Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.29
Liaison Ezra Small
Submission Date Feb. 17, 2023

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
"---" 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:
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.

Council on the Uncertain Human Future
The first UMass Amherst Council was convened in the fall of 2022. After postponing a planned circle at the beginning of the pandemic, a group of thirteen faculty and staff from across the university came to together in-person over October 21st and 22nd, with follow-up sessions to be held virtually. The inaugural UMass council was hosted by Madeleine Charney, Research Services Librarian for subjects including architecture, regional planning, and sustainable food and farming, and Jennifer Jacobson, Director of Community Engagement and Alumni Relations for the MFA and Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action. Following a meaningful initial Council, UMass is planning a local convener training to support additional circles in the future.

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.

Fernald Club - UMass Entomology Club
This club promotes entomology through outreach, education, and scientific research at UMass and across the western Massachusetts community. The Fernald Club is run by UMass graduate students and welcomes all local insect enthusiasts as members. Students from all area colleges are welcome to join, as well as members of the general public. Some of their past events include:
Tours of the UMass live insect collection with elementary and middle school students
Earth Day campus event with insect specimens, live insect handling, and a pet hissing cockroach giveaway
Remote (Zoom) presentation on insects for elementary school students during the Covid-19 pandemic
Semi-annual Fall Hibernation/Diapause Party on the UMass campus, with live insect handling, edible insects, and other insect-related fun

Beekeeping 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.

Food Recovery Network (FRN)
In the past, the Food Recovery Network at UMass has facilitated 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. The students will recieve serve-safe training in January 2023 and resume the above work to recover food.

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.

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.

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.

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 four Permaculture Gardens on campus:
Franklin Permaculture Garden (currently expanding)
Berkshire Permaculture Garden
Hillside Garden (Chancellor's House)
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 $1455. $385 for a full share for students and $425 for faculty and staff for a 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/studentlife/peoplesmarket
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. They also sell refurbished used bikes and new accessories such as helmets and locks.

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/studentlife/greenosubshop
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.
This fund has unfortunately not been able to fund any new projects in the past three years because of difficulties caused by the pandemic. However, it is the plan to have the fund back up and running by Fall 2023 after the restructuring efforts are complete.

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. The Earth Day activities continued over the pandemic virtually (https://www.umass.edu/sustainability/earthday) with a full schedule of events.

- 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 annual Earth and Sustainability Career Fair, most recently March 10, 2022.

-People's Science Fair, most recently April 8th -- The People’s Science Fair will showcase diverse efforts by Western Massachusetts residents to harness STEM for social, economic, environmental, and cultural justice. Participants will include campus-based researchers with justice-oriented projects, grassroots organizers whose work involves STEM knowledge, and student activists committed to building a just future.

The Energy Transition Symposium: The Energy Transition Symposium at UMass Amherst is a showcase for energy transition research and campus climate action, including (but not limited to) work in STEM, social sciences, humanities, business, and interdisciplinary studies. All members of the UMass and the five-college community with projects related to energy transition, environmental justice, and sustainability will have an opportunity to present at the poster session.

A diverse coalition of colleges and departments on campus have teamed up to present the award-winning documentary Powerlands, which highlights how members of the energy industry have displaced indigenous people and devastated the environment of their native lands. The event, presented in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, will also feature a pre-showing discussion with the film’s director and a question-and-answer session with UMass Amherst faculty and deans.
Powerlands is directed by Ivey Camille Manybeads Tso, a queer Navajo filmmaker who, at the age of 19, sought to investigate the exploitation of the lands where she was born. The film became a personal and political journey in which she learns from Indigenous activists across three continents.

UMass also hosts Dining for a Cooler Planet events, the most recent of which featured a panel speaking about what indigenous foodways have to teach us about climate action.

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:
Art Sustainability Activism 2022-2023: The UMass Fine Arts Center, the MFA for Poets and Writers, and the School of Earth and Sustainability, are working to create deliberate opportunities to connect artists, scientists, and changemakers. We learn from each other. Together, we reckon with climate change, elevating awareness, recognizing climate grief, and catalyzing meaningful change.
Highlights included:

-Illuminating Brutalism: A Projection Art and Music Experience - In conjunction with UMass Amherst’s 2022 Homecoming Weekend, UMassBRUT is partnering with the Bromery Center for the Arts building to present an animated light show projected onto the Fine Arts Bridge of the Bromery Center.
With artwork from noted artist and UMass Dartmouth Professor, Mark Millstein, this projection mapping event raises awareness of and appreciation for the Brutalist buildings on our UMass campuses. These concrete buildings are large carbon sinks - preserving and upgrading them helps to move UMass towards Carbon Net Zero.

- A reading of poet Abigail Chabitnoy’s stunning new work, In the Current Where Drowning Is Beautiful, which is a meditation on water, land, women, and violent environmental changes as they affect both the natural world and human migration. Chabitnoy is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak, Alaska. This reading is produced in conjunction with the MFA's Visiting Writers Series, presenting emerging and established writers since 1964.


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 (not publicly available).

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 New2U Internship positions, to UMass Dining Sustainability office working with Permaculture, 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, 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/leadership/

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.