Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 67.16
Liaison Mike Versteege
Submission Date June 24, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Alberta
EN-2: Student Orientation

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Prachi Mishra
Associate Project Planner
Sustainability Council
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Are the following students provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability?:
Yes or No
First-year students Yes
Transfer students Yes
Entering graduate students Yes

Percentage of all entering (i.e. new) students (including transfers and graduate students) that are provided an opportunity to participate in orientation activities and programming that prominently include sustainability (0-100):

A brief description of how sustainability is included prominently in new student orientation (including how multiple dimensions of sustainability are addressed):


The University of Alberta celebrates the first week back in September with Week of Welcome (WoW) and Orientation engagement activities. It is an exciting time with thousands of new and returning students re-establishing themselves within the campus community and sustainability is at the forefront of their university experience. The Students' Union (SU) leads many activities during this time and sustainability is weaved throughout WoW and Orientation. The Students’ Union incorporated sustainable actions into the Clubs Fair event through presentations and participating student groups (many groups with sustainability focused mandates, programs and services); information included in email packages to student groups and exhibitors; regular social media posts; electronic slides across campus and sustainability focused volunteer opportunities. In September 2019, Sustain SU, the Sustainability Council and Facilities and Operations coordinated a joint sustainability booth that both communicated and promoted the sustainability features and programs at the university and also engaged students in various sustainability-oriented learning activities.

Sustain SU had a sustainability engagement booth where they offered students the opportunity to learn about different ways to incorporate sustainability into their student life, academic cycle, campus and daily lives. Students were given information about different sustainability initiatives provided by Sustain SU and the opportunity to join and volunteer with Sustain SU.

The Sustainability Council had a "Jeopardy"-style game that asked students questions about various sustainability topics, and showed them which academic courses they could take that would allow them to dive deeper into those topics. These courses are a part of the Certificate in Sustainability (CIS) and by playing the game students were able to identify a potential academic pathway to complete the CIS. Thus, students learned about the academic programs and courses that focus on sustainability at the university. The Sustainability Council also promoted its various programs, such as Sustainability Scholars and its Volunteer Program. Students were also offered the chance to sign up for the Sustainability Council newsletter and to enter a draw for one of five $100 credits on their student cards.

Facilities and Operations (F&O) has two groups that work directly with student sustainability orientation during WoW: Buildings, Grounds and Environmental Services (BGES) and Energy Management and Sustainable Operations (EMSO). BGES maintains UAlberta’s buildings and grounds, and EMSO works to reduce the environmental impact of the university's operations. The primary focus for F&O at Week of Welcome and Orientation is to teach students how to use the recycling system on campus. During the 2019 Week of Welcome, F&O delivered the "Recycle It Right" game, designed to educate students and the rest of the campus community on how to understand and properly utilize the Zero Waste system on campus. The game allows the opportunity for participants to discover what items are acceptable in each of the bins (mixed paper, recyclables, organics, landfill) and win a prize for participating.


Week of Welcome is hosted on Campus Saint-Jean (CSJ) for students enrolled in the French speaking campus. WoW at Campus Saint Jean featured two club fairs and a homecoming barbecue. The Campus Vert Club, in close collaboration with the Association des Universitaires de la Faculté Saint-Jean organised activities in the CSJ Student Lounge where all new first-year students, new graduate students, international students, and returning students had an opportunity to learn about recycling and composting procedures and sustainability programming at CSJ. As well, at the homecoming barbecue, students in residence had the opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainable food systems through cooking activities. Students also had the opportunity to play the "Recycle It Right" game, designed to educate students on how to properly utilize Zero Waste stations.


Each fall, Augustana staff post handbills in all student dorm rooms outlining the 3R’s and sustainability initiatives at the University of Alberta. Students are also encouraged to access the Reciprocity Shelf for sharing items they no longer need.

Since 2016, all students new to Augustana Campus are required to participate in the following sessions as part of their orientation:
- Creating a Culture of Consent with Keith Edwards: These sessions engage staff, faculty and students about the several ways we can all work toward creating a community free of sexual violence whether it is learning that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, learning what it means to consent, and learning how we can challenge the way we view sexual assault.
- Barnga: this simulation exercise places students into a situation where they experience the shock of realizing that in spite of many similarities, people from another culture have differences in the way they do things. Players learn that they must understand and reconcile these differences.
- Blanket Exercise: The blanket exercise teaches participants the history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The workshop helps students to understand how the colonization of this land impacts those who were here long before settlers arrived and promotes understanding of how we can take action together.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:


Amber Basarab
Student Academic Services & Experiential Learning Coordinator
Learning, Advising & Beyond
Augustana Campus

Behn Jang
Program Coordinator
Energy Management and Sustainable Operations
Facilities & Operations

Sobia Samad
Zero Waste Program Coordinator
Buildings, Grounds, and Environmental Services
Facilities & Operations

Juste Kagisye
Service Head, Learning Centre
Campus Saint-Jean

Maja Osmanagić
Program Lead, Academic Program & Initiatives
Sustainability Council

Michelle Kim
Program Lead, Sustain SU
Students' Union

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