Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 84.41
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
EN-1: Student Educators Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Richard Miller
Director
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Number of students enrolled for credit (headcount):
23,603

Total number of students enrolled for credit that are served (i.e. directly targeted) by a student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education program (avoid double-counting to the extent feasible):
23,603

Percentage of students served by a peer-to-peer educator program:
100

Name of the student educators program:
EcoMadness

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (headcount):
8,000

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities:

EcoMadness is a month long competition, held in 37 residence halls across six dorm areas around campus, encouraging mostly first- and second- year students to reduce their usage of energy and water. Students who are particularly interested may volunteer to be EcoCaptains to motivate their peers from within the dorm. Examples include putting posters up throughout the dorm, organizing hallway study sessions to conserve energy relating to light fixtures, and holding events to raise awareness and provide ideas of what students can do in their dorms to conserve energy and water. OEP collaborates with Facilities to use real time sub-metering data that measures real-time energy and water use in each dorm, or small cluster of dorms, and report the weekly results and standings. At the end of the competition, students in the dorm buildings who were able to reduce their total and per capita consumption of energy and water the most receive certificates of recognition and a UConn Dairy Bar ice cream party . Additionally, OEP buys carbon offsets equal to GHG emissions from the amount of energy conserved throughout the competition and presents the framed offset certificate to the residents in the dorm with the largest volume reduction in energy used.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected:

EcoCaptains communicate with a student Office of Environmental Policy intern who instructs them of their duties and provides a variety of ways to reach out to their fellow students. They may also email the student intern with any other questions to supplement their training throughout the course of the competition. EcoCaptains are also required to e-mail a weekly update on how the competition is going for them (what they're doing, what they plan to do, achievements they've had during the week, challenges they've had, how they've used provided marketing material, etc.).


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach:

RA's are provided with a handout describing EcoCaptain duties that they post on their floor. Additionally, any student that volunteers to be an Eco-Captain receives frequent e-mail communication and tips from student interns at the OEP. Finally, EcoCaptains are directed to the EcoMadness web page on the OEP's site that includes marketing and outreach material.

There is no right or wrong way to be an EcoCaptain, and whatever the EcoCaptains want to do to promote water and energy usage- may it be posters, information or study sessions with their floor, etc. is supported by the Office of Environmental Policy, given it follows school rules and policy.

At the end of the competition, EcoCaptains are invited to all the ice cream parties whether their dorm building wins or not as a way to say thank you for their hard work.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination):

The Office of Environmental Policy provides compensation for the interns in charge of running EcoMadness, buys the offset certificates, and supplies ice cream for the winning dorms. The total charge for materials is $475, and the total charge for intern compensation averages $11-12/hour.


Name of the student educators program (2nd program):
Sneaker Recycling and Clothing Swap

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (2nd program):
23,000

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (2nd program):

Every year, the EcoHusky student environmental group holds an ongoing sneaker recycling program for 5 weeks in the spring, and also holds intermittent clothing swaps. After the sneaker recycling drive comes to a close, the shoes are all donated to Walkable Collections, which is a company out of New York City that works to distribute donated shoes to areas where they are needed most. Last year, almost 1000 pairs of shoes were recycled and donated! The most recent clothing swap occurred during Earth Day Spring Fling, which is a campus-wide celebration of Earth Day and sustainability. All the leftover clothing was donated to a local charity as well. Both of these programs prevent items from entering the waste stream, and also provide clothing and shoes to those who need them.

Examples of peer-to-peer outreach include the EcoHusky student group informing their fellow students about the programs. This takes form in various ways including tabling, presenting information during meetings of other student groups, and writing promotional blogs about the program and its benefits. EcoHusky works with other environmental groups such as ECOalition and EcoHouse to raise awareness about the programs, and to encourage more students to become involved.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (2nd program):

Sneaker Recycling volunteers can be anyone who is interested in the program, whether they are a member of EcoHusky or not. The main coordinators of the program are the executive board of EcoHusky, who are also the lead educators for the program. As part of the program, EcoHusky leaders and other sneaker recycling volunteers educate the UConn community about the benefits of reusing clothing and diverting material waste from landfills and incineration. The executive board of EcoHusky is voted on by the members of the club each year.


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (2nd program):

The student educators are trained using formal guidelines provided by Walkable Collections, which details proper sneaker recycling. They also educate themselves on the facts associated with Walkable Collections shoe and clothing recycling. This allows them to inform other students about where the shoes go after they are donated (e.g., how many shoes are diverted from the waste stream because of programs like this one, etc.) and the benefits that come from participating in re-use programs.


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (2nd program):

No monetary support is needed, as the donation company picks up the shoes free of charge and the program is purely volunteer run through the EcoHusky student group and other interested UConn students.


Name of the student educators program (3rd program):
Green Game Days

Number of students served (i.e. directly targeted) by the program (3rd program):
12,000

A brief description of the program, including examples of peer-to-peer outreach activities (3rd program):

Each Fall, UConn designates one early-season home football game as a Green Game Day. similarly, during the winter/spring semester, UConn also selects one men's basketball game and one women's basketball game to be Green Game Days. For these selected games, interns at the Office of Environmental Policy partner with the Athletics department to include promotion of these events and other recycling and environmental information during pre-game and in-game marketing and public service announcements. Students from EcoHouse, a residential learning community, and EcoHusky, a student-run environmental organization, and others, volunteer to be peer educators. These volunteers welcome fans to the game, man a booth with environmentally-themed games and trivia contests for fans, provide fans with information about sustainability at UConn, and encourage them to recycle during the event. After the game, the peer educators walk through tailgate areas (football games) and fan sections in the basketball arena, to collect any recyclables that have been left behind. Cheerleaders, pep/marching band members and the UConn mascot wear green-colored and/or Green Game Day items such as t-shirts, ribbons and wrist bands. PSAs shown on stadia "jumbo-trons" at various times during the game provide fans with environmental messages. At each game the fans are engaged as much as possible to educate them about recycling and other conservation-based behaviors and practices.


A brief description of how the student educators are selected (3rd program):

Students, mostly OEP interns, and volunteers from the EcoHouse residential community and EcoHusky student group come to the game and educate UConn Husky fans, including thousands of students, about recycling and sustainable practices and behaviors. These student educators sign up by email and at student group meetings because they are passionate about the environment and regularly engaged in learning about sustainability. They are enthusiastic about the task and receive a Green Game Day t-shirt to wear at the game,a box lunch to eat during the football GGD, and a free ticket for access to student section seating at the football game .


A brief description of the formal training that the student educators receive to prepare them to conduct peer outreach (3rd program):

Prior to the start of the game, the student educators are briefed by student interns from the Office of Environmental Policy on specific goals and the purpose of the event. Additionally, they are trained on how to approach fans and the best methods of promoting recycling


A brief description of the financial and/or administrative support the institution provides to the program (e.g. annual budget and/or faculty/staff coordination) (3rd program):

Typically minimal funding is needed for the basketball GGDs - t-shirts for volunteers and the price for carbon offsets in order to promote the game as being carbon-neutral. Costs for the football GGD include bus transportation to the off-campus stadium, plus food, recycling collection bags,and t-shirts for volunteers, along with giveaways and games used for the outreach booth at FanFest. Any required funding comes from the Office of Environmental Policy and its Foundation account, the Campus Sustainability Fund.


A brief description of all other student peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education programs, including the number of students served and how student educators are selected, trained, and supported by the institution:
---

Total number of hours student educators are engaged in peer-to-peer sustainability outreach and education activities annually (all programs):
665

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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http://ecohusky.uconn.edu/about/intern.html
https://ecohusky.uconn.edu/2017/02/27/first-ever-carbon-free-uconn-basketball-games/
http://ecohusky.uconn.edu/recycling/greengameday.html

http://ecohusky.uconn.edu/recycling/guidelines.html

The number of degree seeking students was restricted to undergraduates.

The Number of students served at the Green Game Days was estimated by counting the number of seats in the student section at Gampel Pavilion which is 1,731. Since we do two games at gampel, with some student overlap, we multiplied this number by 1.5. Additionally, Rentschler Field has 5,000 student seats with overlap so we multiplied this number by .75 The student section at games tends to be full, and even if not completely full, there are students that have season tickets who sit in the ticketed seats as well.

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.