking and public speaking.
Students working on the farm will be introduced to three distinct markets: wholesale, CSA or Community Supported Agriculture, and direct sales.
Here is the report of the Farm's accomplishments between 2016 and 2017: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8VKpz690ToVZGd2QXNiYV95U1U/view
The website URL where information about the student-run enterprises is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives 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 Aggie Green Fund is a fund that empowers our campus to take action and bring about novel and creative sustainability initiatives to the Texas A&M University campus.
The Aggie Green Fund will fund projects that increase sustainability at Texas A&M. Projects are based on the following guidelines:
Create visible and measurable sustainability impacts
Improve campus infrastructure by funding recycling, energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and other sustainability programs
The Aggie Green Fund is administered by an advisory committee. It will review project proposals and oversee the allocation of funds. The Aggie Green Fund Advisory Committee is made up of student and faculty/staff representatives that are selected by a committee consisting of students and staff.
The website URL where information about the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives is available (optional):
Does the institution have conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:
2019 was the 20th year of Texas A&M University’s nationally-recognized Ecological Integration Symposium. The Ecological Integration Symposium (EIS) is an annual interdisciplinary event that brings together a diverse group of leading scientists and students from the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation. The symposium provides an excellent opportunity for both local and visiting students to showcase their work and engage in meaningful dialogue with the invited speakers. Since its inception in 2000, EIS is a graduate student-run event that is open to the public and free to attend. This year’s theme was, "Celebrating 20 years of Ecological Integration."
Texas A&M University hosted its twelfth annual Campus Sustainability Day in October 2019. Sustainability Day featured more than 25 organizations that represent student groups, community partners and a variety of Texas A&M departments that have implemented sustainable initiatives. Interactive educational activities are provided by the organizations and all participants have the opportunity to earn a sustainability t-shirt through a passport program if they engage in a set number of the activities provided by the organizations.
The Environmental Issues Committee and The Office of Sustainability partner each year to host Texas A&M Earth Day in April. In 2019, campus and community environmental organizations hosted more than 20 tables. Participant incentives included free food, freebies, giveaways, and t-shirts. Student, campus, and departmental organizations shared their sustainable practices and ways in which environmental awareness could be incorporated in everyday life.
TAMU's Public Partnership and Outreach office help host a cultural event called Brazos Valley Worldfest with a local non-profit organization of the same name. The event celebrates the culture and heritage of all who live in the Bryan-College Station community by offering a variety of activities. Examples include, international food samples, performances, and cultural displays. The event celebrates social sustainability and also utilizes a Green Chair on the planning committee to enhance sustainability efforts, such as recycling and waste disposal during the event.
The website URL where information about the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability is available (optional):
Does the institution have cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience?:
A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:
In the Liberal Arts and Arts & Humanities Building, there is a 50 seat performance theater for productions by the College of Liberal Arts. The Scene Shop is responsible for design and development of costumes as well as construction of sets for each theater production by the Department of Performance Studies. The Theater group holds one performance per year that ranges from three to six nights and an average of 150-300 guests attend the show. Since 2011, the scene shop has been a Zero Landfill Scene Shop where all materials are reused or recycled. As part of the performance materials for the audience, information about the Zero Landfill Scene Shop initiative are included and promoted to attendees.
The MSC Visual Arts Committee hosted an event titled "The Art of Recycling" in our Memorial Student Center in 2017. With the help of elementary and middle school students of Bryan ISD, this exhibit showcased ways we can help the environment through recycling. Every piece in the exhibit was recycled and repurposed. Throughout the exhibit, attendees learned about how they affect the environment when they do or don’t recycle.
Every year, the International Student Association (ISA) unites students at Texas A&M University through International Week (I-Week) by giving them an opportunity to share and showcase the unique cultures of their countries with the A&M and Bryan/College Station community. I-Week is an excellent model of social sustainability in action. The goal of I-Week is to bring the world together.
Fusion Fiesta is an annual student-run cultural event that celebrates all the cultures and student groups who represent those cultures. Students are able to enjoy free food from different cultures around the world, watch free dancing and singing performances, and learn about different regions around the world put on by different student organizations on our campus. Fusion Fiesta is an excellent example of social sustainability in action.
The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
Does the institution have wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g. that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles?:
A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
Trip staff promote Leave No Trace principles during Outdoor Adventures trips, workshops, and clinics. As part of trip staff training, students complete a Leave No Trace Trainer Certification. Their goal is to always leave an area cleaner than they found it. All participants are expected to adhere to a strict Leave No Trace ethic.
The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors programs is available (optional):
Does the institution have sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences (e.g. choosing a sustainability-related book for common reading)?:
A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:
The website URL where information about the sustainability-related themes is available (optional):
Does the institution have programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:
A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:
As part of the Sustainability Internship Program offered by the Office of Sustainability, student interns create two workshops each semester that educate students about different life skills and topics related to sustainability. For example, workshop topics have covered making your own cleaning products and bike maintenance tips.
The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The Office of Sustainability offers employment opportunities through the Internship Program described in EN 1. Students initially earn course credit and high-performing returning interns have the opportunity to receive pay. Students are paid to serve as team leaders or for specific tasks, such as marketing.
The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
Does the institution have graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:
A brief description of the graduation pledges:
We do not administer a graduation pledge, but we do administer a sustainability pledge that is available to all through our website.
The pledge can be taken here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/sustainability-pledge.aspx
The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
The Department of Residence Life has launched a Living Learning Community (LLC) focused on Sustainability. The Sustainable Aggies (SA) LLC has 10 students within it. So far they have toured an aquaponics farm, hosted vegetarian community dinners, and had a variety of guest speakers come discuss the 3 pillars of sustainability.
Additionally, the Department of Residence Life has partnered with Chartwells (our on-campus dining services) since 2015, to promote and execute a bi-annual program entitled, "Project Clean Plate," which identifies and educates students in the Texas A&M Dining Halls about food waste and proper disposal.
The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.