Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.66
Liaison Eric Boles
Submission Date March 5, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Arkansas
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Eric Boles
Director
Office for 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:

The University of Arkansas RSO Sustainability Coalition is a group of registered student organizations that fall within the umbrella of sustainability. The mission and purpose of the organizations are to connect leaders and students of their groups with other like-minded students and administration. Each organization is required to host a minimum of two events throughout the academic school year, one per semester. All the RSOs come together for at least on event annually, which is usually Earth Week. There are more than 15 different RSO within the Coalition as of 2020. A few examples of RSO's are; Net Impact, Horticulture Club, Recyclebacks, Students Advocating for the Environment, and The Wildlife Society. New RSOs are always welcomed to the group. The RSO Sustainability Coalition meets monthly to coordinate efforts and uses a GroupMe to chat regularly and share resources.


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:

There are a few programs that help students gain experience in sustainable food systems:
1. Horticulture Club
2. Freight Farm
3. Gro Green
4. Maple Hill Community Garden

Horticulture Club is a student-run organization whose mission is to promote the field of horticulture among students and our community through horticulture-related activities, education, and practical experiences. Additionally to this club, the University of Arkansas has Freight Farms, which is a student-operated sustainable farm on campus. The farm takes part in a recycled shipping container that has been updated to provide a controlled environment for the crops to grow year-round. The produce grown in the Freight Farm supplies greens to the Where the Wild Greens Are restaurant on campus and the dining halls.
Gro Green is another RSO that maintains some organic food plots at the UA Farm and uses them as an educational experience for students interested in organic gardening.
There's also a Community Garden on the north side of campus which is a partnership between the Sustainability Minor, ASG, and the Landscape Architecture RSO.


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 University of Arkansas is affiliated with the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub which gives the opportunity to all students to collaborate and innovate. Provided workshops, seminars, competitions, and co-working space are some of the resources that have led to successful student-run enterprises, many of which have had sustainability themes.


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 Green-Revolving Fund (GRF) is to facilitate campus-wide engagement, interdisciplinary collaboration and student-led initiatives that demonstrate economic benefit through environmental leadership. The GRF provides financing for implementing energy efficiency, sustainability, and other cost-savings projects. These savings are tracked and used to replenish the fund and help finance additional projects. The GRF model for the University of Arkansas is to 1)Identify inefficiencies on campus 2)Finance efficiency project with GRF 3)Repay loan from energy savings 4)Reinvest new monetary savings in GRF projects


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:

Each fall, the University of Arkansas Office For Sustainability hosts their annual Sustainability Mixer. The purpose of the event is to connect students and the surrounding community interested in the topic of sustainability. At the event there was a multitude of different organizations tabling, all of which had a presenter talk about their company and job opportunities.

Additionally, there is an annual series of speakers which is held at the University of Arkansas within the Earth Week to discuss preserving resources, protecting the environment and planning for a sustainable future. In recent years, this has been an extension of the Red Talks program and was branded as Red Talks Go Green.

Another good example is the Sustainability Lunch and Learn program, which identifies a different theme each month to have three speakers (one being a student) present on that topic over lunch. The Office for Sustainability provides a vegetarian lunch.


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:

In 2019, University of Arkansas Programs hosted a Damned2Divine Workshop, an event to educate and intrigue students on sustainable ways to take old clothing and turn them into new fashion trends. This led to a fashion show of entirely hand-made recycled garments made and worn by UA students at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.


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 purpose of the on campus Outdoor Connection Center is to meet the outdoor educational, recreational and personal development needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Arkansas. Outdoor Recreation enhances the Campus Recreation community by organizing diverse adventure activities and trips that follow Leave No Trace principles.

Outdoor Recreation provides the rental of camping and sporting equipment to the university community. It also has a Bike Shop offering a full-service repair shop and bicycle rentals. The Program also sponsors outdoor educational seminars and clinics on such topics as canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, climbing, cycling, environmental issues, and outdoor opportunities in Arkansas and across the nation. Wilderness First-Aid, Leave No Trace, Orienteering and Search and Rescue courses are just some of the clinics and seminars offered through the OCC. The OCC also has a climbing wall and a bouldering wall that is free for students and HPER members.


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:

The Office for Sustainability and the Sustainability Council have adopted themes for every month of the year. The 2020 themes, starting in January are; Volunteering, Energy, Ecology, Transportation, Waste, Procurement, Water, Technology, Infrastructure, Policy, Food, and Giving. These themes are carried out through communications and events for that month.


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 University of Arkansas hosts several programs that develop students' sustainable life skills.

For example, the Office For Sustainability hosts the "Lunch and learn" series which invites students to listen and learn about everyday sustainable life practices.

Additionally, the University of Arkansas provides an annual "Bike Fest" bike festival, in which current students can explore the sustainable and healthy life skill of utilizing bikes as a mode of transportation. Tips, tricks, and advice are also given by representatives of the University's UREC Outdoors organization, and Good Bikes, a bike shop, and mechanic service. Gear and a new bike are also raffled off at Bike Fest.


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:

The University of Arkansas' Office of Sustainability currently offers an internship program, in which students seeking sustainability-focused employment, conduct sustainability-focused research, projects, program development, and article writing, whilst still being compensated with a paycheck for their work.

Additionally, the University of Arkansas Resiliency Center (UARC) was established in 2018, with the goal of inspiring current generations to better understand the interconnectedness of economic, social, and environmental systems and to integrate this understanding into knowledge and technological innovation through interdisciplinary research. The ultimate goal is the transformation of the systems upon which prosperity depends to make our region, state, and the world more resilient and sustainable. The Resiliency Center offers employment opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students.


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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