Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 83.37
Liaison Ruairi O'Mahony
Submission Date Feb. 11, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Massachusetts Lowell
EN-3: Student Life

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Ruairi O'Mahony
Executive Director
Rist Institute for Sustainability and Energy
"---" 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:

The following clubs are some of the most active sustainability-focused groups on campus. Please see the following links for descriptions of each club:

- Student Society for Sustainability-https://umasslowellclubs.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/ccc
- Society of Environmental Scientists- https://umasslowellclubs.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/society-of-environmental-scientists
- Solar Energy Association (Solar Club) –https://umasslowellclubs.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/solarclub
- UML MassPIRG Chapter- https://umasslowellclubs.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/uml-students-for-masspirg
- Engineers for a Sustainable World UML Chapter- https://umasslowellclubs.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/esw

Despite difficulties of remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, clubs were still able to make progress with on the following initiatives:

1. The Student Society for Sustainability partnered with the Office of Sustainability to help bring back Sustainability Night to hockey games at the approx. 6,500 seat Tsongas Center. Student group members participated as Sustainability Recycling Ambassadors at the game on December 3, 2021 to bring visibility and educate visitors about recycling choices and waste stream outcomes.

2. Students from many clubs including those identifed above support the university's urban agriculture program by volunteering at the rooftop gardens and greenhouse. In addition, student group members continue to find new ways to integrate the urban agriculture program into their coursework and deepen partnerships with their departments.

3. Solar students assisted on solar projects at a local food vendor in Dracut, Shaw Farm.

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:

UMass Lowell has a community garden, CSA, and a comprehensive Urban Agriculture program at numerous sites across campus and in the City of Lowell.

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:

UMass Lowell's Rist DifferenceMaker program is a campus-wide initiative that engages UMass Lowell students in creative problem solving, innovation and entrepreneurship. Over the years, the program has supported numerous student-run enterprises that include sustainability as part of its mission statement/stated purpose. Specific examples include:

TermaGreen - a thermodynamic generator that captures heat and converts it into energy that can be reused.

Biobubbler - is made from indigenous material and does not require chemicals or electricity to use. It is a slow sand filtration system that eliminates bacteria in water by absorption, predation, natural death and oxygen depletion.

UMass Lowell Green Fertilizer - aims to solve the problem of food insecurity in developing countries, like Uganda.

EV SmarT - an EV charge sharing platform, where electric vehicle users can open up their home charging stations to other users, extending their ride times past what they are able to obtain today.

MissionHydro - an innovative way to harness and use hydrogen energy.

Living, Green Wall - Vertical green walls reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen levels.

Lowell Sprouts - an organization that utilizes school gardens as a way to educate middle school children about the importance of sustainable, organic agriculture.

More information: https://www.uml.edu/Innovation-Entrepreneurship/DifferenceMaker/

Outside of DifferenceMakers, there are numerous example of student-run enterprises that contribute to UMass Lowell's comprehensive sustainability program. One example from this year is After Hours, a pop-up panini stand. In lieu of payment, customers were asked to make a donation to the Navigators Food Pantry, a student organization that supplies free food items for anyone in the university community who may be experiencing food insecurity.


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:

The university's Sustainability Enrichment & Engagement Development (SEED) Fund allows students (or anyone on campus) to apply for grants of up to $10,000. Should students win the grant they work to manage their funds as they go through their project. This teaches the students fiscally sound financial skills as they manage their awards.

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:

There are a number of conferences, speakers series and events completed in the last year. Some consist of:

Climate Change Teach-In
Sowing SEEDS for Sustainability
Spring and Fall into Recycling
Massachusetts Sustainable Communities and Campuses Conference
World Climate Game Session

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:

UMass Lowell annually sponsors a sustainable art install during Earth Month. Art is selected from faculty developed work and displayed in the student centered building with a focus on generating and encouraging discussion around sustainability and Earth Month activities.

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 Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP), part of the Campus Recreation Center, seeks to offer a variety of outdoor trips for the university community. The trips are designed for beginners who may have never hiked, camped, or paddled before. They seek to offer trips to meet every person's skill level in order to challenge each person to grow through the experience but also to have fun and develop relationships along the way. Each of their outdoor programs leaves participants with a strong experiential understanding of Leave No Trace principles.

Current students, faculty, and staff members of UMass Lowell are eligible to participate in OAP trips and events. The program is not student-governed and follows Leave No Traces principles.


Society of Environmental Scientists (SES)
SES is a student governed club which, among other objectives, aims to enhance student understanding of geological and environmental sciences through field excursions, which explore local geology and ecology. SES expands the skill set of its members by working with Wachusett Mountain State Reservation in collaboration with the Appalachian Mountain Club and by organizing frequent rock and mountain climbing trips. The students follows 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:

UMass Lowell LEAF living learning community comprises of undergraduate students living in sustainability themed housing.

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

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

There are student employee opportunities (internships) in the Office of Sustainability. There have also been student internships in the past in the Transportation Department. These internships involve recycling and overall sustainability program support, and renewable energy programs.

In addition, the Francis College of Engineering offers internships with leading companies in the region and across the globe.

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:

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.