Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 77.34
Liaison Sally DeLeon
Submission Date Feb. 27, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, College Park
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Tanvi Gadhia
Outreach Coordinator
Environmental Safety, Sustainability, and Risk
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Does the institution have an active student group focused on sustainability?:

Name and a brief description of the active student groups focused on sustainability:
The University of Maryland Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) is a department of the University of Maryland’s undergraduate Student Government Association (SGA) that advises the SGA and University decision-makers to ensure that the environmental sustainability priorities of the undergraduate student body are met. SSC promotes and implements campus and community environmental sustainability projects in the areas of transportation, water, and energy use, food and materials consumption, development and landscape planning, environmental education, and beyond. The SSC was active during the COVID-19 virtual learning environment. Another notable group is the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a network of student volunteers who work with Dining Services to collect leftover food and deliver it to local soup kitchens and shelters. FRN is serving a social need to feed the hungry in surrounding communities while simultaneously reducing organic waste and saving Dining Service money on waste hauling. MaryPIRG is a student-directed social advocacy group that works on issues such as hunger and homelessness, clean energy, and civic engagement. Campaigns are spearheaded by student leaders and supported by numerous volunteers. The group often partners with other student groups throughout the year to form coalitions and tailor campaigns to student interests. The Residence Hall Association Sustainability Committee of Maryland (RHA SCOM) works to help plan sustainability-related programs and initiatives for the residential community and the campus. For a full list of organizations and descriptions visit the website URL (below) where information about student groups is available. https://sustainability.umd.edu/get-involved/students/student-groups

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:
The Community Learning Garden, just one of The University of Maryland’s (UMD’s) organic gardens, is a student teaching and community garden demonstrating sustainable agriculture and environmental best practices in support of public, environmental, and community health. UMD has another small organic garden, St. Mary’s Garden, which students operate in cooperation with UMD Dining Services. In 2014 the Department of Dining Services, in collaboration with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, established "Terp Farm." The goal of this campus-run farm is to create a successful farming operation that can supply Dining Services with a reliable supply of sustainably grown produce. Students are able to get their hands dirty in farm operations through coursework from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources or by participating as a Terp Farm student employee (see the description below of sustainability-focused student employment opportunities for more information). Green Roots is an additional club focused on advancing sustainable and urban agriculture. Members of the Green Roots club have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with hydroponic gardening as well as work to design and build new systems. https://agnr.umd.edu/student-opportunities/clubs-and-organizations/green-roots

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:
Terp Farm is a sustainable farming operation that is located 15 miles from the College Park Campus. The Terp Farm program hosts a student-developed project called the Flower CSA. The Flower CSA produces specialty cut flower varieties for bouquets and bulk stem purchases by students, faculty, and staff. This CSA creates a direct link between farmers and consumers, where individuals pre-purchase a “share” of the farm’s harvest to reduce the upfront costs. Terp Farm’s Flower CSA provides subscribers with bouquets of fresh, locally-grown flowers for eight weeks of their choice during the growing season. The CSA runs for 15 weeks from mid-June to mid-October. Flower production upholds Terp Farm's values of sustainability by rejuvenating the environment and the community we belong to.

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:
Maryland students have the opportunity to gain insight into the world of sustainable investment through participating in the Student Advisory Subcommittee for the University Sustainability Fund. Starting from the Request-For-Proposal phase all the way through distribution, students have the opportunity to make investments and provide grants to students, faculty, and staff working on tackling environmental issues and sustainable initiatives. https://www.sustainability.umd.edu/about/grants Students also have an opportunity to study sustainable finance and investment through courses offered at the Robert H. Smith School of business. One undergraduate course, BMGT 289A Social Enterprise: Changing the World through Innovation and Transformative Action, is relevant to helping students develop socially, environmentally, and fiscally responsible investment and financial skills. A course summary is provided below: The Social Enterprise course allows students to hear from real-life social entrepreneurs, explore current-day social issues of sustainability, climate change, leadership, disruptive innovations, and create or blueprint business plans to generate positive social change. This class focuses on innovative thinking skills, personal narratives, and social interaction strategies and plans. In addition, the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) is a campus-wide program that leverages the expertise of UMD faculty and the ingenuity of UMD students to help Maryland communities become more environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. PALS is designed to provide innovative, low-cost assistance to local governments while creating real-world experiences for University of Maryland students.

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:
The Institute of Applied Agriculture hosts a speaker series on sustainable agriculture. A list of topics and speakers is available at: http://iaa.umd.edu/news/sustainable-ag-tuesdays-free-lecture-series The Center for Social Value Creation (CSVC) at the Robert H. Smith School of Business hosts events to connect both graduate and undergraduate students to sustainability. For more than ten years, the Center hosted an annual Social Enterprise Symposium. In the words of the CSVC’s executive director, “The Social Enterprise Symposium aims to inform, educate and influence future leaders, students, professionals and stakeholders on cutting edge innovation in creating impactful, sustainable social change.” More recently, the Center organized UMD's first UN Global Goals Jam. The three-day international design thinking challenge focused on the UN's Global Goals for Sustainable Development and using the framework to ideate solutions to local sustainability issues. Learn more at: https://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/events/global-goals-jam The Clark School of Engineering usually hosts an annual Engineering Sustainability Workshop around Earth Day. More information about the workshop as well as a 2019 agenda is available online at: http://www.umerc.umd.edu/sustainability-workshop The School of Public Health hosts an annual symposium on Environmental Justice and Health Disparities in Maryland and the Washington DC region. For years, the University of Maryland Symposium on Environmental Justice and Health Disparities has provided a forum for open dialogue between community members and organizations, environmental justice advocacy groups, researchers, scholars, legal professionals, elected officials and many more. As an example, the 6th Annual symposium focused on COVID-19 and how its reveals environmental racism and health disparities in our communities. More information is found at: https://www.ceejh.center/umd-ej-symposium

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 Stamp Art Gallery supports contemporary art that is challenging and/or academically engaging and that addresses broad community and social issues. They featured an exhibit called “UN/SUSTAINABLE”. This exhibit features a range of media and seeks to include art that addresses the role of sustainability in the art world, as well the way culture and larger power structures affect environmental action and opinion. The exhibit presents one of the many questions that we as global citizens must answer: Are our ways of existing sustainable? https://thestamp.umd.edu/Stamp_Gallery/Past_Exhibitions

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:
The Terrapin Trail Club is a student organization that sponsors various outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, caving, canoeing, rock climbing, and kayaking while following the Leave No Trace principles. The club is student run and the activities are available to all registered students, faculty, and staff of the University of Maryland. The Terrapin Trail Club was founded in 1937 by Elinor Cody and is therefore the oldest active club on campus. It is also one of the oldest college outing clubs in the nation. Several current campus clubs have sprung from the Trail Club, including the Ski & Snowboard Club and the Cycling Club.

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:
College Park Scholars is a two-year living-learning program for academically talented students. The program offers 12 different living & learning programs and includes more than 2,000 students studying topics ranging from environment to justice and public health to astronomy. Each year, the College Park Scholars program selects a thematic focus that students study in addition to their concentration. These themes typically address sustainability issues and present complex, multifaceted problems that demand thoughtful, creative and hands-on solutions. To support the themes, the program offers a mix of curricular and co-curricular activities including lecture series, film series, field trips, volunteering and service opportunities, and research awards for practical projects or theme-related research. In 2015-2016, the CPS community theme was “Trash: The Problem of Waste in Our Lives and World.” The theme discussed environmental and economic challenges posed by trash as well as some of the innovative ideas businesses and communities have adopted to meet those challenges. The 2016-2017 theme was “Power: Citizenship, Circuits, and Societies.” The theme studied power across social, political, cultural, scientific, and technological domains and connected to sustainable business, economy, and reusable energy depending on the approaches the CPS concentrations took to integrate the theme into student opportunities. The 2017-2018 theme was "Going Viral." The virus theme served as a springboard into a broader examination of how things spread in the physical and virtual environments of modern life. As important as biology, medicine, environmental studies, and public health are to such an inquiry, fields such as business, law, media, and art also shed light not only on how things spread but how we imagine and represent that spreading through narratives of outbreak and virality. In 2018-2019, the theme was “Migrations: Populations and Practices on the Move.” The theme studied how the trend toward globalization has increased the movement of ideas, goods, and services around the world while a variety of forces have prompted greater migrations of people and wildlife, putting new pressures on national borders and identities. This theme was connected to a campus-wide initiative, “Year of Immigration,” sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and the Office of International Affairs. In 2019-2020, the theme was a celebration of the Scholars’ 25th anniversary. The program has graduated more than 16,000 students. Sustainability was part of two of the initial four concentrations created in 1994. Each year, March Madness has a matching theme of RecycleMania, where students compete in a contest to create the best video to promote proper waste sorting and recycling at UMD. The contest is promoted across campus and is a recurring theme each year around March. Also, each year, students in Professional Writing and other courses all across campus select campus sustainability as the focus of their semester projects.

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:
Living and learning programs provide students opportunities to learn life skills and work together outside of the classroom. Many of these programs incorporate sustainability skill development and related service opportunities. To learn more see: https://sustainability.umd.edu/education-and-research/living-learning-programs GreenFest is an annual sustainability fair for anyone interested in learning more about a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. The exhibits showcase issues ranging from stress management and better nutrition to environmental impacts and ways students can get involved. Learn more at: http://reslife.umd.edu/greenfest Green Terp is a program designed specifically for college students to teach them how to live sustainable lives, even in a residence hall setting. The student must complete a series of sustainable behavior changes as listed on a checklist in order to certify as a Green Terp. Learn more at: https://sustainability.umd.edu/get-involved/students/become-green-terp

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:
The Building and Landscape Services group in the Department of Facilities Management employs an undergraduate student on a semester by semester basis to provide support for ongoing recycling projects and initiatives. In addition to data entry duties, this student employee assists the full-time Recycling Specialist with social networking technology, promotes environmental initiatives through peer education programs, and provides additional support for public events such as Earth Day and Maryland Day. The Department of Dining Services employs student employees for the summer to support the Farm Program Manager and Lead Agricultural Technician with aspects of farm operation at Terp Farm. The Farm is a University of Maryland sustainable farming operation that offers four-season vegetable production for Dining Services and provides product to food-insecure members of the campus and College Park communities. These student employees engaged in aspects of food production including seed starting to post-harvest handling, aspects of infrastructure development including installation of high tunnels and aspects of farm record keeping including maintaining log books for maintenance and farm operations. The Office of Sustainability offers paid internships and even summer employment for a variety of different internships including SustainableUMD Outreach Team Leaders. The Office of Sustainability and Dining Services also regularly offer a variety of unpaid student internships for which students can receive academic credit.

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):

A brief description of other co-curricular sustainability programs and initiatives that do not fall into one of the above categories:
Students can participate in programs where they commit to taking environmental actions in their daily life like the Small Footprint Pledge. The SustainableUMD Outreach Team tables on campus very frequently and allows students to participate in sustainable activities that teach lessons on how to live a more sustainable life. These activities include DIY natural coffee scrub, carbon footprint trivia games related to food, and upcycled crafting from reused materials that would have otherwise been recycled or thrown away. Students can also attend and support the Farmer’s Market on campus.

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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