Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.93
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Amherst
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ezra Small
Sustainability Manager
Physical Plant
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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:

There are multiple sustainability related active RSO's on campus including but not limited to:

Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success
CMASS is a student-centered learning agency within the division of Advocacy, Equity and Inclusion in Student Affairs and Campus Life. By serving as a campus resource which facilitates and promotes a learning community that acknowledges, appreciates, and values multicultural understanding and exchange, we strive to advance the personal, academic, and professional success of diverse populations on campus.

Engineers Without Borders: https://umassamherst.collegiatelink.net/organization/engineerswithoutborders
Engineers Without Borders is a student organization dedicated to helping local and international communities create sustainable solutions in order to improve their quality of life.

Graduate Students of Diversity in Science and Engineering
Graduate Students for Diversity in Science and Engineering (GSDSE) is an student led organization at UMass Amherst that was founded out of the Polymer Science and Engineering (PSE) department. In the late summer of 2014, the executive councils of the Organization for Cultural Diversity from UCLA and Graduate Students for Diversity in Sciences from UCSB visited PSE graduate students to jump start GSDSE at UMass. Emulating both organizations from UCLA and UCSB, GSDSE is a group of graduate students with a vision and passion to lead and promote diversity in the sciences. Our purpose is to provide an all-inclusive community of highly educated individuals to advance through the pipeline to influential positions in industry and academia in the sciences while simultaneously mentoring the younger generation of underrepresented minorities. Through our partnership with Sigma Aldrich and the College of Natural Science at UMass Amherst, GSDSE provides invaluable networking opportunities through our student-organized diversity seminars. We continue to build scale within our UMass chapter by implementing innovative and sustainable outreach programs spanning k-12 to graduate level education while maintaining excellence in our research careers.

Bee Club
The Beekeeping Club is a group of individuals who are passionate about bees. Revived in 2019, this RSO is focused on learning and teaching others about bees, beekeeping, and these pollinators’ importance through a mix of hands on and informative activities. Involvement is open to all, whether you’re an experienced beekeeper or just want to help “Save the bees” and have fun.

The UMass Amherst Eco-Rep Program is focused on working toward environmental literacy and leadership both within the program and on the campus at large. This is an academic course open to students of all interests and education levels; it is especially encouraged to those who wish to gain or expand their knowledge in sustainability and environmental literacy. Eco-Reps build a foundational knowledge surrounding issues of sustainability and explore how best to raise awareness about these issues amongst their peers. Focusing on the role and impact of the individual, Eco-Reps work to promote environmentally responsible behavior in the campus community.

Food Recovery Network (FRN)
The Food Recovery Network at UMass facilitates the donation of otherwise wasted food from Worcester dining commons to Craig's Doors Homeless Shelter in Amherst, and from Berkshire Dining Commons to Not Bread Alone and a dinner in Northampton for people dislocated by Hurricane Maria. Through mobilizing the campus community as volunteers, FRN helps to spread hunger and waste awareness among the students, faculty, and town.

UMass GardenShare is a student run community garden located on Tilson rd. We strive to educate students and the community about sustainable gardening techniques and share the vegetables, fruits, and herbs that we produce.

Green Building Council
The UMGBC is committed to promoting sustainability, innovation, and a basic foundation in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design both on and off campus. We provide campus wide initiatives and education for the public on green building practices.

The UMass Amherst iCons program prepares our best undergraduates to be problem solvers, leaders and innovators in science and technology. iCons faculty recruit top tier students across a diverse range of science and engineering disciplines to identify global problems and find cutting edge solutions. The iCons program positions students for high achievement in graduate school and in their careers.

MASSPIRG is a statewide, student directed and student funded nonprofit working to win concrete victories on social issues. We work on a range of topics, from alleviating poverty to increasing recycling to educating students about credit debt. Recently, we helped pass policy to invest $700 million in public transportation here in Massachusetts and $3 billion for federal student aid. In the last four years we registered over 20,000 students to vote - more than 5,000 of those here at UMass.
The thing that makes us so effective is that students here at UMass voted to fund MASSPIRG through an $11 per student, per semester waivable fee. We pool these resources statewide to hire professional staff like lawyers, advocates, and organizers. We work together to run local and statewide campaigns, and they fight on behalf of the students full-time where key decisions are being made on Beacon Hill and in Washington DC.
This semester, we are working to register 3,000 students to vote, repower Massachusetts with 100% clean renewable energy. We are also working to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms, make textbooks cheaper for students, and help alleviate hunger and homelessness in the community.

Paperbark Literary Magazine
Paperbark Literary Magazine is an expression of the intellectual and artistic currents working to shape collective consciousness about issues of sustainability in the information age. Born in New England, Paperbark draws on the unique heritage and culture of the region to support and stimulate creative engagement with progressive ideas. Rooted in themes of stewardship, innovation, and possibility, Paperbark’s content is motivated by a desire to trace the connections between science, culture, and sustainability. Paperbark lives at the confluence of imagination and critical inquiry, and is an integral tool for the promotion of sustainability initiatives on the University of Massachusetts campus. The magazine strives to illuminate the impacts of human society while nurturing our intrinsic capacity to catalyze positive change.

Plant-Based Nutrition Club (P-Nut)
P-NUT will strive to connect students with an interest in plant-based, whole-foods nutrition and will have the following goals:
-Hold monthly meetings on topics related to plant-based nutrition
-Host events, such as cooking classes
-Promote awareness of the benefits of vegetarian/vegan nutrition on campus by tabling in the campus center/dining halls
-Present food/nutrition based documentaries focused on plant-based nutrition
-Host guest speakers who are leaders in the plant-based field of nutrition (Doctors, RDNs, Researchers etc.)
-Plan plant-based potlucks and gatherings
-Discussions on what healthy plant-based nutrition means on a personal/professional level
-Organize vegan/plant-based outreach events and opportunities to propagate the message of a whole foods plant-based diet for personal health and wellbeing of animals
-Reduce the suffering of animals by raising awareness

Protect our Breasts (toxins in our care products)
Our mission is to share the conversation on environmental toxins in everyday items that are contributing to breast cancer. Through social media and marketing campaigns, we aim to spread this message to fellow UMass students as well as our online community.

Rack City Thrift
Your local student-run pop-up thrift shop! Donate, shop, or just hang-out with us every Friday at the student farmer's markets.

Student Farm
As UMass student farmers, we commit to providing our campus community with nutritious, organically grown, local produce. We cultivate student empowerment through hands-on agricultural production and by educating our peers about the importance of creating a healthier food system.

Sustainability Projects Abroad
Sustainability Projects Abroad is a Registered Student Organization at UMass Amherst that plans and facilitates student-led disaster relief and community development projects to green the campus and serve the world abroad.

Talking Truth: Finding Your Voice Around the Climate Change Crisis
Talking Truth is a growing community, initiated in fall 2015. Rooted in and complementary to many efforts going on for years at UMass, the project intentionally supports and builds on understanding of climate change disruption. Some key aims are to:
-learn about climate change in the context of fostering a world that is socially transforming
-explore options for taking action
-connect our inner lives with the global challenge we face, to create meaning in our individual and collective experiences
-deepen our understanding of the connections between how we relate to one another and how we relate to the planet
-build community while recognizing the particularities of our lives in relation to climate change – situated and marked by power and privilege in very different ways
Talking Truth is co-sponsored by: Office of Civic Engagement and Service-Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries, Department of Environmental Conservation, Psychology of Peace and Violence Program, and Paperbark Literary Magazine. Talking Truth is endorsed by the following UMass entities: Center for Counseling and Psychological Health, Climateers, Eco-Rep Program, Biostead Initiative, Contemplative Pedagogy Working Group, Spiritual Ecology and Regenerative Systems Initiative, and Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

UMass Eco Club (Environmental Community Outreach)
UMass Environmental Community Outreach (EcoClub) is a student-founded environmentally focused civic engagement program. We seek committed students with a strong volunteer ethic to become more environmentally active in order to enhance community wellness within the Pioneer Valley. We offer resume-building volunteer opportunities, a great way to network with conservation agencies, and a fun and fulfilling atmosphere to make new friends while making a difference.

UMass Hydrofarm
We were originally awarded a 5,000 dollar university grant to build an on-campus hydroponic food production farm in the winter of 2017.
This project provides students with hands-on hydroponic growing experience by farming fresh local produce in a controlled environment.
The hydroponic farm at UMass engages students in the construction of hydroponic systems and the management and operation of growing and harvesting edible crops using hydroponic techniques. The hydroponic farm also demonstrates the applicability of hydroponic techniques to meet more of UMass dinings need for year-round fresh leafy vegetables.
We hope that the new hydroponic farm will form the base of a new educational initiative within the Stockbridge School of Agriculture.

UMass Permaculture
The UMass Permaculture Initiative is a unique and cutting-edge sustainability program that converts underutilized campus lawns into edible, low-maintenance, and easily replicable gardens. This initiative was created by students and then adopted and funded by our administration in 2010. Students and UMass Permaculture staff work together along with UMass Dining Services, The Stockbridge School of Agriculture, and various campus departments to demonstrate the vision of what a sustainable community and world can look like. UMass is one of the only public universities in the country implementing sustainable permaculture gardens directly on campus each year and serving the local, healthy produce in the UMass Dining Commons.

UMass Society of American Foresters Student Chapter
The Society of American Foresters UMass Student Chapter allows students interested in forestry to learn about opportunities in the field, make new friends and have fun doing forestry-related things. Meetings, conferences and student conclaves are some of the ways we come together to have a good time.

Wildlife Society
This is the UMass Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society! The Wildlife Society is aimed at Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, Natural Resource Conservation, Forestry, Environmental Science, Animal Science and Biology majors but we welcome everyone!

Sunrise Movement
Sunrise is a movement to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process. We're building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people. We are ordinary young people who are scared about what the climate crisis means for the people and places we love. We are gathering in classrooms, living rooms, and worship halls across the country. Everyone has a role to play. Public opinion is already with us - if we unite by the millions we can turn this into political power and reclaim our democracy. We are not looking to the right or left. We look forward. Together, we will change this country and this world, sure as the sun rises each morning.

UMass Outing Club https://umoc.teamapp.com/
The University of Massachusetts Outing Club is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) of long standing. Its active membership includes undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and alumni. Activities go on throughout the school year, and to a lesser extent during the summer. The club follows guidelines with leave no trace principles.

UMass Amherst All Campus Makerspace
This group embodies the values and practices of a sharing economy. Their goal: To connect the UMass Amherst maker community with information and access pathways to existing resources on campus, including: facilities and equipment, people and expertise, workshops, and events. To create a central All-Campus Makerspace, which will: serve as a starting point for most makers on campus, provide access to training and equipment for many common maker technologies, serve as the campus maker community focal point and host events related to making.

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 UMass Permaculture Initiative is a unique and cutting-edge sustainability program that converts underused grass lawns on the campus into edible, low-maintenance, and easily replicable gardens. This initiative was created by students and then adopted and funded by our administration in 2010. Students and permaculture staff work together along with UMass Dining Services and many other departments to demonstrate the vision of what a sustainable community and world can look like.

There are now five Permaculture Gardens on campus:
Franklin Permaculture Garden
Berkshire Permaculture Garden
Hillside Garden (Chancellor's House)
Worcester Herb Garden
Hampshire Garden Boxes

CSA Memberships

The Student Farm offers Fall CSA shares to the campus community every year, enabling students, faculty, and staff to purchase a share in the farm and pick up over 25 pounds of fresh organic produce every week for ten weeks (September through November). The total retail value of the ten week share is $700. $360 for a full share for students and $400 for faculty and staff full share. In 2018 Kayleigh Boucher (student) and Amanda Brown (faculty), applied to SIEF and received funding to provide 25 discounted UMass CSA Farmshares for low-income community members.

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:

People's Market https://www.umass.edu/rso/peoples/
Located in the Student Union building at the University of Massachusetts, the People's Market has long been the community's go-to source for ethically-gathered food, beverages, and personal care products. Since its founding in 1973, it has been known as the best place on campus for coffee, herbal teas, fresh bagels, gourmet cheeses, healthy snacks, chilled beverages, yogurt, chocolate, and women's health products. As one of the oldest student-run businesses on campus, the People's Market is also a living classroom in cooperative management, mindfulness, and sustainability. Founded as a collective of women, today the Market consists of folks from all walks of life. We work with one another to achieve collective goals, and we strive to foster awareness of privilege, oppression, and identity both in our space and in our community. We aim to create a radically just, more equitable world in which our environment and our community can live long, prosperous lives.

UMass Bike Co-Op
Since the 1970's, a group of student mechanics has collectively co-managed a bicycle repair shop on the UMass campus. Together they provide lower labor rates and speedier turnaround times than larger bike shops.

EarthFoods Cafe
Earthfoods Cafe was founded on April 12, 1976 by a group of students concerned with the lack of economical, healthy food on campus. Today they continue a not-for-profit student-run business at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Their mission is to provide ovo-lacto vegetarian food at an inexpensive price to the UMass community. Simultaneously, Earthfoods provides a cooperative learning environment for students who are seeking experience in restaurant management. The Café provides opportunities for learning skills in all facets of the restaurant business as Earthlings (Earthfoods employees) actively seek to contribute and benefit from a positive working environment and prosperous business.

Greeno Sub Shop https://www.umass.edu/rso/greenosn/about.html
A non-profit, student-run collective with the following mission:
-To strive to be an open and inclusive space for all members of the UMass Amherst campus community and beyond
-To provide affordable, quality food to students, locally grown/sourced when possible, and consider the impact of our products
-To encourage a fluid and open collective mindset to always improve our business through cooperative efforts for our co-managers
-To work to engage in conversations in regards to the larger system we are a part of and commit to use Greeno’s collective practices as a space for change that does not perpetuate any systems of oppression or inequality
-To engage in the re-evaluation and understanding of our goals as imperative to the possible progression of our collective

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:

UMass Amherst established a Sustainability Innovation & Engagement Fund in August 2013. The fund started at $50,000 in available funds to allocate for the best sustainability engagement proposals on campus and is open to any campus community member. The proposals are vetted by the Sustainability Organization Coalition which includes student leaders from sustainability related registered student organizations (RSO's), Sustainable UMass, and Secretary of Sustainability from the Student Government Association.

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:

Yes, UMass holds major events with a focus in sustainability multiple times a year in the fall and spring. Other events include but are not limited to the following.

- Each year UMass holds campus wide Earth Day events in the spring and Campus Sustainability Day events in the fall. Every year there is a festival where on campus and off campus organizations are invited to table. Additionally, the School of Earth and Sustainability hosts an event in the Design building with a student showcase, a keynote presentation, and a catered lunch. In 2020, the keynote speaker is slotted to be Ko Barrett.
-Every semester since January 2018 we have held a tabling event (5 so far in total) called the Sustainability Slammer where all sustainability related student organizations (official RSO or not) are invited to table together and meet each other. https://dailycollegian.com/2018/09/sustainability-slammer-brings-together-environmentally-focused-groups/
- UMass Amherst Libraries annually celebrates the winners of the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award (USRA) with a night of food, idea sharing and speakers.
-The School of Earth & Sustainability has partnered with the CNS Career office to host their first Earth and Sustainability Career Fair on March 9, 2020.
- The Center for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, along with other sponsors, hosted the Massachusetts Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network’s third annual conference on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Mount Ida campus of UMass Amherst. The conference was designed to serve as a venue to shape conversation about ecosystem resilience, for participants to reflect on their own work, to boost morale and to network.
- MASSACHUSETTS UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH CONFERENCE Sustainable food and farming students presented their research at a conference in the Lincoln Campus Center in 2019.

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:

Philip Glass Weekend September 20-22, 2019
In partnership with the School of Earth & Sustainability (SES) and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) for Poets and Writers Program, the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center hosted a series of thought-provoking events & attracted several hundred students, faculty, staff, and over a thousand community members. The weekend kicked off on 9/20 with speaker Roy Scranton, who is the author of several books including Learning to Die in the Anthropocene. On 9/21, Philip Glass and the UMass School of Earth & Sustainability held an engaging panel discussion with prominent scholars and artists about pressing environmental issues, promising solutions, and the power of creative arts and communication to inspire collective action. On 9/22, UMass' own Paperbark Literary Magazine celebrated the launch of Issue 2: Resilience, with selected readings from the magazine's contributors followed by Q & A. Paperbark’s content is motivated by a desire to trace the connections between science, culture, and sustainability. In the afternoon on 9/22, the main event for this special weekend was a performance by Philip Glass and the Philip Glass Ensemble, performing Koyaanisqatsi Live.

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 University of Massachusetts Outing Club is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) of long standing. Its active membership includes undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and alumni. Activities go on throughout the school year, and to a lesser extent during the summer. The club follows guidelines with leave no trace principles.

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:

In 2019, an open online training on Moodle was developed called Living Sustainably at UMass. The training is open to all members of the campus community and beyond. It contains the following sections: Learning Goals, What is Sustainability, Why Bother, Waste Reduction & Consumption, Food & Agriculture, Waste & Energy Conservation, Sustainable Transportation, Get Involved, Continued Learning and Additional Resources. The overall purpose of this training is to highlight the impacts our everyday choices have on the world around us, establish sustainable living behaviors as a social norm and expectation of our UMass campus community, and expose participants to sustainable living resources on campus and beyond.

A "green" model room is located in Crabtree residence hall. It is used for tours through Admissions, any open house events, and during NSO.

Residential Life developed a webpage dedicated to describing different ways to live sustainably in your room, and how to sustainably move out of your room. We have an online interactive green model room here: https://www.umass.edu/living/your-sustainable-room

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

A brief description of the sustainability-focused student employment opportunities offered by the institution:

Student employee opportunities range from the Physical Plant Sustainable UMass office including Minute Riders compost program positions, New2U Internship positions, to UMass Dining Sustainability office working with Permaculture, Real Food Challenge, and local food procurement. The Center for Student Business office also has sustainability related businesses that offer on-campus jobs all year long including People's Market, Bike Co-Op, All Campus Makerspace and Earth Foods Cafe.

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:

Our Student Government Association appoints a Secretary of Sustainability (an executive leadership role) every year to work on campus initiatives. https://www.umass.edu/sga/executive-leadership/

Additional documentation to support 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.