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

STARS v2.2

Texas A&M University
EN-4: Outreach Materials and Publications

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 a central sustainability website that consolidates information about the institution’s sustainability efforts?:

Website URL for the central sustainability website:
Does the institution have a sustainability newsletter or social media platform that focuses specifically on campus sustainability?:

A brief description of the sustainability newsletter or social media platform:

The Department of Residence Life has multiple avenues for educating residents on sustainability within the department and across campus. Facebook and Instagram, under the name Aggies Going Green, are widely used to share news articles, promote initiatives hosted by the department and campus partners, as well as to educate students on sustainable swaps they can make in their lives. In addition, the social media pages are used to highlight students and student organizations that are dedicated to promoting sustainability throughout the A&M community. Instagram is used for more visual content and infographics while Facebook is used to bulk information and engaging articles.
A monthly sustainability newsletter is also published on the department’s website and advertising is sent out through the previously mentioned social media accounts. The newsletter changes topic each month to reflect a new student organization, A&M department, or concept relating to sustainability. Previous topics include greenwashing, the Aggie Eco Reps, and the department’s U-Challenge research competition. Students are also encouraged to reach out to Residence Life Sustainability with any topic that are interested in learning more about for inclusion into future newsletters. The department also utilizes bulk email as an efficient way of sharing information to not just residents, but campus as a whole, on initiatives such as the Trex Plastic Film Challenge, Sustainability Dinner & Awards, and e-waste recycling bins. Updates are also presented to the entire Division of Student Affairs and articles are submitted to both regional and national organizations like ACUHO-I.

The Office of Sustainability produces a biannual newsletter to promote the Aggie Green Fund. The newsletter is posted on the Aggie Green Fund website at greenfund.tamu.edu.

Does the institution have signage that highlights sustainability features on campus?:

A brief description of the signage that highlights sustainability features on campus:

In the spirit of sustainability which is a keystone of The Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation, the buildings are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certified. Their many green features include:

A revolutionary heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system that uses natural convection currents in the Mitchell Institute’s six-story atrium
A cistern that collects and stores condensate and rainfall for irrigation of the building exteriors and the rooftop Cynthia Woods Mitchell Garden
Orientation and design to maximize heat gain and natural light
Sustainable and recycled building materials

These building features are marked through signage throughout the building and the buildings exterior. Similar signage is in place in the other LEED certified buildings on campus.

Apart from existing signage, the Campus Master Plan was recently updated and incorporating sustainability signage around campus is a priority.

Does the institution provide a sustainability walking map or tour?:

A brief description of the sustainability walking map or tour:

Texas A&M's interactive campus map includes a sustainability layer that highlights features on campus including bike racks, electric vehicles, recycling, and sustainable features and buildings.

The map can be accessed here: https://www.tamu.edu/map/index.html

Does the institution produce a guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience?:

A brief description of the guide for green living and/or incorporating sustainability into the residential experience:

Residence Life reviews and edits an On-Campus Living Sustainability Guide that outlines how residents can be more sustainable while living on campus. The full guide can be found at https://reslife.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/On-Campus-Living-Sustainability-Guide-2020-2021.pdf. It provides an overview of campus entities that work to make sustainability an Aggie tradition, tips on how to make each part of their life more sustainable (from academics to living), as well as contact information for campus leadership. The guide serves as a companion piece to the Green Dorm Certification program to which residents can apply. The outline of the certification can be found at https://reslife.tamu.edu/living/sustainability/green-dorm/.

A brief description of other comprehensive sustainability outreach materials and publications not covered above:

Aggie Eco Reps have created bulletin boards that are displayed in residential communities on a rotating (as requested) basis. Additionally, on the back of room doors is a sticker prompting awareness of sustainability, with a QR code that links to the Residence Life Sustainability page. Many rooms with individual thermostats have stickers about the campus comfort range of 72-77 degrees (F). Bathrooms with dual flush toilets are appropriately labelled as well to encourage appropriate use. Finally, the Department of Residence Life has recently embarked upon a "Green Dorm Certification" program, in which students have the opportunity to share about their habits and commitments to living a sustainable lifestyle through an online survey. This information is compiled, graded against a rubric, and the student is provided a placard to display on their room door denoting their commitment to sustainable practice.

In addition to the programs outlined above, the Department of Residence Life utilizes passive forms of education to engage students. This has been done through various stickers placed around the residence halls, including on the back of doors outlining how they can reduce their energy consumption, light switch stickers reminding residents to turn off the lights when they leave, and informative signs on dual-flush toilets. We are also working with Utility & Energy Services to send out mock bills to on-campus residents to educate them on their consumption and provide recommendations on how it can be reduced. These are expected to go out in Fall 2020. The Department of Residence Life has also made available a series of posters focused on different aspects of sustainability. These were created as part of the department's Sustainability Master Plan.

Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

https://reslife.tamu.edu/wp-content/uploads/SUSTAINABILITY_ResLife_Sustainability_Plan.pdf --> direct link to the Residence Life Sustainability Master Plan

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.