Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 45.93
Liaison Gabrielle Jette
Submission Date April 13, 2022

STARS v2.2

The Catholic University of America
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" 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:

Catholic University Environmental Club: The Environmental Club is Catholic University's environmental student organization dedicated to demonstrating the efficiency, effectiveness, and importance for sustainability through interdisciplinary educational programs, services, and engagement.

American Conservation Coalition - Catholic University Chapter: This organization promotes free market solutions to climate change through educational events and activism.

The Student Government Association's Environmental Initiative: The Environmental Executive Initiative brainstorms and executes ideas on how to make Catholic University more environmentally aware and sustainable. The Initiative works closely with the Environmental Sustainability Office and Facilities, Maintenance, and Operations Office.

CUAdventures: CUAdventures strives to enrich the health of the student body through immersion in the natural world. Events include monthly weekend day hikes to local natural areas, as well as occasional meetings and other outdoor excursions.

Tree Committee: The Catholic University Tree Committee works together to protect and preserve the trees on campus, educate the Catholic U community about our trees, and further tree and ecosystem biodiversity on campus.

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 on-campus community garden run by the Student Government Association's Environmental Inititative allows community members to foster a raised bed plot for a growing season. The garden is managed by student garden liaisons who help educate students, faculty, and staff on how to manage their plots.

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 on-campus resource exchange, Cardinal Closet, is a student-run enterprise focused on zero waste. Cardinal Closet provides an opportunity for all community members - students, staff, and faculty - to bring unwanted clothing and household items into Cardinal Closet and exchange them free of charge for other items that they need or want. Cardinal Closet was approved in April 2022, the first donation drives were held in April and May 2022, and it will be opening for exchanges in August 2022.

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:

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:

On April 22, 2022, Catholic University is hosting a conference on the impact that a changing global climate will have on work and careers throughout the 21st century. This is part of the University’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship as part of its recent 5-year sustainability plan. Building on themes addressed by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Si’, the conference will feature speakers from government, industry, universities, and the nonprofit sector and will provide a forum to engage our students as they prepare to take their places in a professional world adapting to a changing climate.

On March 30, 2022, Catholic University will join nine other Universities in the DC region to host an in-person climate justice teach-in featuring 16 of our students, faculty, and staff. The teach-in will focus on addressing climate, public health, advocacy, and more. Catholic joins over 1,000 colleges, universities, high schools and K-8 schools by participating in this worldwide climate teach-in organized by Bard College.

During the Fall 2020 semester, Catholic University hosted a "Green Cardinal Talks" speakers series focused on various sustainability topics. Topics included: sustainable living tips for students, campus waste, campus trees, energy efficiency on campus, and food waste, among others. Speakers included university staff, faculty, and students as well as representatives from local sustainability focused organizations.

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 April 2021, the University's Center for Cultural Engagement hosted two events: Global Fest 2021 and Earth Day Comedy Hour with Kasha Patel. Global Fest 2021 celebrated diverse community, food, and world cultures and how to protect them. Earth Day Comedy Hour featured Kasha Patel, who was listed on Thrillist magazine’s “Best Undiscovered Comedians in the US.” Kasha Patel primarily focuses her comedy routine on her life as an Indian-American and scientist, producing one of the only science-themed comedy shows in the nation.

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:

Cardinal Adventures, hosted by the Catholic University Fitness & Recreation team, are small group indoor or outdoor excursions for those who love being active, the great outdoors, or simply want to try something new. It provides an opportunity to get out of the city and have some fun with fellow students. Adventures are booked once a month and include activities such as kayaking, skiing, rock climbing, horseback riding, and the flying trapeze. The Leave No Trace principles are adhered to during all Adventures, in particular outdoor Adventures such as kayaking, skiing, horseback riding, and hiking.

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 Sustainable Living Office at The Catholic University of America is offered as a three-credit independent study to undergraduate students. The class allows students pursuing the Sustainability Minor within the School of Architecture and Planning as well as students generally interested in campus sustainability to engage the campus community in the university’s sustainability initiatives and help the community live sustainably on a daily basis. This class serves as a bridge between the Sustainability Initiatives team in Facilities, other sustainability and environmental organizations on campus, and the student body, faculty, and staff. It provides students with real world experience implementing sustainability initiatives through a guided hands-on approach. The students expand upon existing sustainability initiatives that advance the 3 P’s of Sustainability: People, Planet, and Prosperity as well as the focuses of the office: Laudato Si, zero waste, environmental justice, climate change education, and professional development.

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

In the 2019-2020 academic year, the Facilities Maintenance and Operations department hired a student sustainability communications intern to help spread the word about sustainability achievements. The position produced creative, engaging, and tech-forward communications materials (social media, power points, posters, flyers, blogs, newsletters, website updates, etc.) for the Catholic University sustainability social media channels and the website. The intern was mentored by the Assistant Director for Campus Facilities & Sustainability Initiatives.

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:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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.