Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.05
Liaison Konrad Schlarbaum
Submission Date Feb. 15, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Colorado Colorado Springs
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:
Students for Environmental Awareness and Sustainability (SEAS)
SEAS was founded in 2003 and continues to "work toward creating a more conscientious campus community with regard to conservation of resources and creative, efficient ways of using them. The goal is to educate the campus about the meaning of sustainability, take steps toward making the campus more efficient and conscientious, and save resources and money." This group is student governed.

Local Food Club
The purpose of Local Food Club shall be to educate the UCCS community on the importance of local food including: environmental impact, social equity, economic viability, social cultural context, and health effects. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/local-food-club

Nature and Hiking Club
The purpose of the Nature Club shall be to foster a community of students with a deeper appreciation of local flora and fauna of Colorado through hikes and nature walks, community outreach, and volunteering. The Nature Club will work toward its goals by: A. Taking members on insightful hikes and nature walks. B. Trail maintenance and habitat restoration. C. Working alongside local organizations to achieve conservation, restoration, and restoration of parks, trails, and open spaces. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/nature-and-hiking-club

Green Action Fund | The aim of the Green Action Fund is to reduce the ecological footprint of UCCS and promote sustainable environmental, social and economic values through a variety of student-sponsored projects. It manages a fund that is provided by a $5 per semester fee paid by all students. The Green Action Fund is student governed. https://gaf.uccs.edu/overview/about

UCCS Geology Club
The UCCS Geology Club is committed to learning about and exploring the geology of Colorado. This is done by developing a solid understanding of the physical processes that help to form our wonderful state. Individuals in the club are looking to expand their skills in understanding Earth's past life and geologic history. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/uccs-geology-club

Nutrition Club
The UCCS Nutrition Club aims to educate and excite others about the art and science known as nutrition. We promote healthy eating and healthy thinking throughout our club activities and encourage all others to dedicate their lives to a better state of being! https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/nutrition-club

Exercise is Medicine
To foster collaborative relationships and leadership on campus between exercise, health and other disciplines that support the EIM vision and goals. In addition to seeing all campus and community members across multiple disciplines discover, share and adopt the principles of EIM that will help change the culture of chronic disease prevention and management campus-wide. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/exercise-is-medicine

Ethnobotany Club
The purpose of the Ethnobotany Club is to explore novel information systems in botanical environments in order to produce novel solutions to social problems. Plants represent the basis of the animal food chain, human economic systems, and raw materials for cultural innovation. Our goal is to bring people and plants together in sustainable ways to improve the quality of life for UCCS students and Colorado Springs. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/ethnobotany-club

Geography and Environmental Studies Club
The Geo Club is an organization of students and faculty at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs based in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies. All students and faculty are welcome to participate in the club. In the past we have traveled to the Regional AAG conference as well as the National AAG. Every year in November we celebrate National Geography Awareness Week with our award winning GeoQuiz night. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/geography-and-environmental-studies-club

Individual Innovative Transport
The Individual Innovative Transport Club is a rider base for electric rideables like the Onewheel, electric skateboards, and the InMotion Solowheel.

Throughout our interaction with the community, we found out there were lots of people who want to learn or simply try riding an electric rideable. After many request and the usual "Wooohh! WHAT IS THAT!!?" it made lots of sense to start a club with the simple principle to teach people how to ride one. Our vision is to prepare riders for a safe and fun first time experience; while developing a growing community of expert riders capable of servicing and maintaining different models as new technology continues to develop. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/ewheel

The Outdoor Club
The mission of the UCCS Outdoor club will be to engage students in the outdoor industry and activities available in Colorado and beyond. Our vision is to provide students with access and education necessary to engage in the abundance of Outdoor activities that Colorado is known for. The purpose of the Outdoor Club shall be to foster interest in the outdoor industry, recreation, and community of Colorado through engaging in outdoor activities, education, and volunteer opportunities. The Outdoor club will work toward its goals by: A. Educating safe and sustainable Outdoor Practices, including Leave No Trace principles to active members B. Leading and organizing events centered around Outdoor recreation C. Volunteering with local non-profits to engage with the community https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/outdoor-club

Does the institution have a garden, farm, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery program, or an urban agriculture project where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems?:

A brief description of the gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA) or fishery programs, and/or urban agriculture projects:
Gardening Club
Garden Club is an organization for those who are interested in the study of urban agriculture, sustainable gardening, and your run of the mill gardening. We encourage members and our fellow peers to be active in their community about local gardening habits and practicing good gardening methods. The goal is for our club to get involved and be active within UCCS, alongside the Sustainability Demonstration House, learn and develop our own green thumbs, and become more well-rounded citizens. https://mlc.uccs.edu/organization/gardening-club

UCCS has a one-acre farm and commercial greenhouse that provides high quality, organically-grown produce to UCCS's food service outlets. It also provides education to the campus community about new gardening methods and sustainable growing solutions. Through researching a variety of avenues of organic gardening, the UCCS Farm seeks to use innovative as well as traditional gardening practices. Our hope is that through education and outreach, the Farm can become a resource center for sustainable organic gardening methods while producing delicious, nutritious organic fruits and vegetables for the UCCS community. There are student employees and volunteers working at the Farm. The Farm is not student-governed.

Does the institution have a student-run enterprise that includes sustainability as part of its mission statement or stated purpose?:

A brief description of the student-run enterprises:
There are student run initiatives and projects which have become businesses, but students are not directly in charge of the everyday financial aspects.

The Flying Carrot  is an innovative mobile project that fosters food awareness and empowers individuals to improve the well-being of themselves, the community, and the planet by providing creative hands-on experiences, building cooking skills, and improving access to local, seasonal, and sustainable food.

The Flying Carrot curriculum is simple: "Take a locally grown vegetable or two, chop it up, then toss to create a Flying Carrot recipe. Once out of the skillet, taste it, then make it. Led by University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) Sport Nutrition graduate students, the Flying Carrot inspires everyone, promoting food literacy focused on healthy and locally grown food, through taste education and cooking instructions with stories from seed to plate that "change the dinner table one carrot at a time".

The Flying Carrot Team delivers food literacy to everyone but it always starts at the farm, linking growers to eaters in venues such as schools, farmers markets, at community and sporting events, and of course on campus!

Food Next Door | UCCS Health Sciences students prepare around 150 delicious, local, and healthy meals, which are served at Roaring Fork Dining Hall. Weekly meal choices include your choice of a seasonal vegetarian SWELL Lunch, a homemade vegetarian burger, or a "protein-flip" burger, which is comprised of 50% local beef and 50% grains, beans, veggies, herbs, and spices. The produce for these meals is harvested each Monday morning from our UCCS Farm. Weekly harvest includes seasonal vegetables, greens, garlic, and fresh herbs. Most ingredients are grown locally on campus, in the nearest watershed (e.g., Fountain Creek, Arkansas River), and across the state of Colorado by farmers we know, including our own campus farmers. Food Next Door's weekly cyclic process is managed by SWELL Graduate Assistants.


Does the institution have a sustainable investment fund, green revolving fund, or sustainable microfinance initiative through which students can develop socially, environmentally and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills?:

A brief description of the sustainable investment funds, green revolving funds or sustainable microfinance initiatives:
Green Action Fund | The aim of the Green Action Fund is to reduce the ecological footprint of UCCS and promote sustainable environmental, social and economic values through a variety of student-sponsored projects. Green Action Fund is student-governed: students can submit project proposals along with faculty and staff, students determine which projects will be funded, and students manage many of the projects to completion. The fund is based on a $5 per student/semester fee and provides roughly $120,000 each year. There have been over 135 projects approved and over $850k invested in sustainable projects between 2012 and 2020.


Has the institution hosted a conference, speaker series, symposium, or similar event focused on sustainability during the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the conferences, speaker series, symposia, or similar events focused on sustainability:
Sustainability Summit (2017,2018,2019,2020)
The annual UCCS Sustainability Summit provides connection and celebration with others on campus supporting innovative, engaging projects and programs. Sustainability addresses a broad range of issues including reducing our carbon footprint, supporting diversity and inclusion, promoting health and wellness and much more.

Faculty, staff, and students share highlights of their efforts and successes along with opportunities to discuss recommendations for further progress.

Beaver Believers Film Screening + Speaker (Spring 2019- Culture + Education + Landscape)
Beaver Believers is a feature documentary telling the story of a group of activists with a common vision to restore the North American Beaver to the watersheds of the American West. The Beaver Believers film inspires us to embrace partnering with our natural world to manage our western lands rather than continuing to suppress it. The film event included a film screening, a Q&A following the screening, and a small event/classroom presentation from the Director of the film Sarah Koenigsberg. By bringing Beaver Believers to campus we hoped to educate students on the restorative power of nature and alternative methods to combat climate change.

Mireya Mayor: Pink Boots and a Machete (Fall 2018 Speaker)
UCCS Presents’ Artist Series is bought Dr. Mireya Mayor, a renowned primatologist, anthropologist, wildlife expert, conservationist, explorer, author and TV host to speak at UCCS’ Ent Center for the Arts. Dr. Mayor is a National Science Foundation Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, National Geographic Explorer, and an Emmy Award-nominated wildlife correspondent for the National Geographic Channel. She is also a former NFL cheerleader, daughter of Cuban immigrants, and mother of six. She is known for exploring the most remote regions of the earth in search of elusive, rare and little-known animals. Her explorations have led to several scientific discoveries, most notably her co-discovery in Madagascar of the world’s smallest primate, the mouse lemur. Her discovery inspired the prime minister of Madagascar to establish a national park to help protect the new species, conserving the 10 percent that remains of the African island nation’s once vast forest.

Host of Nat Geo WILD series Wild Nights with Mireya Mayor, Mayor has been hailed as a “female Indiana Jones,” and an inspiration to young women interested in science and exploration. Dr. Mayor will share stories, images, and film clips of her adventures, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the hardships and danger of life in the field, along with the moments of discovery that make it all worthwhile.

Has the institution hosted a cultural arts event, installation, or performance focused on sustainability with the previous three years that had students as the intended audience?:

A brief description of the cultural arts events, installations, or performances focused on sustainability:
The Windmill Project
UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art announces a major new public sculpture “The Windmill Project” by artist Patrick Marold to be installed in October 2020, near the Ent Center for the Arts. Marold is a Colorado-based artist who explores the intersection between natural phenomena, energy and perception through art that includes renewable energy as its primary component.


Does the institution have a wilderness or outdoors program that follow Leave No Trace principles?:

A brief description of the wilderness or outdoors programs that follow Leave No Trace principles:
UCCS' Outdoor Program – Student Outdoor Leadership Expeditions (SOLE) seeks to provide the university community with outdoor recreation opportunities. Programs will emphasize skill acquisition, leadership development, team building, environmental awareness, safety, and fun. Furthermore, all programs will be inclusive to all levels and abilities and will contribute to the holistic well-being and the academic experience of the university. SOLE offers numerous trips throughout the year to UCCS students and affiliates such as fly fishing, backpacking, and mountain biking. All SOLE trips follow Leave No Trace principles and protocols and teaches trip participants on the importance of LNT. Green Action Fund provided funds for staff to be certified in LNT.


Has the institution had a sustainability-focused theme chosen for a themed semester, year, or first-year experience during the previous three years?:

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

Does the institution have a program through which students can learn sustainable life skills?:

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

Cooking Classes
Teaching Kitchen cooking classes strive to make cooking accessible to everyone by providing hands-on experience and instruction to students. Classes center around meals that are nutritional, quick, easy, and affordable. We provide a variety of programs to accommodate varying interests, ages, and abilities. Ingredients are supplied through our partnership with the Office of Sustainability and funded through the UCCS Green Action Fund, to provide high quality, locally sourced and organic products when possible. Our Registered Dietitians will provide you with nutritional information, culinary techniques, and food sanitation guidelines. You will also have the opportunity to eat the dishes prepared during the class you attend. Recipe cards are provided and made available online. We can accommodate most food allergies and dietary restrictions with appropriate substitution

Does the institution offer sustainability-focused student employment opportunities?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The Office of Sustainability currently has 5 student employees.
Green Action Fund currently has one student employee. Green Action Fund is a student-led committee.
There is one sustainable transportation student position that collaborates with Parking & Transportation Services and the Office of Sustainability.


Does the institution have a graduation pledge through which students pledge to consider social and environmental responsibility in future job and other decisions?:

A brief description of the graduation pledge(s):
UCCS has a Green Graduation Pledge taken from the Graduate Pledge Alliance.

I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work. It is voluntary, emphasized by the Sustainability Office, and needs to be communicated more to graduates.


A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.