Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.85
Liaison Kelly Wellman
Submission Date Dec. 11, 2020

STARS v2.2

Texas A&M University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ben Kalscheur
Sustainability Assistant Manager
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:
As a representative of Texas A&M, the Environmental Issues Committee (EIC) actively strives to provide and support: programs that enhance environmental education and awareness, programs that reduce the community's impact on the environment and promote sound environmental legislation on and off-campus, 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 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 (https://maroonlink.tamu.edu/organization/1ove) 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) (https://stuactonline.tamu.edu/app/organization/profile/public/id/603) 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.

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 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.

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:
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, very few of which are 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.

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 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.

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:
2020 was the 21st 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, “Ecology in the Anthropocene,” highlighting ecosystems in a human-dominated world. The 2020 event was held virtually due to COVID-19. Texas A&M University hosted its thirteenth annual Campus Sustainability Day in October 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we transitioned to virtual offerings during our Virtual Campus Sustainability Month. Multiple presentations from students, faculty, and staff were offered. An Instagram event was created to highlight the work of campus partners. A detailed program can be found here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/vcsm.aspx The Environmental Issues Committee and The Office of Sustainability partner each year to host Texas A&M Earth Day in April. In 2020, the event was turned into an entire month of virtual content, dubbed Virtual Earth Month. Multiple presentations from students, faculty, and staff were offered. A detailed program can be found here: http://sustainability.tamu.edu/virtual-earth-month.aspx 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.

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:
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. 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.

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:
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.

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:
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.

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 in specific roles, ranging from team leaders, technicians, educators, and research/analysts.

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:
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.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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