Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.45
Liaison Tori Grant
Submission Date Dec. 13, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Calgary
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Taryn Meyers
Manager, Engagement
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:

There are currently 23 clubs participating in the Sustainability Club Alliance on campus. The alliance provides a venue for sustainability club executives to update the group on club activities, discuss opportunities for collaboration and share resources and information. The purpose of the Alliance is to create a community of practice among students interested in sustainability and to facilitate cooperative sustainability events and program success. This year, clubs in the Alliance collaborated to host a Free Store in the Sustainability Resource Centre, a Food Waste Awareness Week, as well as hosted workshops for Diversity Days (in addition to their regular club programming). There are more than 60 clubs on campus which address at least one of the four dimensions of sustainability.
https://www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability/engage/students/sustainable-development-goals-alliance


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:

The university’s Community Garden is a campus organization that is nearly 15 years old. It aims to seed sustainable agriculture by providing students, faculty, staff and the nearby community the opportunity to practice sustainable agriculture. It facilitates an environment that fosters the sharing of ideas, development of research projects and the demonstration of sustainable living principles. The current garden was relocated in the spring of 2015 and is now managed by the Office of Sustainability with support from the student Garden Club.


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 Bike Share is a wholly student-run club and business which rents bikes out to students, faculty, staff and the community. The Bike Share exists to promote active and sustainable transportation around campus and in the city. The project was initially funded with a Students' Union Sustainability Fund grant. The Bike Share collects membership revenues and charges a nominal fee for rentals that allow it to operate as a fiscally sustainable enterprise.


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 Sustainability Fund is a branch of the Student's Union Quality Money program, a fund endowed with over $1.5 million by the university's Board of Governors. The Sustainability Fund is managed by a board of elected student officials. Organizations and initiatives seeking to advance sustainability on campus make proposals to this board. If approved, a project would receive capital from the fund to advance their proposal. Students serving on the board develop the skills to invest responsibly in social and environmental causes.

Through the SU Quality Money program, the SU Sustainability Fund is designed to provide the necessary capital required to support projects that promote and support sustainability on campus. Any current University of Calgary (U of C) undergraduate student can access this fund by proposing a project idea. The Sustainability Fund is designated for sustainability projects, but students are also welcome to seek funding through the general Quality Money Fund program if they choose.


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 facilitates several speaker series and symposia on sustainability. The IRIS speaker series is one larger initiatives which hosts several events each year on various topics. The Office of Sustainability also facilitates a speaker series which brings together faculty, community members and local business to weigh on pressing issues in sustainability. These events all encourage student attendance.

Several student clubs and societies host independent sustainability related events on campus. One such example is the Food Waste Awareness Week, which was held March 13-15, 2018 and organized by a collection of students in the Sustainability Clubs Alliance. Throughout the week, students hosted a multitude of events such as a Taste the Waste booth displaying appetizing plates of food which was taken from the garbage, screening of the documentary Wasted: the story of food, and a Forum on Food Waste which included guest speakers from the Calgary community, a food waste awareness fair, and a call to action. These events were open to students, faculty and staff.

The Women Leaders Speaker Series is an initiative of the Women's Resource Centre which presents local women leaders who share the challenges they have faced in their careers, how they overcame them and how they defined their own paths. This involved stories about social pressures to assume traditional female roles, struggles in attaining higher positions in male-dominated work environment, impact of media stereotypes, difficulties balancing family and career life and other challenges unique to women.


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:

NUTV, the student broadcasting program at UCalgary, started the Greenlite Arts Festival 5 years ago as a way to connect storytelling and media arts to sustainability in a creative way. The festival includes the 48 Hour Eco Film Contest, The Hour of No Power, film screenings, spoken word events, workshops and a photo contest. Every event is structured to have zero waste but maximum impact in awareness of the environment and sustainability.

The goal of the Greenlite Arts Festival is to provide resources and a framework for students and community members to tell meaningful stories about sustainability. The participants are challenged to become leaders in sustainability as they problem solve to tell a story focused around sustainability. This festival creates a safe space and community where arts and media entertainment intersect with sustainability in an effort to share stories that truly matter.


The website URL where information about the cultural arts events, installations or performances is available (optional):
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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 University of Calgary's Outdoor Centre organizes a variety of outdoor activities in the surrounding area including hiking, backpacking, kayaking, canoe trips, rock climbing, winter sports, outdoor safety training and more. The Outdoor Centre follows "Leave No Trace" principles.

The Haskayne Leadership Expedition is a five day backpacking expedition that takes participants into high mountain terrain in the Rockies. The expedition follows Leave No Trace principles by teaching students how to travel safely and efficiently in the mountains. Participants learn trip planning, navigation & route-finding, risk assessment, camp craft, wilderness skills and ecological awareness from experienced mountain guides.


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 Common Reading Program gives every newly admitted student a common and shared academic experience – one that encourages a sense of community and provides a basis for students to begin exploring the idea of leadership and their roles on campus and in the greater community. This is done through a common reading selection that all newly admitted students receive prior to their arrival on campus. The discussions focus on the ideas and themes raised in the literature and take place online throughout the summer and in-person during Fall Orientation Week.

For the 2015/16 school year, the Common Reading Program selection was “Little Princes”. This nonfiction titles tells the story of Conor Grennan, whose journey around the world led him to the Little Princes Children’s Orphanage in Nepal. This book tells the story of Conor’s unexpected dedication to reuniting the children with their communities and highlights issues of human trafficking, poverty, social justice and civic duty. Now in its fifth year, over 15,000 students have participated in the Common Reading Program and over 100 students have chosen to enter a personal reflection competition showcasing their critical thinking and creativity. Thousands of students have participated in BLING BLING to help raise money for various charities.


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:

In collaboration with Cenovus, the Schulich School of Engineering steered a student-led project to create the Spo'Pi Solar House. The house is a dome-shaped, 93-square-metre structure that couples the latest in solar power technology and energy-efficient building systems with a culturally responsive design for First Nations in southern Alberta. The house, built for a family of four, is also net-zero, which means it produces as much electricity as it consumes. The structure is a permanent program fixture on campus and is currently used for research, as a green meeting space and a model study for sustainable living. It is open throughout the year and sustainability tours are led through the building.
Solar House: https://schulich.ucalgary.ca/schulichengineer/tags/cenovus-spopi-solar-house

The Office of Sustainability opened the Sustainability Resource Centre (SRC) in fall 2014. The Center was created to provide a meeting and event space for sustainability-affiliated clubs on campus. It features conference tables, sustainability resources, a large screen and computer monitor, computer station and a reusable trifold among other materials aimed at helping students convey their ideas and communicate sustainability in events and projects across campus. The SRC space is utilized by faculty, students and staff in facilitating workshops and other events, some of which focus on sustainable life skills such as DIY projects, composting, waste reduction and cooking with sustainable ingredients (Fair Trade, organic, local, etc.)
SRC: https://www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability/SRC

A student club named Campus Community Kitchen was formed to teach students sustainable life skills in a residential setting. Students collaborate to cook large group meals. Using the Crowsnest Hall residential space, the club conducted 6 events in the 2017/2018 academic year, teaching over 120 students how to cook. When appropriate, the club provided organic ingredients for cooking and composted all scraps. Low impact choices and dietary restrictions were also accounted for in vegetarian and halal options. In addition, some events were themed around certain cuisines, such as Asian or Middle Eastern, to introduce students to diversity through food.


The website URL where information about the sustainable life skills programs is available (optional):
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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 Office of Sustainability employed 3 full time and 1 part time sustainability interns in the 2017/18 school year. All 4 internships are 12 months in length. One intern focused specifically on student engagement and promoted student volunteer opportunities around the Peer Helper, Sustainability Ambassador and Sustainability Club Alliance programs. Another intern focused on activities specific to communicating ongoing sustainability initiatives/news relevant to staff and faculty across campus and in the community. Two other interns were recruited from the Schulich School of Engineering specifically to work on the facilities/technical side of sustainability including energy reduction and LEED certification of buildings across campus.


The website URL where information about the student employment opportunities is available:
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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?:
Yes

A brief description of the other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives:

Together with the Office of Sustainability, the Centre for Community-Engaged Learning offers a community service program called UCalgaryCares: Sustainable Cities. This Reading Week program (Feb 2017) was aimed at students interested in sustainable urban development. Students critically examined Calgary's triple bottom line (social, economic, and environmental) while working alongside community organizations. For more information, visit https://www.ucalgary.ca/leadership/community-engagement/reading-week-programs/sustainable-cities-calgary

The Centre also offers the UCalgaryCares: Indigenous Leadership & Engagement program. This collaborative service-learning program sends students to the Arctic Institute of North America and Kluane Nation Territory in the Yukon. Students further their knowledge of social justice, Indigenous ways of knowing and cross-cultural awareness through service and participation in the local community. All participants receive Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative certification on their co-curricular records after completing the program. For more information, visit https://www.ucalgary.ca/leadership/community-engagement/spring-and-summer-programs/indigenous-leadership-engagement-yukon

UCalgaryCares offers local, national and international volunteer programs for student engagement. Programs are diverse, exploring issues of sustainability, poverty, global citizenship and community development through service.


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