Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 71.76
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date Oct. 10, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Alberta
ER-3: Sustainability in New Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Lisa Dockman
Program Lead (Outreach & Engagement)
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution include sustainability prominently in new student orientation?:

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation:

Early September is an exciting time at UAlberta; student enthusiasm is especially high and the opportunity for education and outreach is unparalleled. As thousands of new and returning students re-establish themselves within the campus community, sustainability is at the forefront of their campus experience.

Sustainability at Orientation is a multi-faceted initiative that includes a variety of engagement strategies, educational activities and awareness-raising programs that collectively have the goal of communicating how sustainability can be found across our institution. Working with a variety of partner organizations including university departments and student associations, Sustainability at Orientation also builds organizational capacity and provides support for integrating sustainability features into campus programs. With the Office of Sustainability acting as a portal to sustainability initiatives on campus, the nucleus of our outreach activities are a high-profile tent in a central location.

The Office of Sustainability, in partnership with two undergraduate Students’ Union departments (Centre for Student Development and Student Group Services) have co-coordinated the following sustainability-related activities during Week of Welcome, Orientation and Clubs Fair:

- Facilitated a training session for over 500 Orientation Leaders to prepare them for speaking about the Sustainability Stops featured in their campus tours, and provided them with an opportunity to learn more about campus sustainability.

- Incorporated specific ‘Sustainability Stops’ that communicate visible sustainability features of our North Campus, into all tours delivered by Orientation Volunteers. These ‘stops’ are marked by lawn signs that identify the features, and also act as a prompt to encourage general awareness of campus sustainability.

- Office of Sustainability staff were also present at high-profile locations where they staffed outreach tables that offered students the chance to learn about campus sustainability and information about opportunities for students to be involved in sustainability.

- Waste Street Team delivered waste education and actively engaged people in discussions to reduce contamination at various high-profile events where recycling and composting facilities were made available.

- Provided plants to sustainability-related student groups found at Clubs Fair. The plants were displayed on tables by groups that had a connection to sustainability. Each plant had a label to identify its purpose.

- Engaged students at outreach booths through a commitment program called One Simple Act on Campus as well as unique educational games including Sustainability 101 in the year 2012 and Recycle-It-Right in the year 2013.

- Hosted the "Go Green" Twitter contest in 2013 that invited students to share how they would include sustainability in their university experience. To enter to win, students were invited to tweet to @GreenUofA about how they plan to contribute to a more socially, environmentally and economically sustainable campus.

- Sustainability staff play an advisory role in supporting the inclusion of sustainability features into Week of Welcome, Orientation or Clubs Fair.

As a result of our Sustainability at Orientation program, the following results were achieved:

- The week of activities engaged a total of 2,524 people in 2013.
- Both Orientation and Clubs Fair received status in the Green Spaces Certification Program for events.
- Recycle-It-Right, the carnival inspired waste sorting game, attracted 600 students and staff who learned about the recycling and compost system on campus.
- The large, green sustainability tent had an excellent location in CCIS Quad, where we attracted large crowds and almost always had people lined up to engage in our activities.
- Our Sustainability Passport added more than 300 people to our Facebook page, increased readership of our Green Guide, and added more than 1,000 new subscribers to our monthly newsletter "Sustainability eNews".
- The #GoGreen2013 Twitter contest, co-delivered with Orientation, received nearly 200 tweets that qualified as entries.

For a summary of sustainability-related programming integrated into residence orientation and move-in, see credit OP T2-42 under the waste category.

The website URL where information about sustainability in new student orientation is available:

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.