Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Diane Fout
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Transylvania University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Samuel Crankshaw
Student Sustainability Coordinator
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that fall into the following categories?:
Yes or No
Active student groups focused on sustainability Yes
Gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems Yes
Student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes Yes
Sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills Yes
Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience Yes
Wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles Yes
Sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences Yes
Programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills Yes
Sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution Yes
Graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions No
Other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives Yes

The name and a brief description of each student group focused on sustainability:

TEAL (Transylvania Environmental Action League) promotes green living and helping the environment through hands-on activities. The group was established late in the Fall term of 2012. Though the group has a faculty adviser, the students decide the organization's priorities and plan, promote, and implement programs accordingly.


The website URL where information about student groups is available:
A brief description of gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and urban agriculture projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems:

The Transylvania garden has been in existence for four years and functions primarily as an educational space for students, faculty, and community members to learn about organic and sustainable gardening practices. The garden utilizes no chemicals or pesticides and uses locally sourced compost as fertilizer. The garden is not certified organic. The garden membership includes students, faculty and staff of Transylvania; weekly tasks assigned to garden members throughout the summer. There is also a class taught during May term (every other year) that utilizes the garden as a learning laboratory for responsible gardening.

Transylvania just entered into an agreement with Seedleaf, a local nonprofit focused on urban farming, to help them manage one of their gardens located a few blocks from campus. This space will serve as a platform for connecting campus to gardens and connecting campus to the local community through food. An AmeriCorps VISTA was just hired to help make these connections.

Neither of these programs is primary student-governed.


The website URL where information about the organic agriculture and/or sustainable food systems projects and initiatives is available:
A brief description of student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of their mission statements or stated purposes:

Transy Bikes! is a student-run bike shop offering bike services (advice, repairs, rentals), educational trips (urban riding, rural riding) and workshops focused on bicycle safety and use. The bike shop promotes the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainability in showing the Transylvania community the economic impact of bikes, the social component of biking (immersing oneself into the local community rather than continuing the isolation of personal vehicles), and the environmental components of reducing one's carbon footprint, improving the local air quality, and reducing fossil fuel use. Moreover, the most recent bike purchases have been purchased from a local bike shop that tracks all landfill contribution and sells no fossil fuel based products.


The website URL where information about the student-run enterprise(s) is available:
A brief description of the sustainable investment or finance initiatives:

The Green Revolving Loan Fund has supported the purchase and installation of programmable thermostats, Big Ass Fans, and a new ice machine. Projects being considered include low-flow urinals, occupancy sensors, and LED lighting. Anyone can suggest a project to the GRLF Committee. Projects ideas are actively solicited through the internal newsletter and the conservation coordinators. The committee that decides which projects to fund includes students, along with faculty, staff, and administrators.


The website URL where information about the sustainable investment or finance initiatives is available:
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A brief description of conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

Sustainability is often a focus of speakers in both the Kenan Lecture Series (given biannually, including a lecture by Robert Kennedy, Jr. on the green economy) and the Creative Intelligence Lecture Series (examples include a talk by Arwen Donahue and David Wagoner entitled 'Three Springs Farm: A Dozen Years of CSA,' a presentation by Rebecca Self about FoodChain, and a lecture by Holly Weidemann on sustainable development.)


The website URL where information about the event(s) is available:
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A brief description of cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability that have students as the intended audience:

The Morlan Art Gallery hosted TrashFormed, an exhibit featuring projects made from 100% reused materials, in Winter 2014. The Morlan Gallery and the student gallery often feature exhibits or pieces with a sustainability theme.

The past two years, several students and recent alumni have been featured in Lexington Fashion Collaborative's Earth Day Celebration and Exhibit, which is hosted at The Lyric Theatre, a Transylvania partner located only a few blocks from campus.

Transylvania has also hosted musicians who have a sustainability-related message. Most notably Ben Sollee, a nationally known artist from Lexington, has performed on campus several times in the past couple years.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts event(s) is available:
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A brief description of wilderness or outdoors programs for students that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The Transy Bikes! bike shop manager is trained in Leave no Trace and practices these principles and teaches them for group bike trips and other outdoor trips in which he participates.


The website URL where information about the wilderness or outdoors program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

A fiction and nonfiction book are selected each year for August-term, Transylvania's first year program. There is almost always a sustainability-related theme featured in one or both of the books, and the faculty focus on this as part of the course. This year's non-fiction book is The Sixth Extinction and the fiction book is We are All Completely Beside Ourselves.


The website URL where information about the theme is available:
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A brief description of program(s) through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

Some of these programs have been highlighted in other sections, specifically gardening classes and volunteer opportunities and learning to safely ride and maintain a bicycle. In addition to these regular opportunities, programs related to sustainable life skills are offered in response to student interest. For example, last year there were a series of programs on making your own, natural personal care products.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills program(s) is available:
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A brief description of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities:

A variety of student positions are available through the Sustainability Office, including internships, work study positions, and part-time employee positions. These students work closely with the Sustainability Director and other administrators to complete green house gas and STARS reports; monitor utility usage; plan, promote, and/or implement programs; and more.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportuntities is available:
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A brief description of graduation pledges through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledge program is available:
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A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Transylvania hosts a Local Food Fair, featuring local farmers with CSA shares available. This event targets students, as well as faculty and staff.

The Big Green Get Around is a team-based competition carried out in partnership with Health and Wellness. The purpose for BGGA is to encourage people to get from place to place using no or low carbon forms of transportation. During the month-long competition, a series of educational events (e.g., trolley trips, bike rides, walking tours) are planned to increase self-efficacy related to engaging in these behaviors.


The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available:
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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.