Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.04
Liaison Shoshana Blank
Submission Date March 1, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Tufts University
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tina Woolston
Director
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have one or more active student groups focused on sustainability?:
Yes

A brief description of active student groups focused on sustainability:

Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) is a community of environmentally-minded students who work to engage with sustainability issues on campus.

Tufts Climate Action (TCA) is a group dedicated to building leadership on and off campus and contributing to the climate justice movement. The group's campaigns have included natural gas, divestment, administration and academics, environmental justice, and agriculture, and members have engaged in activities such as rallying, marching, and demonstrating.

Tufts Energy Group focuses on engaging and educating the Tufts community about energy issues.

Tom Thumb's Student Garden on the Medford campus includes a garden plot behind the Latin Way residence hall and is focused on getting students outside, playing in the dirt, and eating real food.

Fletcher Energy and Environment Club (FLEEC) – Informs students about environmental and energy issues and events on a local and international level. FLEEC acts as a network and resource for current Fletcher students and alumni to get involved in environmental issues. FLEEC hosts speakers, field trips, career networking events, and acts as an informational platform.

Fletcher Net Impact believes in using the power of business to make a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. We host events, speakers, networking opportunities, and field trips focused on sustainability, social responsibility, innovation and global shared value. Our parent organization, Net Impact, is a community of more than 30,000 changemakers who are using their jobs to tackle the world’s toughest problems. Net Impact members put business skills to work for good throughout every sector.

Tufts Bikes is a student-run organization aimed at promoting bike culture at Tufts University through a bike sharing program, a bike repair shop, safety and urban riding classes, and group rides. http://tuftsbikes.com

Tufts Urban Policy, Planning, and Prosperity (UP3) allows students to learn about city planning, architecture, transportation, sustainable design, and more.

Food Rescue Collaborative works to address food insecurity while minimizing food waste from the dining halls. Student volunteers turn dining hall food leftovers into complete meals to donate to local families in need. https://as.tufts.edu/environmentalstudies/resources/foodRescue.htm

The Tufts Office of Sustainability hosts regular internship opportunities available for students.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:

Tom Thumb’s Student Garden is comprised of a modest cluster of raised beds. The garden, comprised of a variety of plants, ranging from squash and melons to peppers and tomatoes, is tended to by student members and open to anyone in the Tufts community.It is located on Tufts Medford/Somerville campus.

The Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USDA HNRCA) and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society opened an indoor garden to raise vegetables on Tufts’ Boston campus in January 2014. Located in the street-level lobby of the USDA HNRCA, the garden is an extension of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Garden to Table initiative, which provides hands-on learning opportunities and educational support to people interested in growing their own vegetables. (http://now.tufts.edu/news-releases/indoor-garden-installed-usda-nutrition-research-center-aging-tufts-university)

The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine now has a community garden right in the middle of campus where employees and students can tend their own plots between classes and work. The garden was a student initiative and is run by students with assistance from farm staff.


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:

The Rez is a student-run cafe on campus. They serve fair-trade coffee grown by small, independent farmers. The Rez also recycles all milk cartons, glass syrup bottles, and soy milk boxes. Students who purchase coffee from The Rez receive a discount for bringing their own mugs. (http://www.tuftsstudentresources.com/shop/tsr-cafes)


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:

The Tufts Experimental College course "Philanthropy, Nonprofits, and Community” offers students the unique opportunity to serve as both grant writer and grant maker. This course teaches philanthropy while providing $25,000 in grants to local non-profits that the students select. The course was last taught during the fall 2017 semester.

The Experimental College has also offered courses such as “Microfinance,” in which students study and participate in microfinance investments. (http://www.excollege.tufts.edu/courses)

The Tufts Sustainability Investment Fund (SIF) will give donors the option of designating that their endowment gifts be invested in a way that acknowledges the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Tufts launched the SIF with seed funding of $1 million from the university. An advisory group consisting of staff, faculty, students and members of a professional investment office was appointed to determine the definition of sustainability and consider the investment options available at the time of the fund's creation. See more at http://now.tufts.edu/articles/boost-tufts-environmental-goals

The Green Fund (a.k.a Campus Sustainability Fund) is a program to provide funding for the implementation of sustainability projects and ideas from and for the Tufts community. The fund is managed by a group of students, faculty, and staff. (https://sustainability.tufts.edu/green-fund/)

The Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund invests in microfinance projects around the world. Started in 2005 with a $100 million grant from Pierre and Pam Omidyar it has loaned money to small businesses in 53 countries.
(https://tuftsdaily.com/features/2016/02/24/omidyar-tufts-microfinance-fund-hopes-to-increase-return-rate/)


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to sustainability:

The university holds a number of major events for students related to sustainability. These include the following:

CIERP’s Energy, Climate, and Innovation Program’s Research Seminar series features a variety of presenters who speak on topics ranging from climate change and sustainability development to ecosystem management and energy. The Center for International Environment & Resource Policy is housed within the Fletcher School. (https://sites.tufts.edu/cierp/events/)

The Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP) hosts a UEP Colloquium Series intended to bring together students, faculty, affiliates, alumni, and friends to share, learn, inspire, and provoke. (https://as.tufts.edu/uep/news/colloquia)

Tufts’ Environmental Studies Program organizes a weekly Lunch and Learn series that features Tufts alumni, graduate students, faculty, and undergraduates participating in research, as well as non-Tufts speakers from the environmental and sustainability fields. (https://as.tufts.edu/environmentalStudies/lunch/)

The Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) hosts a Brown Bag Lunch series on environmental topics. (http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/pastevents.html)

The Tufts Energy Conference is a two-day energy conference that brings together experts from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors with students and professionals to discuss critical global energy issues. The conference is entirely organized by students from a broad range of backgrounds in engineering, international affairs, urban planning, and economics. (https://environment.tufts.edu/tec/)

The Office of Sustainability helps organize the Student Sustainability Leadership Symposium for Eco-Reps from many regional colleges and universities each year. https://sustainability.tufts.edu/sustainability-at-tufts/programs/ecorepresentatives/ssl-symposium/

The Tufts Institute of the Environment hosts events occasionally such as environmental films and debriefing from the COP conferences that students attend: https://environment.tufts.edu/initiatives/events/

Additionally, many student groups host sustainability-related events.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations or performances related to sustainability:

The Museum of Capitalism exhibit at the School of the Museum of the Fine Arts (SMFA) during fall 2018 is a good example of this. The Museum of Capitalism is an institution dedicated to educating present and future generations about the history, philosophy, and legacy of capitalism through exhibitions, research, and publications; through collecting and preserving material evidence, art, and artifacts of capitalism; and through varied public programming. The museum’s programs result from collaborations between researchers, curators, artists, designers, filmmakers, writers, economists, historians, scientists, and non-specialists from all walks of life, including those with direct experience in capitalism.

Also, another exhibit is "A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas" which was up at the Tisch Family Gallery during spring 2018. Drawing from the hemispheric context of the Americas, and broad questions of civilization and culture, A Decolonial Atlas: Strategies in Contemporary Art of the Americas presented recent works by artists from the United States and Latin America who grapple with continued questions of colonialism and postcolonialism. Decolonial Atlas, as a big section addressed the relationship with landscape and nature.

A Library of SMFA Waters, was a small exhibit put together by the Greening of Art class at the SMFA library. They collected water samples from studios and faucets around the school and displayed them in a case based on Ph levels. It was a pop up display that felt more informal than official exhibits in gallery spaces.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:

The student-run Tufts Mountain Club (TMC) is one of the largest student organizations on the Tufts Medford campus and organizes trips every weekend. TMC maintains the Tufts-owned Loj in New Hampshire for use by students and other members of the Tufts community. Many students use the Loj as a base camp from which they enjoy a wealth of activities including hiking, skiing, swimming, rock climbing, and apple picking. The Outdoor Resource Center shares outdoor knowledge and techniques with the wider Tufts community by hosting clinics and training sessions on campus.

The Tufts Wilderness Orientation is a 5-day experience for incoming freshmen before school starts. Each year, over 250 freshmen come to Tufts in late August to embark on 33 student-led backpacking, canoeing, hybrid, rock climbing, and trail crew trips. Groups are completely self-sufficient for the five days; they carry all their own food and equipment, do all their own cooking, and have as little contact with civilization as possible. The Tufts Wilderness Orientation staff is a highly selective group of students, including 30 support staff members and 66 leaders in 2014. (https://students.tufts.edu/orientation/pre-orientation/two-tufts-wilderness-orientation)


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)?:
Yes

A brief description of the sustainability-related themes chosen for themed semesters, years, or first-year experiences:

Undergraduate Orientation at the Medford/Somerville campus:
The Office of Sustainability (OOS) tables at undergraduate orientation on the Medford/Somerville campus every year. Current OOS interns help spread the word about the various resources available to them such as the Bike Guide and the Eco Map.

In addition, new students learn about the programs they can participate in such as the Eco-Representatives program and OOS and recycling internships. The numerous clubs on campus that focus on sustainability-related issues such as Tufts Bikes and Students for Environmental Awareness are also advertised.

There are often goodies such as snacks, stickers, and prizes up for grabs to further encourage participation and enthusiasm for sustainability initiatives here at Tufts.

Accepted Students' "Jumbo Day" at the SMFA:
In 2018, Eco-Ambassadors from the SMFA campus applied for a grant to make their annual "Jumbo Day" for accepted students a greener event. With the grant funds, the Eco-Ambassadors purchased compostable plates, cups, and utensils. In addition, they had all of the attendees compost their leftover food, making it a zero waste event. The SMFA campus Eco-Rep also tabled at the event, handing out sustainability brochures and letting prospective students know about various commuter benefits available to SMFA students.


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?:
Yes

A brief description of the programs through which students can learn sustainable life skills:

The Green House, Tufts’ sustainability-themed housing unit, was established in 2013. The Green House is intended as a focal point for the environmentally-minded community on the Tufts Medford campus. By bringing eco-friendly students, organizations, and faculty together, they promote the spread of knowledge and passion for sustainable living. The house provides a living space for environmentally interested students and a meeting place for the larger Tufts community. Students living in the Green House are required to work on sustainability-related research or a project around the campus, and residents host sustainability-focused events throughout the academic year. Tufts’ sustainability director serves as the advisor of the Green House. (https://sustainability.tufts.edu/sustainability-house-at-tufts/)


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:
Yes

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

A number of offices and departments on campus offer sustainability-related student employment and internships, including the Office of Sustainability, Tufts Institute of the Environment (TIE), the Environmental Studies Program, and Dining Services.


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?:
No

A brief description of the graduation pledges:
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The website URL where information about the graduation pledges is available (optional):
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Does the institution have other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives?:
No

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:
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The website URL where information about other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives is available (optional):
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Estimated percentage of students (full-time and part-time) that participate annually in sustainability-focused co-curricular education and outreach programs (0-100):
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.